My son has been going to Shining Star since they opened (and had been at a daycare
with the owner, Preeya before then). We love Shining Star, the staff, the other
children and the other parents. My four-year old asks to stay longer rather than go
home early with his grandparents (who spoil him terribly!).
There is a monthly curriculum plan, menu, and newsletter so parents can stay
involved and see the diverse activities being planned. They have very clever and
cute art projects made from recycled materials which my son is very proud to bring
home. And I love that they use recycled materials and that they have unique charm
which shows me that Preeya spends a lot of time thinking about the kids, their
skills, and finding activities rather than using off-the-shelf arts projects. They
also learn letters, numbers, Spanish and Mandarin as part of their morning
The children are well-behaved and learn a lot of manners. I am utterly amazed when
I see the children sit at the table and eat all of their fruits, vegetables, before
the birthday treats. Most still nap or rest after lunch, even the four-year olds
and this is much appreciated! The space is nice and the staff rotates toys, music,
and themes to keep everything fresh for the kids.
I find Shining Star to be a very loving place and the other families are exactly
the kind of people I'd like to have my son around. I work full-time and feel
fortunate that I've found a situation for my son where I am completely worry-free
happy Shining Star parents
Hi Worried Parent,
My daughter has been going to Shining Star for 14 months now and she absolutely
loves it. What I really like about it: 1) the physical environment is awesome - the
indoor space has lots of natural light (little/no fluorescent lighting) and is
cheerily decorated and very well organized; there is very nice backyard for them to
play in, and a park directly across the house where they can run around and climb
on the structures. 2) teachers are very loving and dedicated, and they keep it
small - i don't think I have seen more than 8 children on a given day, so kids get
a lot of individual attention. 3) They go on field trips or nature walks on
Wednesdays, and do a lot of creative art projects. They get either Spanish or
Mandarin lessons every day (or most days). 4) Lunch is provided which is the best
thing in the world. Sometimes the kids get to help in making their lunch pizza.
Preeya (the owner) is also a great cook (Thai), and shares recipes in the monthly
newsletters. Occasionally she organizes a parents' night out where you can drop
your kid off at 6 (or just leave them at the end of the day) and pick the up at 9
for something like $20 and they get fed dinner. And of course they learn their
letters and numbers, get read stories, etc. Preeya is also open to feedback and
suggestions. I would encourage you to contact them and schedule a tour and see for
yourself. Feel free to contact me too.
I can tell you something about Shining Star Schoolhouse. After a disappointing
experience at another preschool, I was a little worried about finding a preschool
for my 2 yo son that we would feel good about. However, from the first visit, I
had no more worries! When we were visiting, Preeya (the Director) was observing
our son play. After just 30 minutes, she knew more about him than the other
preschool that had spent months with him! My son is an active charmer that needs
help understanding what the boundaries are. He is smart and gets bored easily. I
was worried that we wouldn't find a place where he would feel good about himself.
But my son LOVED it from the start! Preeya really sees each child as an individual
and helps them bring out their strengths. I couldn't be happier! My son, now 3,
knows all his colors in English and Spanish, is learning Chinese, can spell his
name, knows all his shapes, and is learning his numbers and his letters. He sits
and participates in circle time because he wants to. All that has been through
play! I love that she keeps the numbers low, instead of trying to cram every child
in. The kids have plenty of room to play. They learn to take responsibility for
themselves. They do art every day. There are visitors, like the El Cerrito Fire
Department. They eat a homemade lunch and snack every day. They can play in the
back and usually go across the street to a wonderful little park to ride trikes and
climb the play structure. There's a real sense of family there. We're the new
kids on the block, and everyone has been so nice. The older kids (4) help the
younger kids learn what to do. Preeya has such a gentle, loving nature. The other
teachers are wonderful too - so attentive and caring. I know that they love every
child there, and I feel I can trust them. Preeya sends pictures sometimes of my
sweet boy napping or playing, and there's a calendar so we all know what the kids
will be doing and eating each day. I can't recommend it enough. You are welco!
me to contact me directly with any other questions you have. Or give Preeya a call
and schedule a visit. Hope you can join us! I'm definitely a Happy Shining Star
We love Shining Star Schoolhouse! It's very relaxed and Preeya, who runs the
place out of her home, is fantastic. I was actually sending my son to a daycare she
was helping to run. She was my son's favorite person at the daycare and he
loved going to see Preeya. I always felt really secure sending him, knowing
she was there. I was thrilled when she decided to open her own preschool and
enrolled him from day one.
Preeya genuinely loves the kids and sees them all as unique individuals with their
own strengths, and she encourages them in ways that suit each child. My son is
high-energy and I knew he was at risk for being labeled a ''problem child'' because
he will often refuse to participate. Preeya understood immediately that he really
just needs time to sit back and take in the situation before joining on his own,
and she allowed him the space to do that rather than pushing him to participate.
Also, Preeya is constantly looking for new ways to improve and expand her school.
Since we started, they have added both Spanish and Mandarin Chinese instruction.
We're mono-lingual in our household so I really appreciate having my kid exposed to
Preeya is also really great about having a flexible schedule. She's always happy to
let me put my son in for an extra day here and there as the need arises, and she's
also cool with him only attending part time. Although we haven't taken advantage of
it, they also organize parents night out once in a while.
Overall, the preschool is great little community and I feel like my kid is allowed
to be who he is while being encouraged to learn what he needs for kindergarten. The
other parents are great, too - relaxed and pretty laid back, just like us.
My now 4yr old son has been at Shining Star five days per week since Preeya first
opened the preschool in 2012. Shining Star has been a wonderful place for my son to
grow and develop. Preeya truly loves the children, you see it every morning when
she greets the kids and in their desire to be near her. Preeya has worked very hard
to develop a program in which the children are exposed to multiple learning
opportunities: daily art projects, kindergarten preparation (i.e. number & letter
recognition and writing), weekly nature walks, Spanish & Mandarin teachers, yoga,
cooking, field trips to the Recycling center, visits from the fire department,
dentist, police department and park rangers - mixed with lots of free/imaginative
play both inside and out. The park, literally across the street, is wonderful and
when the weather is good they spend time there everyday and even walk to Tassajara
Park regularly. Additionally, Preeya provides healthy home cooked snacks and lunch.
But most importantly, the children are treated with love, compassion and respect -
and the children treat each other similarly. Discipline is done with a gentle touch
- absolutely no yelling, just patience and soft insistence, always with a smile.
It's abundantly clear how completely safe all the children feel there, especially
in Preeya's presence. And since the program is small, there is very personal
attention paid to each child's needs. Shining Star has been a wonderfully nurturing
place for our little boy where he has not only developed his initial academic
skills, but has developed a strong sense of compassion and respect for others.
My family loves Shining Star Schoolhouse! The Director and Owner Preeya is
absolutely wonderful! There are 2 other teachers who are also amazing. Preeya
definitely goes above and beyond to make my daughter feel welcome and most
importantly she feels safe. She is willing to work with my schedule and my needs
as a working parent, which makes my life that much easier. At Shining Star
Schoolhouse my daughter is engaged from the minute she walks through the door to
the minute she leaves. Which at times she wants to stay. Shining Star arranges
for special guests and visitors to the school. Recently the children had a visit
from the El Cerrito Fire Department. Which they LOVED! The children learn foreign
language (two to be exact) make cute and fun art projects and have cooking
lessons were they help prepare a healthy and yummy snack. The lunch and snacks
Shining Star provides are always homemade, natural organic foods. I adore Preeya
and Shining Star Schoolhouse! My daughter will start Kindergarten in the fall and
I am confident she is prepared and ready for school, THANKS to Shining Star
Schoolhouse. My daughter has been with Preeya since she was about 2.5 years old,
and she loves Preeya. And, that makes me happy and relieved knowing my daughter
is happy, nurtured, engaged and loves learning new things. I highly recommend
checking out Shining Star Schoolhouse for yourself!