Tiny Tots Alumni Power Preschool to Our Readers' Choice

Los Altos Recreation Department's most durable program showed its loyal following, while Los Altos Parent Preschool's parents described what makes the co-op special.


, a preschool that has been run by the for generations of Los Altans, came away with as the top vote-getter with 49 percent of the 252 votes among .

"Oh, my gosh, it just spiraled," said Leea Guy, program coordinator for the Recreation Department, and supervisor for Tiny Tots. "Parents from 15 years ago were voting."

Showing very strong loyalty as well with 33 percent of the vote was the , co-operative pre-school run by parents and teachers with academic support from the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District's adult school.

Los Altos Patch wishes to thank all parents and readers who participated, because they brought valuable information to this site in the form of thoughtful reviews, comments and new listings of schools.

Consider, for example, for Children's Corner, at Hillview Center: 

The teachers are extremely engaged and engaging-- they care for all the kids very well and like to check in with the parents to make sure that we are all on the same page regarding development. We are looking forward to continuing at Children's Corner for another few years until kindergarten

Perhaps it's not surprising that the two preschools that won so many votes are also among the oldest preschools in Los Altos. Los Altos Parent Preschool (LAPP), a co-op from the days when the cooperative movement was strong, was founded in 1954. Tiny Tots may be almost as old. The city Recreation Department it is only allowed to say the school is more than 30 years old because that's the latest date of paper documentation it can find, Guy said. (Editor's note: Los Altos Patch's editor has a sister who went through Tiny Tots, so we're pretty certain it's been around more than 30 years).

Tiny Tots received 124 votes and LAPP received 84.

"I knew we had loyal parents," Guy said, referring to the time the program was nearly closed down by the city council and parents campaigned for its survival. "I didn't know we had that many people who would vote for us."

. received 7 percent, or 18 of the votes, LAUMC Children's Center Preschool received 4 percent, or 11 of the votes, , which also has deep roots in south Los Altos since 1960, received 2 percent, or 7 votes; received 4 votes; the received 3 votes, and received 1 vote.

Beyond that, Children's Corner also picked up on , some very detailed that will hopefully help parents a little when they are looking for information. Tiny Tots got and seven comments, LAPP got and six comments, Montecito received one comment—the first, and Twinkle Twinkle and each received a comment. 

We're proud," said Sharon Pestrong, a parent volunteer for public relations for LAPP. "We appreciate that our community is speaking up for us."

Just making it to its 58th year in Los Altos—given the economic challenges of late—is an accomplishment, Pestrong said,so getting some public recognition is icing. 

"We went through state budget cuts, and a move to a new location (Covington School campus), and it feels good survive and be serving Los Altos," she said.

Parents and teachers running a co-op school isn't for everyone, but at least 60 families have shown that it can be done, through creative work arrangement, stay-at-home parents, grandparents, or other efforts, she said. Los Altos parents perhaps are as dedicated to making preschool work because they know that studies have shown that early childhood education programs help youngsters be better prepared for kindergarten. 

The value of this particular poll was not just to single out a single school, however. The Readers Choice poll helped place other preschools on the map, for Patch and the community. Preschools that were not previously on Patch Places (see "Places" on the horizontal navigation bar above), such as Preschool and , have been added. 

Parents have started to rate the preschools listed in this article and in the poll, and we hope that our local moms and dads will find them in the future, to make the selection a little easier. 

The poll has closed, but we also hope you'll click on the links provided here to rate the preschools on their Patch Places directory and leave a review to help parents looking for a preschool get a sense of what makes the school special.

We are always adding to the Places directory, so if there's a school you know of that is not there, let us know by clicking on the bright green "Add It" button at the bottom!


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