Testimonials

See What Parents are Saying

 

aKIDemia is a gem of a pre-school/childcare program. My son has been enrolled for over four months, and he continues to thrive each week. We delight in seeing his weekly art project, look forward to participating in his lesson plans, and cherish the detailed daily reports we receive about his activities, behavior, and progress.
Thea Raymond is an amazing educator and childcare provider- -kind, sensitive, creative, well-educated, patient, and caring.
Whether she is planning the weekly trip to a neighborhood park, creating delicious, home-cooked meals for lunch, or guiding him through his first lessons in the alphabet, Thea provides a safe, nurturing environment for my son. As a working mom, it's such a relief to know he is so well taken care of when I'm working!

2010
Jenni Housh

I recommend Dorothea Raymond as a childcare provider with the greatest enthusiasm!  I have been in the education field myself for many years, and currently work for an organization specializing in school readiness (or I can say that I work as a "School Readiness Specialist).  As a result, I am extremely selective about who watches my son (who is of preschool age), and feel qualified to choose the right person.

I am regularly reminded of how fortunate we are to have such a kind, knowledgable, and enthusiastic childcare provider each time she works with him.  Dorothea combines a patient and nurturing disposition with a strong knowledge of child development and research based best practices.  Dorothea has a special ability to keep my son engaged, excited about learning, and motivated to try new things.  Each day Dorothea planned activities such as fieldtrips to the park, library and local children's venues.  She used her creativity to incorporate many art activities into the days, such as play dough, painting, creating sculptures, etc.  She indulged him regularly in his favorite activity: reading. 
 It became apparent to me early on that she also has a very special knack for staying in tune with a young child's needs and temperament.  She understood how to provide activities that uniquely responded to my son's interests.  For example, my son is passionate about building sculptures out of materials such as cardboard boxes, string, sticks, etc.  Dorothea found ways to support and cultivate his interests most days - most recently helping him to build an airplane out of cardboard and other materials.  
 The only caveat I have is that your child may not want to leave her care when it is time for him/her to come home!

2011
Grace Karr
M.A. Education

Akidemia has been a wonderful childcare and preschool experience for our family. We are so grateful that we found Thea and her program. The school has a creative, engaging learning program balanced by art activities, outside play, and even cooking. The environment is nurturing and supportive while also emphasizing manners and etiquette. We have 3 children now ages 5, 3, and 16 months. Our oldest son has learned to read after a few months in Thea's program, and we are confident he is extremely well prepared for kindergarten this fall. Thea's program and curriculum are thoughtful and diverse, as well as phonetics and basic literacy skills the kids have learned about geography, music, art, and science in a comfortable environment that also encourages play and friendship. The art activities are delightful and inspiring to me (I have some art background). Thea has been a great resource to our family in terms of basic childcare issues. Highly recommended.

2011
Kristina Youso

We highly recommend Thea Raymond's wonderful aKIDemia. Our newly adopted daughter was behind academically and there wasn't a lot of time before kindergarten. Over some months Thea got her on track with great letter and sound pre-reading and writing work, while keeping the day fun and playful for our daughter and all the kids. The program is varied, has plenty of arts and stimulating and fun stuff. Our daughter loved the school, and is so much better prepared for kindergarten than she would have been. Thea was a great find, reasonably priced, and has openings for fall! We highly recommend her.

I recommend Dorothea Raymond as a childcare provider with the greatest enthusiasm!  I have been in the education field myself for many years, and currently work for an organization specializing in school readiness (or I can say that I work as a "School Readiness Specialist).  As a result, I am extremely selective about who watches my son (who is of preschool age), and feel qualified to choose the right person.

I am regularly reminded of how fortunate we are to have such a kind, knowledgable, and enthusiastic childcare provider each time she works with him.  Dorothea combines a patient and nurturing disposition with a strong knowledge of child development and research based best practices.  Dorothea has a special ability to keep my son engaged, excited about learning, and motivated to try new things.  Each day Dorothea planned activities such as fieldtrips to the park, library and local children's venues.  She used her creativity to incorporate many art activities into the days, such as play dough, painting, creating sculptures, etc.  She indulged him regularly in his favorite activity: reading. 
 It became apparent to me early on that she also has a very special knack for staying in tune with a young child's needs and temperament.  She understood how to provide activities that uniquely responded to my son's interests.  For example, my son is passionate about building sculptures out of materials such as cardboard boxes, string, sticks, etc.  Dorothea found ways to support and cultivate his interests most days - most recently helping him to build an airplane out of cardboard and other materials.  
 The only caveat I have is that your child may not want to leave her care when it is time for him/her to come home!

2012
Kristen P.

I very highly recommend aKIDemia childcare and preschool, in North Berkeley near Gilman Street. Our 2-1/2 year old daughter has been there for nearly a year. Thea and her staff are all warm, personal, well-educated, and provide the kind of safe, stimulating, joyful, consistent environment that we want for our daughter. The kids play, do projects, and have ''calendar time'' inside the sunlit house and in Thea's spacious backyard. The house is full of books and stimulating toys; there are no electronic toys, TV's or ''screen time.'' Thea provides nutritious lunches, is flexible with schedules, and her prices are quite reasonable. Our daughter learns a tremendous amount there and we know that Thea and her staff really know her and care about her development and well-being.

2014
Beth G.

Our grandson just spent the last 6 months here, and we're really sad to leave (he's moving).  Thea and her crew provide lots of love, the right amount of structured time and unstructured play, loving but firm rules, and fun.  After about 3 days our grandson (aged 2 3/4) couldn't wait to go every day. It's small, homey, not a big bureaucracy, and we highly recommend it.

2015
Naomi R.

My then-2.5 year old son attended aKIDemia for 6 months during a time of transition for us (a new baby, an upcoming move), and I cannot say enough good things about Thea and her crew. They were so welcoming, patient, and loving, and my son quickly acclimated to his new reality. The school is small, and each kid gets lots of personal attention. I found that the day was well balanced between structured play (e.g. circle time) and free-play, as well as indoor and outdoor playtime. My son came home singing songs and talking about all the neat things he'd learned that day (e.g. the life cycle of a frog and butterfly; the alphabet song; how plants grow) more often than not. But for out move, we would have happily stayed at aKIDemia. Highly recommended!

2015
1_arri

Our daughter stayed at Thea's house for three years and had a wonderful experience. We were sad to leave and delayed doing so because we really valued the familiar routines, the warm and loving caregivers, and our daughter's strong sense of belonging. Some highlights for our daughter: playing in the backyard, making friends, calendar time and singing, learning to write her name, art projects, the aquarium with fish, walks to the park and around the neighborhood. We appreciated Thea's expertise in child development, and plan to stay in touch with her as our daughter grows up. We highly recommend Thea and aKIDemia!

2016
RG1

My daughter just left aKIDemia after attending for just under 5 years.  She started when she was just 4 months old, and just graduated before turning 5 and beginning TK with BUSD.  Thea, the schools director is amazing. I cant recommend her enough. Thea was so helpful as I was transitioning back to work full time- she took great care of my daughter providing her the individualized support and attention she needed, and she communicated with me regularly.  She was also incredibly helpful at getting her on a regular nap schedule! Throughout her years at aKIDemia, Thea continued to provide my daughter with the support, love and structure she needed. She has a wonderful balance of providing structured time, play time and she makes learning fun. She was also incredibly helpful at helping my daughter navigate social/emotional skills, helping her learn how to take turns, share and be kind to others.  Thea maintains a wonderful home like environment where kids feel safe and comfortable. Now that my daughter has graduated and started school, it is abundantly clear how well prepared she was for the classroom. She is thriving both academically, as well as socially. Finding aKIDemia has been a blessing. We are so grateful!

2017
Lily P.

Our son has been going to Akidemia for the last six months and we couldn't be happier. We were initially hesitant on how our son would make the transition from a nanny to daycare, but the team at Akidemia made it the transition as easy as possible and within days, our son was acclimated to the new routine.The teaching staff is amazing, kind and warm. The home based environment really adds to the warmth of the program and the other children are lovely. Our son has learned so many wonderful things during his time at Akidemia so far and is continuing to grow into a empathetic, polite, and happy child due to the Akidemia staff's care. I really benefited from the information available on BPN as I was making a care decision for our son and wanted to share our experience as other parents are making this important decision for your little one. Thank you to Thea and her team for all that you do for our little guy!

2018
Taramt

 
 

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