POLL: What's the Best Preschool or Day Care in Brookline? [REVISED]

The second in our series of "Best of Patch Readers' Choice" contests. Vote in the poll, defend your choice in the comments, and come back Friday at noon to find out the winner.

[Update: Because of the huge number of write-in votes, we added the to the list. 12:16 a.m. Wednesday]

Editor's Note: Thanks to a lot of feedback from the comments, e-mails, and social networking sites, we have revised the poll with more targeted choices. However, because of the sheer selection and quantity of the pre-school and day care centers in Brookline, we sampled just a few (this also keeps the poll from being overwhelming).

That does not by any means imply that you cannot vote for those places beyond the list. Simply leave a comment below the poll (to make it more obvious, use the word "vote" somewhere in that comment). 

These polls are still not scientific. When the decision is made at the end of the week, the decision is not made by poll results alone: comments and reviews on the listings count too. Make noise for your favorite pre-school or day care! Tell your friends to vote, spread the word on your Facebook or Twitter account, and remind the parents you see when you're picking up your kids. 

The original poll is attached, and closed at the same time as the new poll opened. The oiginal text of this article is below as well. 


[Editor's Note: We are currently working on a revised version of the poll more inclusive of options people have since suggested. It seems the question of best day care/pre-school is a lot more complex than originally thought. In the meantime, please make comments, let us know who should not be missed out. 2:04 p.m.]

Last week we started our series of week-long "Best of Patch Readers' Choice" contests. The first category was .

This week the category is: Best Day Care/pre-school.

Here's how it works. Vote in the poll below. Add comments supporting your decision and influencing other Brookline residents to see that you're right, after all. .

The poll closes at 9 a.m. Friday. Because this poll isn't scientific, it isn't the sole consideration in choosing a winner. The winner will be determined by the Patch editor (that's me, ), based on poll results, comments on this story and reviews on Patch Places. Please vote only once per survey.

And now, the nominees, along with links to their Patch Places pages:

If we missed one (which is possible, as I don't frequent these businesses), urge some votes in the comments. 

We'll announce the winner at noon on Friday. The winner gets bragging rights and a framed certificate from Patch. Let the voting and commenting begin!

[Editor's note: We started off calling the contest "Best of Brookline" and have changed it to "Best of Patch Readers' Choice." It's the same contest, just with a name that's more descriptive.]

Jennifer Roffman March 05, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Definitely don't overlook the Kehillath Israel Nursery School, mentioned at least once above -- one of the most well-established programs of its kind and a truly wonderful, special place! Maybe the list needs to be narrowed to apples and apples instead of apples and oranges -- preschools separate from day care centers? private, public, services for toddlers, pre-K programming -- there are so many ways in which all of these places aren't equally available to all families. Thanks for starting an important conversation, though!!
Daria Mark March 05, 2012 at 06:42 PM
I second that! They have an excellent program, warm teachers, music, movement, arts and their own playground!
Grahame Turner March 05, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Thank you, everyone, for your responses. This seems to be a much larger question than I had originally set out to ask. I am going to create a second poll, incorporating some suggestions from these comments, from e-mails, and from social media feedback. In the meantime, I will leave the original poll where it sits, and welcome suggestions.
Mary Dunlap March 05, 2012 at 09:13 PM
You have overlooked the Corner Coop Nursery School at the corner of Beacon St and Dean Road. They will be celebrating their 40th anniversary this year !!
Pam Roberts March 05, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Grahame, don't take the spirited responses personally. As you can see, we moms are fierce with our loyalties... ;')
Grahame Turner March 05, 2012 at 09:39 PM
@Pam: Thanks, I was feeling a little sheepish this morning, but I think we're improving with all of your help. I definitely appreciate the feedback!
Grahame Turner March 06, 2012 at 05:11 AM
The revised poll is attached to the article now. Thank you again to everyone who commented or contacted me about missing entries. The guidance, I think, has made both a more complete poll, and has lead me to be clearer in my instructions. I will also factor these comments into the voting.
Jennifer Roffman March 06, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Thanks for all your attention and work on this! It is certainly a topic that is near and dear to many people's hearts in Brookline! (ps: since you said comments count: GO KEHILLATH ISRAEL!! we love it there ;)
Libby Berke March 06, 2012 at 01:49 PM
You should really just re-think this entirely and take down the poll. Smoothies is one thing. Daycare is a major and complex issue. There are tons of daycare options in Brookline - with variations based on home based vs group care, infants thru pre-K, whether or not they take government vouchers, facilities, whether or not you can provide your own food or if it is provided, whether they support using cloth diapers or a decision of whether or not to vaccinate, religious-based programs vs. secular. No daycare can be number one because no day care can be all things to all people. No matter what "wins" in your limited poll - there will be people who can't stand that center because of something that happened to someone there - a punsihment, ignoring a child, an allergy, a rash - or the occassional kid getting left behind in a park (it happens!). You should really trash this poll and instead to an insightful interview with someone like Joyce-Stavis-Zak who is the licensor for ALL the daycares in Brookline.
Karla Vallance March 06, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Libby, we believe there is real value in readers sharing which day care/pre-school they like — feel passionately about, even! — and why. That is the purpose of these polls, for people to share their insights and knowledge and, yes, opinions. An interview with a day care licensor is a fine idea, but provides a very different set of information than gathering reviews from the people whose children are at these day care/pre-schools. Thanks, everyone, for sharing your ideas; it really does help the community.
Heidi March 06, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Little Feet Daycare is the best day care in Brookline. They provide excellent and loving care for my daughter in a nurturing and loving environment. My daughter has thrived since joining this program and we are very grateful for it.
Bill Davidson March 06, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I think the poll would be better phrased as simply "Where do you send your children for pre-school or day care?" We all value the appreciations that parents share for the wonderful, compassionate professionals who teach and care for their children.
Mike Churwin March 06, 2012 at 03:13 PM
I vote for Temple Ohabei Shalom, TCEE! My twins girls go there and LOVE every second of it.
Andrew Dankwerth March 06, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I vote for Ohabei Shalom’s TCEE because its amazingly flexible in terms of hours and the teachers are great.
EFK March 06, 2012 at 04:20 PM
I have been an early childhood educator for over 16 years and believe that Ohabei Shalom's TCEE has a wonderful program. The teachers, families, and environment show the warmth and learning. The childrens faces each day are smiling and this is a great preschool!
Suvi Stenback March 06, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Dear Editor, I must second Mr Churwin's vote for TCEE at Ohabei Shalom. My 3-yr old daughter attends this school and I cannot fault it: 1) The staff who are the most important asset to the school and kind, caring, calm and knowledgable. 2) The communication between families and school is excellent with written/e-mail/verbal feed-back on-going 3) Each child is respected as individuals and cherished regardless of back-ground 4) Fascilities are excellent with ample space both in-and out-doors 5) We feel that this school has not only taught my daughter skills-needed for life, but has also taught our whole family them too. MANY THANKS!
Lynn Van Capelle March 06, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I vote for TCEE at Ohabei Shalom- the teachers and staff are great and have nurtured my daughter for the last 2 years- we are truly sad to be leaving for K this fall
Kristi G March 06, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I also vote for TCEE at Ohabei Shalom! The teachers are both incredibly knowledgeable and incredibly great with the kids, giving individual help and attention. The thought and care put into the curriculum is outstanding. It's a wonderful community to be part of.
Mama Sue March 06, 2012 at 09:47 PM
We have been Kehillath Israel Nursery School parents since 2006. In addition to high quality pre-school and Jewish content, my son came home with new Chinese words just last week.
Pam Roberts March 06, 2012 at 09:50 PM
I agree, Bill!
Bettina Neuefeind March 07, 2012 at 01:29 AM
I vote for Ohabei Shalom’s TCEE - my five year old son is finishing his second year there, and loves his amazing teachers, his wonderful classmates and their families, and the varied and totally spot on programming. Every morning a new activity awaits him, and his little sister, at 2 1/2, can barely tear herself away. Check it out! The great location and flexible schedule are hard to beat. Bettina Neuefeind
Katrina K March 07, 2012 at 02:26 AM
I vote for TCEE at Ohabei Shalom! Our children love it, and have flourished. The teachers make such an effort to engage the families in their children's school experience, which we greatly appreciate!
Keith Carson March 07, 2012 at 02:29 AM
I don't usually participate in polls, but I couldn"t stop myself here. My sons have attended Ohabei Shalom's TCEE for their third year now and I couldn't be happier. They nail all the "Basics" of a caring, nuturing environment and hit the ball out of the park with their amazing teachers and staff. Every activity seems to have multiple layers of learning. My sons will be well-prepared for Kindergarten next year.
Nelly Langlais March 07, 2012 at 10:50 AM
I vote for Little Feet Day Care. They provide a loving, nurturing, and warm environment in which learning is closely tied to play. A lot of arts and crafts, music, reading, and nutritious meals. They even have their own playground.You can check them out for yourself on their Facebook site. The program is run by an outstanding, well knowledgeable, and very dedicated director Her staff is very friendly and energetic.If you want your child to acquire excellent social skills Little Feet Day Care is the right place for you and your family.
Suzan Chin March 07, 2012 at 06:09 PM
I highly recommend TCEE at Temple Ohabei Shalom. My daughter has been attending the school for almost three years and she loves the school, her teachers and her friends. The teachers and staff are INCREDIBLE and go out of their way to make sure that the children are happy and comfortable. It will be very difficult to leave this wonderful school for kindergarten in September.
Jeff Lasky March 08, 2012 at 05:26 PM
My wife runs Little Feet Daycare, littlefeetdaycare.com, a toddler program, out of our Brookline Village home. The are usually three teachers for ten children. She has a music program, an art program, lots of puzzles, books, building toys, and toys for imaginary play, and a private 1,800 square foot toddler playground. The children are fed home-cooked meals, prepared almost exclusively with organic ingredients. There are other fine home daycare programs in Brookline. - Jeff Lasky
Kimberley Lipsey-Michelson March 09, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Our youngest daughter attends TCEE at Temple Ohabie Shalom, she loves going to school and being a part of such a warm and loving community. We have experienced other pre-schools with our two other children therefore have the luxury of being able to compare schools. TCEE offers everything that we could hope for in a school for our daughter; experienced, warm and caring teachers, a comfortable, flexible and relaxed environment, a new, modern and clean facility, not to mention a warm and close knit community. It would be impossible for her to be happier or more comfortable at any other school. We love TCEE.
Eun Kyung Lee March 09, 2012 at 01:53 AM
We were quite worried when our 2.9 yr old son started TCEE at Temple Ohabei Shalom a year ago. He spoke no English, was not toilet-trained, and was very resistant to change. Now..? He giggles with his friends, participates in all the activities (he was quite outsider in the beginning), and loves to sing songs in Hebrew and English (We are Korean!) We whole heartedly agree with all the good things mentioned above on TCEE already, and we just want to add one more. One of their great philosophy is that while having broad developmental goals and frequent milestones, every child's own pace is respected with much patience and individual attention - it feels like the program was tailored for our child.
Joanna Gilman March 09, 2012 at 09:42 PM
I have two sons who attend the TCEE (Trust Center for Early Education at Temple Ohabei Shalom) and have been so very pleased with their experience there. The teachers are wonderful, the facilities are great, the programs are thoughtful, but the best part is that all of those things have led to my sons loving to go to school! A wonderful, warm introduction to the joys of school.
Susan Snyder March 10, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Our daughter is completing her second year at the Trust Center for Early Education (TCEE) at Temple Ohabei Shalom. It has been without a doubt an amazing introduction to school by a group of committed and caring educators and administrators. We feel that we are already beginning to reap the benefits of their nurturing approach. Our daughter loves to learn and has really gained a lot of confidence as a result! Wonderful community as well!


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