Orinda Afternoons is a boutique preschool in the hills of Orinda, providing the highest quality care for very young children (ages zero to five). (Due to COVID-19 Modifications, we are only enrolling children age 24 months and above). In our small and enriching program your child will receive loving, individualized attention designed to nurture his or her growth and development. Orinda Afternoons offers a warm and professionally staffed environment - complete with a dedicated playroom and art studio, climbing gym, sandbox, thriving organic garden and playhouse in a parklike setting, located roughly one mile from the Orinda BART. We offer part-time and full-time care, along with other family-friendly scheduling options. We will continue to offer a Developmental Kindergarten (DK) program for the 2022-2023 academic year which will prepare four year old children socially, emotionally and academically for Kindergarten in August of 2023.
COVID - 19 UPDATE June 2020 Orinda Afternoons has reopened and our program is following the CDC Guidelines for Childcare Centers. We have moved to an almost exclusively outdoor format for the 2020-2021 school year borrowing concepts from the Scandinavian Forest School tradition. (Please read "Our Programs and Schedule" for details).
January 2021: We are at capacity for children in our 2s program. We have limited half day availability in our 3s and 4s program. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about availability or express interest for our 2021/2022 and waitlist for all age groups. Thank you.
COVID - 19 UpdateMarch 2021:Children are not wearing masks outside and are in cohorts with individualized art supplies. Teachers are vaccinated.
JANUARY 2022 - We continue to be almost exclusively outdoors and have had no COVID infections since the beginning of the Pandemic. OA will be offering tours in February and March for our Preschool and DK program for 2022-2023. We are near capacity for our 2s program, but please email to be added to the waitlist or to schedule a tour.
Bekki Van Voorhis-Gilbert, JD, PhD the lead teacher/director, is a warm, nurturing and organized educator with a background in ECE & Child Development. A lawyer turned academic, Bekki was a tenured Associate Professor, who taught classes on Parenting, Family Policy, Human Development and Social Behavior in the Department of Sociology at CSU Hayward (now CSUEB). She is a married mother of college-age children, holds a doctorate degree from UC Berkeley, exceeds state licensing requirements for a program director, is CPR & First Aid certified and most important - has extensive knowledge of child development milestones and loves working with and inspiring young children! Bekki is an avid hiker and organic gardener, has served as a board member for the Friends of the Wagner Ranch Nature Area and Camp Galileo/Summer Quest, and was the founder of Save Environmental Education in Orinda (SEE). An East-Bay native, Bekki grew up exploring Mount Diablo and is excited to share her love of learning with a new generation of children.
Ashley has worked at Orinda Afternoons since June 2020, loves working with young children and is a graduate of Washington State University in Pullman.
Ella is the newest addition to our school and has worked at OA since October 2021, having graduated from Miramonte High School in 2019.
Emily is a college student who began working at OA while still in high school in 2017. Emily is from Orinda and lives with her parents and two siblings.