Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What are the hours of the school?
Cornerstone is year-round center that offers care between the hours of 7:30 am – 5:30 pm.

Do you offer both part time and full time schedule options?
To ensure the smallest cohort group for each class possible, we only offer a 5 days a week schedule. By eliminating part-time options, the children attending each day remain the same, therefore the children in each class do not change from day-to-day. This allows us to maintain a  small cohort for each class based on the maximum number per day, rather than a larger cohort that would allow for different children to attend on different days. An example of this is a class size of 12 with the same children attending each day, so the cohort size would be 12. If part-time was offered there would be different children attending on some days, so the cohort size could be as large as 16-18 since children could attend 2, 3, or 4 days per week.

Families can choose a schedule with the hours of:

  • 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
  • 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
  • Combination of 8:30am-3:00pm and 8:30am-5:30pm

Parents can also purchase an extra day or add a block of time (7:30 am – 9 am or 3 pm – 5:30 pm) if needed.

*Please note that our Pre-Kindergarten program does not offer a 2 day option. To attend this program, there is a minimum of 3 days per week required.

What is your philosophy?
Cornerstone is Christian child care center and preschool designed to support and nurture families and young children. We are play-based and believe that children learn best through hands on exploration of the world around them. Our school is child-centered and teacher-supported where play is used to master the fundamental skills and concepts needed for later school experiences. Play supports all areas of development, and our teachers are responsive facilitators who help to enhance and expand each child’s own learning experience.

What is your policy on discipline?
Our role is not to punish children, but rather to provide clear, consistent limits and to teach children how to play constructively within those guidelines. At Cornerstone we use redirection to deal with behavioral issues. Teachers offer the children choices and follow through with what is expected with the choice the child has made. Children are set up to be successful by the teachers providing clear expectations on what behavior is acceptable and what behavior is not. Discipline (which is really teaching) is based upon an understanding of individual needs and appropriate behavior of children at varying developmental levels.

Children who may need a little extra help will often spend some one-on-one time with a teacher where they work together to problem solve to turn around the behavior. If children need to withdraw from a challenging situation in order to calm down, we have many areas within and outside the classroom so they can have private time to regroup.

Enrollment Questions

Do you give tours of the school?
We offer two different options for visiting our center/school. Both options respect our promise to our families to limit the exposure the children and the learning environments have to visitors.

The first is a classroom viewing of the age group/class your child would be entering. Classroom viewings are scheduled during the week at 5:35 pm, when the children have left for the day. These viewings typically last less than 30 minutes, include a showing of all the spaces used by the age group/class, and are scheduled once a family has completed the registration process.

The second is our quarterly center-wide tour. This allows prospective families to see the whole facility, which includes all classrooms, play yards, and gym space. Registration is not required, and they are offered on the fourth Saturday during the months of February, May, August, and November. They start at 9:30am and will last around an hour.

Please note that both types of visits/tours require you to register/schedule with the director. If you have questions about scheduling a tour, please email cornerstone@fpcberkeley.org or call (510) 848-6252 ext. 226.

How much is tuition?
A current copy of our tuition schedule can be viewed on our Contact page.

How do I apply?
Applications are available to download on our Contact page and can be submitted by mail, dropped off at the school, or submitted via email to cornerstone@fpcberkeley.org.

There is a $150.00 nonrefundable application fee per child that must be received before an application will be considered.

Do you need to be a member of First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley or Christian to attend?
Cornerstone Children’s Center is a state-licensed infant/toddler childcare and preschool ministry that serves and nurtures community families. Although there is a Christian emphasis, families are not required to be members of First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley or to hold similar religious beliefs to attend Cornerstone. The spiritual aspect of our programing is just one of the many wonderful experiences that the children encounter at Cornerstone. Our teachers share basic Christian ideas of love, caring for others, reconciliation and service through example, conversation, problem solving, songs and developmentally appropriate Bible stories with the children while in our care.

Does my child get to meet the teacher(s) before their first day?
Prior to your child starting, we will schedule a in-person Meet & Greet. This is done a few days to a week before the start date. For infants, this allows you to discuss the very personalized daily needs your child has; for our older children, it allows them to meet and interact with the teachers and their new friends. Typically visits last about 30 minutes and will take place on the play yard (non-infants only) so the child feels more comfortable, viewing it as a play date. At the visit, your child will also be shown the classroom space.