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***** Barbara Shipley’s Home Daycare is rated 5.0 out of 5 stars, based on 27 reviews!

  • *****

    Barbara has her own way of doing things, regarding which she feels very strongly. The good news is that she is mostly right! The best news is that she is also a fanatic about hygiene. You will notice a measureable difference in how infrequently kids catch sickness at her home-based day care compared to other facilities. If she hears you (parent) sneeze, be prepared to explain that :) Sneeze two times and you may not be welcome inside for a couple days :) Besides, if you are struggling to figure out good parenting and child development tips, Barbara has an immense trouve of knowledge. I never heard her raise her volume and yet 5 kids line up for a diaper change at one command. Kids just love her and follow instructions. The only downside I see is that her facility is best tailored for 1-3 year olds, and I had to reluctantly pull out my child when she outgrew the home-based day care. ~Avneet & Paman

  • *****

    My son loves loves loves being at Barbara's daycare.

    From a parents perspective, we loved that Barbara taught our son impeccable manners, cleanliness and respecting everyone. We also noticed that his vocabulary improved by a lot. Barbara teaches her kids to speak in proper sentences and helps them convey their asks/thoughts very well.

    We also loved the sick kid policy she has. Made for a much reduced frequency of sickness within the day care.

    Her toy collection is very extensive which my son loves!!!

  • *****

    Barbara Shipley has been a Godsend for my baby boy. My son loves her. That is hard to be able to say for any day care in general.

    After months of trying different day cares I realized that most important thing for kids up until the age of 2, was just a very very loving and caring care giver. Barbara is all that and more.

    The day care is her home turned into toddler heaven. Unbelievable kinds of toys all around that the kids have full access to at all times. She is loving but firm and oozes such warmth, that you cannot help liking her immensely in no time. I see the same with my kid, whose 5th word was "Barrrrrrrrrrrrbara", which he says lovingly with a smile.

    She does things based on the kids need, rather than some predetermined schedule that I have seen most day cares adhere to. Sleeping at barbara's is amazing for the child, she makes sure the crib is set up with all the baby's lovies, everything he likes, and she puts kids to bed when she see them tired (rather than some specific time every day). A well rested well fed child is always happy.

    She has taught me and my husband so many cool things about how to take care of kids. She helped us have our kid sleep better,by pointing out the pillow may be a problem. She went out of the way to buy 6 different kinds of sippy cups (all on her own), until she found one that worked for my song. She has made him immensely independent at this age, able to drink,and even eat finger foods (mainly) on his own.

    She reads books to the kids, and i realize has intellectually and emotionally stimulates my song.

    I am thankful to god that he helped me find this day care, and I do hope that my review helps some other lucky couple as well.

  • *****

    Our son started at Barbara's daycare when he was 15 months old and was with her for the next 2 years. He had the best time there , made a great set of friends and learned so much during his time there. He would be excited about going to day care every single morning - what else can a parent ask for. He moved on to a preschool couple of months back but still remembers Barbara and his friends from her day care very dearly. He was one of the youngest when he started there and Barbara made sure that he was well taken of. She has a separate sick room for sick kids which really helps in containing any illnesses. She ensures that the kids wash hands, cover their cough and that really helps keep the illnesses at bay as well. She is strict and makes sure the kids are disciplined, but in a very loving and gentle way. She has tons of patience .I have never seen her frustrated or unhappy with the kids. She teaches the kids great habits and discipline and I am hoping that those habits stick with my son for life! She is a wonderful care taker, genuinely loves the kids and makes sure that the kids love and enjoy being with each other. Thanks so much for the wonderful care you provided to our son Barbara!

  • *****

    My son started going to Barbara about one and a half year ago. We had recently moved from India and were having a hard time finding a suitable care for him. I am so thankful that we found Barbara. She was very patient with my son and his needs. She transformed my son from a shy person to a very friendly one. She is very caring and loving and gives a lot of personal attention to each of the kids. Hygiene is of utmost importance to her and that reflects in the health of the kids coming to her day care. My son rarely fell sick while at her day care. She disciplines the kids in gentle way. She has a lot of experience with kids and works with them to improve on things that they are lagging. My son loved going to her place and made some amazing friends. He had a wonderful time there and I will always be thankful to Barbara for transforming my son to what he is now. We very highly recommend her Day Care.

  • *****

    Our daughter went to Barbara's Daycare between Age 2 through 4. During this time, we saw our daughter transition from a carefree toddler to happy, energetic and respectful child with Barbara having a big role to play in her growth and learning. From the very first day, our daughter loved Barbara's daycare and never once complained about going to daycare during morning. This was specially notable given that we had a bad experience with a previous home daycare where my daughter cried every single morning and we had to move her out within a few months.

    With her over 20 yrs experience running daycare, Barbara understands what it takes to care for a child during critical toddler years. With my daughter, she taught her how to be respectful to others while providing a loving environment filled with fun, games, music and learning. The best validation for Barbara's efforts comes in terms of compliments that my daughter's new Pre-K teachers give when they see her as a caring and disciplined child ready for pre-school. They have more than once complimented us on how ready she was entering pre-school even though she transitioned from a home-based daycare.

    Our daughter and our family had a great experience with Barbara and we strongly recommend her as a daycare provider for your child.

  • *****

    My son spent an year with Barbara and had a great time. During the time, he blossomed into a confident kid ready for moving on to a larger environment. We had a very positive experience overall.

    Barbara: Barbara has spent her whole life educating and caring for kids and the experience shows in how she takes care of and teaches kids. She is very loving and caring but at the same time ensures that the kids understand discipline and good behavior.

    Space: Its a home based day care. The living room, and dining room are available for the kids. The place is filled with toys and activities. The backyard has outdoor activities for the kids like slides, tricycles, etc.

    Hygiene: Barbara is very particular about cleanliness and hygiene. If one of the kids has a cold (or is recovering), Barbara creates a separate space so that the other kids don't get infected.

    Activities: Barbara engages kids with several activities like puzzles, legos, coloring, stories, singing, dancing, etc. There is also time for free play where the kids interact and play with each other.

    Learning: My son learnt several new things from pedaling a cycle to washing hands the correct way to doing jigsaw puzzles. Barbara focuses on things which make kids 'kindergarten ready'.

  • *****

    Barbara is a great teacher/ caretaker!! Our daughter has been going to this daycare for almost year and and a half. We have seen a big difference in her since day one. She is happy , cheerful and loves going to daycare and being around with friends. I really like the way she disciplines the kids and shows her love and warmth to everyone around her. I would definitely recommend her daycare!!

  • *****

    Our 15 month old son has been at Barbara`s day care for almost 7 months now and I must say I`m so glad I chose her. My son has always been a picky eater and with enrolling him at a day care I wondered if someone would spend so much time as I did making sure he does eat in spite of all his tantrums. And Barbara did much more than I had expected. She is loving and makes sure that every child at her day care gets appropriate attention. I have always admired this quality.

    She is extremely flexible which in my opinion is a bonus. I highly recommend her if you are looking for a home based day care.

  • *****

    A distressed child, tensed parents and 3 months of pain in a previous day care facility drove us to search for a warm and caring day care. We are so glad Barbara moved into the area and are thankful that our child grew up under her care! We liked how careful Barbara was in her selection of not just the child but parents as well and reassured us that she is very detail oriented.
    It was just amazing to see how our child didn't cry even on day 1 of joining Barbara's day care. And for the whole time (until graduation to pre-school), it was a very enjoyable experience. Under her care our little one learned to speak very fluently, express emotions and needs, enjoy lots of play, and the biggest of all - not be too worried about a very strict schedule. We really appreciated that the child had some flexibility wth eating, and sleeping that most day cares don't offer. The icing on the cake was the concept of a sick room that helped contain sickness pretty nicely but in a playful way. All of us were more than prepared for preschool, thanks to Barbara's care.
    After having interviewed more than 15 day cares, experienced one bad one, I can easily call Barbara's one of the best for toddlers!

  • *****

    My first review on yelp.. and I cant think of a more compelling reason to write this review.

    We had our Son in Barbara's care from when he was 8 months old to when he was a little over 3. In that period from when he was barely able to walk to the confident, well adjusted toddler he grew into, Barbara and my family spent many an hour working on good habits, crafting a consistent environment, and enjoying the highs and lows together.

    One of the reasons we initially looked for a home day care was because we wanted a more involved, warm, personal environment. We didn't of course know that now all home day cares fit that bill. And there are some that are simply better.
    Barbara was just right for us! She is loving but very firm in how she interacts with her kids. Managing five kids on her own all day clearly speaks to her capabilities in nurturing and encouraging good behaviors that make this management possible. Her energy goes into creating a stimulating environment where kids are engaged in story time, age appropriate crafts, phonics, puzzles, nap times, free play, outdoor time. While the environment is geared towards creating happy campers, kids push boundaries and when they do, discipline is consistently, sweetly and firmly enforced.

    She is also a stickler for cleanliness when it comes to the kids, the kids get used to washing their hands multiple times during the day, covering their cough, and cleaning up after themselves.

    Barbara has taught our son to start eating independently when he was less than a year old, sleeping in a crib in a separate room (which he had trouble with), and easing him out of a cloth chewing habit (which he needed to calm himself or to fall asleep).

    One of the most valuable lessons she has taught our son is in respecting authority and in effectively receiving instruction. Setting boundaries and following through with a reflection/consequence technique (time out) was key in helping us manage him better at home as well. In addition we would have to commend Barbara in aiding our son to be an early reader (at 2 yrs).

    The habits, the basic moral foundation, the confidence and the relationship our son has built with Barbara are here to stay. She continues to be our good friend and we wish her the very best

  • *****

    Barbara is great with children. My son loved going to Barbara's and made some great friends. She was very flexible with adding days if I needed to and if she had room. She is patient and very caring. This has not only been her career but her true passion.

  • *****

    Barbara's home daycare is the epitome of home daycares. We interviewed with Barbara and had an instant connect. Our son felt very comfortable in her home.

    Her home is open and inviting. It's extremely clean and well organized. The toys some of which are classics are well kept and stimulating.

    She has the perfect balance of nurturing and structure for toddlers.

    On our son's first day he didn't have any anxiety or emotional breakdowns because we were leaving. I believe its because he could sense her good nature. Picking him up was tough because he didn't want to leave. During our son's first few days she kept me informed with texts throughout the day about his progress.

    We highly recommend this daycare.

  • *****

    My son goes to Barbara's daycare and we are extremely happy that we made that decision. Barbara is very caring and she makes sure she understand each and every kids needs, their favorites etc. She is Stanford graduate with decades of daycare experience. Barbara will go out of her way to make sure that my son's need are communicated properly. We sent our son at the age of 11 months to her daycare but choose her when he was 3 months old. She made sure to meet our baby in these 8 months so that he is comfortable with her and have the best experience at daycare. She gave us a lot of advice on how to train him for the transition. Guess what, Our baby didn't cry on his first day at daycare! She makes sure that she explains you the need of your baby. Her explanation includes explaining things on phone for hours to writing text messages that may go a page long. She is one of those people who really love their job and they are just not in profession for making money. If someone is reading this recommendation and lives/works closer to her daycare atleast think about meeting her. I'm sure that itself will be very useful. If you are lucky enough that her daycare has an opening then just don't let the opportunity passby. I bet that her daycare is one of the best in whole bayarea. I can say with a lot of conviction because I've visited quite a few daycares and met a lot of providers before selecting Barbara.

  • *****

    Barbara Shipley, the owner of this daycare is very caring and nurturing. She is a kind, dedicated caregiver, has lots of patience and makes the kids comfortable always. Our toddler started here at 11 months age and has progressed well.  The site is clean, safe and smartly operated.  We were very comfortable leaving our child with Barbara.  

    Barbara became an extended family member to us; She taught my daughter so many things every day - confidence, being independent, responsible, loving, caring and sharing.  My daughter misses Barbara and we see a spark in her eyes whenever we have a conversation about Barbara.  There isn't a single negative I can think of, it is everything our family was looking for in a daycare.

  • *****

    We sent our daughter to Barbara's for a couple of years, and I wanted to strongly  recommend her homecare for those that are looking for a loving environment with a nurturing caregiver.  The ages of the children are 13mo to almost four. My daughter really thrived there.  

    Two very big thumbs up.

  • *****

    Barbara has been a wonderful addition to my son's life. She is patient and loving. My son took to her right away and is happy to spend time there. She has a play-based approach, meaning it's not an attempt to force an instruction-based school environment on kids that need to explore and use their imagination to learn. She is also flexible with parents and times. Highly recommended.

    I have no idea why the other reviews were filtered. They are legitimate reviews from real parents who have entrusted their kids to Barbara's care. Please click on the link "(7 Filtered)" underneath the reviews, just above the "About this Business" section. Link:
    yelp.com/filtered_review…

    Update: These reviews are now called "not recommended". The link still works.

  • *****

    First review on Yelp. My son's been under Barbara's care for nearly a year now and it has been an absolute pleasure. The level of dedication and involvement in the welfare of our son approaches what you might expect from a devoted aunt. There are occasions my son refuses to leave when I go to pick him up in the evening. I couldn't recommend Barbara more.

  • *****

    Our son loves Barbara!  She's very caring and patient with all her kids.  She always makes sure the kids are learning or doing something interesting, but with a play-based approach that young children need.  Our son is happy to see her every morning and is often laughing when we pick him up in the evening.

    Barbara is also great for the parents.  She has flexible hours and is even available to babysit at night for special occasions.  She also is flexible with nap times and eating times and habits.  Highly recommended!

    Please make sure to read the filtered reviews.  All of these are legitimate reviews from parents with children who were -- and some who are still -- in her day care.  They don't show up on the front page because they are from users that don't typically write reviews.  In fact, many may have signed up just to show support for Barbara.

  • *****

    Barbara is wonderful with children and I would highly recommend her.  She's very patient and loving and takes the time to use positive discipline to redirect the children. She has a ton of toys and also takes the time to teach them letters and numbers and regularly reads to them.

    One of our biggest fears with starting our son at a new daycare was nap time, but Barbara goes through great lengths to ensure that the children have a comfortable, dark and quiet space in which to nap and our son has always taken better naps at her home than he does at ours.

    Our son loves Barbara and because it's a smaller daycare, he gets a ton of one on one attention, and we've found that he has emotionally and intellectually thrived with her!

  • *****

    This is a balanced review. I'll describe first why we really like her, followed by some things you need to be aware of.

    She has taken extremely good care of our two-year old son. He gets excited every morning to go to her. And it's already been 4+ months!

    As conscientious parents, we interviewed and researched several daycare providers before settling with Barbara. In fact, we switched from our then current  daycare, and that has paid off tremendously.

    She is a Stanford graduate, has high standards of life, is honest, has a LOT of knowledge on raising children (she raised two of her own), is curious, dives into details and in general, is a delight to talk to. There is ALWAYS something to learn from her.

    It is  difficult to find a childcare provider who is willing to provide detailed one on one attention to each child, AND is also good at doing that. Barbara is that rare gem.

    Several things we like about her:

    0) She has been doing this for 20+ years in a stable neighborhood. So many kids have stayed in her care from 6 months to preschool.

    1) She puts a lot of effort to know each child, his/her preferences, habits and hobbies. For example, at Christmas, she never buys "one size fits all" gifts. She painstakingly picks out a  specific gift for each child, to their interest.  I just love that level of commitment.

    2) This is her only income, and she pours her heart into it. In fact, she started this because she didn't want her kids to go to a daycare. That is counter-intuitive, but thinking about it, that's the kind of person you want your kid to be with.

    3) She is flexible with pickup and drop-off timings.

    4) She teaches discipline and respect to kids as matter of course. When asked, she also gives detailed and very specific advice to parents on how to raise their child.

    5) She talks to the kids a LOT and her home is full of different toys (more than we've seen with other day-cares). So kids pick up a variety of new words and skills constantly.

    6) Her prices are very reasonable. In fact, if you want standard 8 hours of care, she has better pricing than all other day-cares in the area.

    7) She keeps her daycare disinfected. Regularly washes hands and makes kids do the same.

    8) She does a variety of activities with kids through the day, including story-time and music.

    9) She does not force a kid to take a nap at a given time. She tailors her setup to each kid.

    10) She is very culture-aware and experienced with a variety of them e.g. Indian culture for us. So she gives advice with that sensitivity.

    Things to be aware of:

    1) Get online! She uses her phone extensively for calls and SMS, but an internet connection would make her a lot more productive.

    2) She doesn't accept credit cards. Only cash or checks.

    3) She does give timeouts to kids who cross the line. She only uses it sparingly, but and very very wisely, but if that is something against your philosophy, you want to consider. We personally don't mind.

    In summary: She is as good as it gets. Anyone can feed and change your kid, but if you are looking for someone who cares for him/her like an extension to your family, then Barbara is the one.

  • *****

    My daughter has been with Barbara for 2 years. We moved her over as she started her toddler years since we wanted an environment that wasn't too rigid but provided a good mix of play and learning.
    I have to say that we have been absolutely thrilled with how much progress our daughter has made under Barbara's care and tutelage. Barbara truly goes above and beyond to take care of your family. Not only did she make a great home away from home for my daughter she even extended advice to us when we were having some terrifying toddler moments at home.
    Even though my daughter has now moved to a preschool, she still misses her 'Barbara Aunty' and asks me to take her to visit Barbara every chance we get. We don't have a lot of family close by and Barbara has become extended family for us.

    Please make sure to read all the filtered reviews too.

  • *****

    My son was under Barbara's care since he was 9 months old until he was 3.5 years old.

    We didn't want our son to just be an enrollment number in a large institutional daycare. We wanted him to be cared for by someone who really loves children. For him, Barbara's home became simply an extension of our home. He loved being there and looked forward to going there every morning.

    QUALIFICATIONS & INVOLVEMENT:
    Barbara has a unique combination of a Stanford education and 25+ years of experience running a home based daycare. She has a warm and loving personality which made us feel like every morning we were dropping him off with his grandmother.  

    Barbara takes special interest in developing the children under her care. She tailors toys and activities to bring out the best in each child under her care. She would often send home books that our sone found interesting so we could read him the same stories at bed time. From singing and dancing, to reading the alphabet, to counting in french... we were amazed at the range of activities that our son was exposed to. We were also amazed at how well mannered all children at her place were.

    HEALTH & HYGIENE
    We loved the fact that Barbara only offers organic food to children at her place.
    She has a very effective way of creating an isolated sick area that contains common colds. in the 2.5 years that we've been with her, my son NEVER developed an ear infection. After hearing horror stories about never ending infections from institutional daycares, we felt fortunate to have been shielded from this aspect.

    PARENTING GUIDANCE:
    As first time parents, there were lots of things about raising a child that we didn't know. We depended on Barbara for guidance to get us through everything from sleep training, developing eating habits & handling temper tantrums to potty training.  
    She would often visit our home when she felt that we could benefit from sitting together and working as a team on any particular behavioral aspect.

    We felt sorry to move into a pre-school when my son turned 3.5.

  • *****

    We started off my daughter with a bigger daycare , but quickly realized that littler more personalized care is better for her.Based on my friend's recommendation we enrolled her with Barbara and that happened to be the best decision for my daughter and for us. She not only helps children grow but also helps adults grow to become better parents. There are a lot of other things that are great about her daycare , from maintaining a very hygienic and germ free environment for the kids to personalizing her teaching style based on the kid and not using 1 cookie-cutter formula for each child. For details please read other reviews, I see that some parents have given a lot more detail. I am so glad we found her. Thanks Barbara for everything you do.

  • *****

    The best person I've ever known.
    Barbara has taken care of 3 of my children 2 of them about 12 years ago I had the best experience with her she's loving caring my experience with her was so great that hear I am again with my youngest daughter who is 2 years old she is beyond amazing to the full extend words can't express how I feel about the women she's done amazing things for my children and family The best care anyone can have for our little angels Barbara not only takes care of the children she teaches them love respect she's great with potty training my kids all loved going to Barbara in fact it was hard to get them to leave I would recommend Barbara to anyone seeking the best caring loving and learning environment
    She is also very clean makes sure the kids wash hands often.. I can go on and on about how amazing she is. Thank you Barbara for loving my kids and for all the tips you've giving me .

  • *****

    My 3 daughters literally grew up with Barbara ~ we consider her more a family member than merely another "daycare provider"!

    From 1993 through 2005, we used Barbara on a "Drop-In" basis. My first two daughters started as toddlers; this past October, Barbara was a guest at my oldest daughter's wedding! We wouldn't have dreamed of NOT inviting her ~ that's how close we still feel after all these years!

    Barbara is genuinely dedicated to all the children in her care. I know because I'd stop over just to observe, play and talk with the other kids. She's very concerned with all of our children: very clean kitchen and play areas; she herself is calm, patient, friendly, intelligent (VERY important) and always helpful. And ALWAYS cheerful no matter WHAT the situation!

    I liked the daycare atmosphere: low-key and inviting. I enjoyed playing (with my kids)  with some of her neat toys, always  de-sanitized and clean: I've heard it can be a problem in some facilities. I also enjoyed talking with Barbara ~ still do!  When my girls had various issues (e.g. potty training), Barbara was super! She provided insight and soothed my agitation. (All my girls were a bit late to the party on that one! Of course I thought they'd never do it; Barb had to reassure me that all kids eventually do.)

    We moved to the Bay Area (Mountain View) in 1989; my immediate family and friends were on the east coast (my home turf). Barbara became a vital part of my support system along with my husband's family. When I was diagnosed with systemic sclerosis (a lupus-related condition) in 1990, it was an upsy-downsy time for awhile. The 2 older girls were going to p/t daycare nearby to Barbara's house and the woman (Denise Ellsworth, another good provider) and her family had to move to Colorado. Denise recommended Barbara highly, calling Barbara "my den mother and mentor". So that's how we found Barbara ~ and I thank G-d we did! She was a great support to the girls, to my husband and to me.

    I believe that my daughters are high achievers due to people like Barbara. Her daycare environment was always protective and encouraging, and helped them to discover their own strengths. Of course, other family members, teachers, parents, all played a role; I believe in the "village" idea. The parents are first, of course! But children need other role models too ~ parents can't know everything and do it all.

    In 2008, part of our family (husband and youngest daughter) moved (back) to the east coast. I can only say "Thank You, Barbara" for all the help and love you gave to Arianna, Simone and Helena. We still love you and miss you ever so much!

  • *****

    Barbara is loving and patient and cares for the kids with a special kind of personal attention. My son took to her right away and often doesn't want to leave when I pick him up. That is the most important feedback he can give me.