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How Ya Ya started...

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2008
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2011
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2012
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2021

Mandarin Seeds was founded, offering Bao Bao Singalong

First Ya Ya program started with a small pod of 6 children

Ya Ya Immersion officially launched to public, becoming a destination Mandarin preschool program

Ya Ya Preschool was born, offering full-day Mandarin Immersion programs

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How did Ya Ya begin?

The story began in 2008 when two mothers met in New York City and created Mandarin Seeds for their little ones to learn Mandarin through music and play. As the little ones grew up to around preschool age, they started the first private Ya Ya class with just six 2-year-old children and it took place in a Tribeca apartment. Through word of mouth, many families also wanted their children to join this Ya Ya class. In 2012, Ya Ya Immersion program was officially launched and became the destination preschool alternative program with a 100% Mandarin immersion teaching approach. For more than a decade, it has won the hearts of countless preschoolers and their families.

Fast forward to the pivotal year of 2021 & a fateful partnership...

In 2021, Ya Ya Preschool was born when the original Taiwanese founder Sarah Liu of Mandarin Seeds teamed up with another Taiwanese mother, Yufei Hsu whose two children benefited tremendously from the original Ya Ya Immersion program. They shared the same passionate vision in replicating the experience of attending a full day preschool in a Mandarin-speaking country for NYC children. As a Department of Health licensed nursery school, Ya Ya Preschool can now offer full-day program options that were not previously available in the original Ya Ya Immersion program.

A play-based curriculum designed originally in Chinese...

The play-based and original Ya Ya curriculum was designed in Chinese by talented educators who were native speakers with experience in language, music, and early childhood education. The curriculum integrates topic studies with music, art, math, science and plenty of hands-on activities to foster the children's creativity and natural curiosity. Over the years for more than a decade, the Ya Ya curriculum was proven to work well for children regardless of their language backgrounds.

What sets Ya Ya Preschool apart from other preschools?

What sets Ya Ya Preschool apart from other preschool programs in NYC is that all the activities children do are taught 100% in Mandarin. This approach is drastically different from a program that chooses to split their instruction time 50% English and 50% Mandarin. From the chorus of “老師好 lǎo shī hǎo" as the kids walk through the door, to the "吃飽了嗎 chī bǎo le ma" to ask whether or not they're full after lunch, to the kids saying, "​再唱一遍 zài chàng yī biàn" after we sing their favorite song for the 8th time in a row, your child speaks and hears Mandarin Chinese all day during school time, just like in a preschool setting in a Mandarin-speaking country. 

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What about English?

The fact that English is the primary language spoken here in the U.S. guarantees that children learn English effortlessly outside the school. Following the most natural language acquisition path for a child, even our youngest learners will intuitively be able to code switch between two languages by the end of the school year. We wholeheartedly believe that a full immersion approach maximizes the benefits and effectiveness of second language acquisition during school time, especially in the precious early years before Kindergarten. Most of our graduates will move on to an English Kindergarten, and all of them have no problems in transitioning to an all English school.

Ya Ya graduates become bilingual & ready for Kindergarten

At Ya Ya Preschool, not only will children develop skills that help them become ready for Kindergarten and beyond, they also become bilingual in Mandarin and English organically. In our loving and nurturing environment, we will guide our children to develop their cognitive, physical, and social-emotional growth. We will instill in our children the love of learning and appreciation for different cultures.

Ya Ya Preschool is more than a school: it is a home away from home for every child here.

As soon as you walk into our school, you will see the friendly faces of our directors and administrators at the front desk. You will feel the positive energy and passion our teachers possess, and you will fall in love with our clean, well-organized, and prepared environment that fosters children’s learning experience. And it is because of all these things combined, our Ya Ya learners feel loved, respected, secure, and supported every minute they spend in our space. We are proud to be a small school because the intimate environment allows our directors to be very hands-on in the classrooms and accessible to parents. Our teachers regularly gather together to plan and prepare for learning activities and we allocate time for them to receive ongoing training and to bounce ideas off of each other. The beauty of a small school is also reflected in the strong sense of community our children and families have. Through frequent whole school assemblies and family events, our children develop precious relationships that they will cherish throughout their childhood and beyond. 

Interested in learning more? Schedule a tour with us to get to know Ya Ya Preschool.

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