top of page

How Ya Ya started...

Ya Ya 沒有五官.png
Ya Ya 沒有五官.png
Ya Ya 沒有五官.png
Ya Ya 沒有五官.png

Mandarin Seeds was founded, offering Bao Bao Singalong

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

Our own space launched, providing families with a Mandarin learning community

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


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. In 2011, the original preschool alternative program known as Ya Ya Immersion was launched and it has won the hearts of countless preschoolers and their families for over a decade.

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 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 first Ya Ya class had just six students and took place at home in 2011. The play-based and original curriculum was designed in Chinese by talented educators who were native speakers with experience in language, music, and childhood education. The curriculum integrates topic studies with music, art, 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 preschool programs in NYC is that .... 

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. 


English being the primary language spoken here in U.S., the children learn English naturally 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 school year. We wholeheartedly believe that a full immersion approach maximizes the benefits and effectiveness of a 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 are ready for Kindergarten and they become bilingual organically...

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.

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

bottom of page