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Ya Ya Educational Approach

An Ya Ya Education is one-of-a-kind and nearly impossible to replicate. Our educational approach goes beyond adhering to a singular methodology because we recognize that each child is unique and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. Drawing from the collective experience of our education team with Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Bank Street methodologies, we have integrated the best practices from these philosophies to design a well-balanced early education that works effectively with our distinctive 100% Mandarin immersion curriculum.​

An Unparalleled Early Learning Experience Like No Other

What truly defines our approach is the meticulous attention and the personalized care we provide to our children on a daily basis. Central to our success are our exceptionally trained teachers who excel in educating the whole child in a 100% Mandarin immersion setting. We take pride in our well-prepared environment, the balance we’ve created between freedom and structure, and the hands-on, playful, collaborative learning opportunities children have access to every single day. Ya Ya Graduates not only meet but exceed the benchmarks in all developmental areas, while also mastering Mandarin beyond mere exposure. 

A note on 100% Mandarin Immersion

The term “immersion” has often been loosely misapplied over the years. In our context, it signifies 100% immersion within the school environment, where every teacher delivers all content knowledge and communicates with children solely in Mandarin. This setting starkly contrasts with other programs that place teachers who speak different target languages in the same classroom, or split the instruction time 50% in Mandarin and 50% in English. With over 35 years of collective experience in Mandarin immersion, our education team firmly believes that our methodology offers the most effective pathway to achieve meaningful fluency beyond mere “exposure.” This is particularly true for children whose primary language at home is not Mandarin. Learn more about “Why 100% Mandarin Immersion”. 


The Ya Ya Advantage

Close Collaboration Among Teachers

Based on our decades of experience, a successful early childhood program relies 80% on the quality of the teachers. At Ya Ya,  we foster a culture where no class relies solely on a single star teacher. Instead, all our teachers become stars through active collaboration and ongoing training. This collaborative effort is reinforced by hands-on support from our Ya Ya Director and the education team, serving as the backbone of our school.

Time-Tested Curriculum & Experiential Learning

Originally designed in Chinese by native-speaking early childhood educators, our topic-based curriculum has been impacting children in NYC for the past 15 years. For each topic, our teachers design and create interactive dramatic play stations to engage children in real-life scenarios. All the topic learning station activities integrate components of language, art, science, math and more. In addition, we provide rich support materials for each topic that include: Ya Ya Big Books with in-house designed graphics, Ya Ya Vocabulary Cards, audio books and identical English copies.


Learn more about “Ya Ya Curriculum”. 

Academic Readiness

At Ya Ya, we look beyond narrowly defined academic skills and strongly emphasize on the whole child. From regulating emotions, building independence and life skills, solving problems to understanding fundamental STEM concepts and using Mandarin to express their thoughts in a logical way, our children will possess all the skill sets to be successful in kindergarten and beyond.

Love and Respect For Each Child

Fundamental to our approach is a deep love and respect for each child, understanding that each has unique needs, interests, and abilities. We model and guide the children to develop self-respect, and respect for others. We establish a structured framework with clear and firm boundaries, while respecting and empowering each child to make choices and develop at their own pace. The beauty of being a small school is that it allows our team of dedicated teachers and loving administrators to know every single child’s name and who they are. 

Environment as the Third Teacher

Each classroom and the common space throughout our school are equipped with child-sized furniture and tools in addition to educational learning materials, ensuring that our children are set up for success. Chinese written characters and books are thoughtfully displayed to allow rich opportunities for early literacy exposure and exploration. Moreover, cleanliness and aesthetics are also our top priorities. Every school year, it never ceases to amaze us how quickly our students become comfortable and settled in our environment, regardless of their language background. Ya Ya Preschool truly becomes a home away from home for all our children!

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