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Preschool Program and Curriculum

Our Program

The Preschool program is taught entirely in Mandarin Chinese — the perfect preparation for families planning to start or advance their child’s education in Mandarin Chinese, and those who believe in the benefit of a bilingual/bicultural early education.
Via carefully designed curricula, students are fully immersed in a Mandarin Chinese environment from morning greetings through a day of fun filled activities in reading, math, science, art, music, physical exercise and field trips. Students will build their language and literacy skills from this early age, learn to work in a social group setting with peers and teachers, and further their intellectual, social, and emotional development.
Our teachers are certified early childhood education experts and native Mandarin Chinese speakers. We are looking forward to working with students and their families to provide the best preschool experience in Mandarin Chinese!
We offer half-day and full-day programs for ages 2½ to 4.
Children must be 2½ or older by September 1 of the school year.

Nursery Class (ages 2½ to 3)
Half-Day: Monday–Friday, 8:30 am – 12: 00 am
Full-Day: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
No knowledge of Mandarin needed.
Junior Pre-K/Pre-K Class (ages 3 to 4)
Half-Day: Monday–Friday, 8:30 am – 12: 00 am
Full-Day: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am – 3: 30 pm
Some knowledge of Mandarin desired, though not required.

Our long-standing Chinese for Children After-School Classes brings extended learning opportunities to our preschool students in a familiar environment, and supports the needs of working parents seeking after school programming. A variety of activities in Mandarin Chinese, arts, music, STEAM, etc. will be available to our preschool students at a discount. See an oped written by our Head of School on the benefits of an early education program with Mandarin language immersion.

Our Curriculum

We structure our daily program around the following learning areas: Language Arts, Art, Music and Movement, and STEAM. Occasional field trips and special programs are also an integral part of our academic program.

Our curriculum is designed to support growth in cognitive, linguistic, social/emotional and fine and gross motor skills, measured against established benchmarks for children aged 2 ½ to 4. In a nurturing yet structured setting, young children in Nursery Class begin with activities centered on constructive play and games and, in Pre-K, grow into increasingly academic activities in preparation for elementary education. Our students will build positive relationships with teachers and fellow students and develop the motivation and ability to learn.

All course instruction is in Mandarin Chinese with the goal of helping children achieve age appropriate Mandarin Chinese fluency at the end of the two year enrollment. A balanced introduction of culture and wisdom from the West and the East will also be integrated in the curriculum.

Learning Areas

Early Literacy Language Arts: Through class routines and story time, students start to engage in a world of Mandarin Chinese language that is relevant and meaningful to their daily lives. Nursery Class is focused on providing abundant language input, with the expectation that students will respond with basic verbal skills. For our Pre-K Class, students will build the ability to express themselves with more sophisticated vocabulary and sentences. Students will also learn to write simple characters in Mandarin and develop an understanding of the connections between the meaning, pronunciation, and pictographic writing symbols.

Art: Encouraging exploration of colors, dimensions and materials with imagination and fun, art projects are designed to advance children’s creativity and foster a love of artistic expression. Students also learn to practice focusing, fine motor skills, and working together as a team. Chinese art forms such as brush painting, calligraphy and woodblock printing will be introduced at the age appropriate level.

Music and Movement: Because Mandarin is a tonal language, learning Mandarin naturally tunes students’ musical ears. Engaging with music from the West and East will be an integral pathway for students to learn movement, rhythm, singing, dancing, and Mandarin Chinese itself. In addition, students will be introduced to Chinese instruments including the Qin (琴), Zheng (筝), and Pipa (琵琶), among others.

STEAM: Numbers, shapes, patterns, plants and animals, geography and the solar system; there is much from STEAM to explore for our preschoolers. Games, hands-on activities, observations and lab projects are designed to help children understand the world surrounding them and instill a love of science and discovery.

Field trips and special guest programs will be added to the regular program throughout the semester. Children will explore the many cultural destinations New York City offers. Special guests such as children’s book authors, early childhood experts, artists, and musicians will be invited to enrich our curriculum.

A Typical Day

Half-Day (Mon–Fri, 8:30 AM –12:00 PM)
Morning Greetings
Supervised play with games, puzzles, block building and toys
Language Arts/Art/Music/STEAM session
Snack Time* (snacks provided by school)
Movement class
Reading Stories Together
Full-Day (Mon-Fri, 8:30 AM– 3:30 PM)
Morning Greetings
Supervised play with games, puzzles, block building and toys
Language Arts/Art/Music/STEAM session 1
Snack Time* (snacks provided by school)
Movement class
Reading Stories Together
Lunch ** (brought from home)
Outing in the Playground or play-time at China Institute’s Movement Room
Language Arts/Art/Music/STEAM session 2
End of the Day Assembly


Discover the China Institute Mandarin full immersion preschool, opening in Fall 2020. Schedule a private tour to see our space and meet our educators. Email [email protected]