18 months through Grade 2    

8am - 6pm, Monday - Friday

Authentic Inquiry 

is all young children 


Play -  We call it PlayCare because learning for young children happens through play.  This is how they learn and grow. We play by building with old-fashioned wooden blocks; we play at naming things in song; we play with squishy things and round things; we play indoors and out— in the grass and on the swings.

Acquire Mandarin - We do ALL of this in the target language: Mandarin. Our Mandarin teachers speak to the children in their native tongue 100% of the time. We sing in Mandarin, mix colors in Mandarin, eat in Mandarin, observe the weather and explore the things in our backyard in Mandarin. Within a few months, we understand and amaze parents with our vocabulary. Within a year, depending upon our age, we are able to engage in conversation.
Acquire Spanish: Because toddlers are capable of becoming multilingual, our Spanish caregivers only speak to children in Spanish.  All said, 25% of the child's week is spent immersed in Spanish.
Explore Nature - Children are natural scientists. Morningside PlayCare helps them explore the world around them, particularly the world of nature.  Morningside Gardens is renowned for its beauty and acreage.  Our children plant and grow carrots, pick apples from our apple tree and take daily walks in our gardens with specimin-tweezers and magnifying glasses to examine the life around them.  We listen to our bodies and observe the way they work. How? Why? Me/We. Trees, squirrels, birds, insects, sun, rain, snow.
Discover - We discover the many sounds we can make with percussion instruments; the way different leaves look; the way our body lets us know we're tired, hungry, or thirsty; and so much more.
Express Creatively - We express ourselves through song, dance, making music, conversation, and creating things. We create with wooden blocks, colors, and putty. And we can pretend we're anything. Our parents are amazed by the beautiful paintings we create using the highest quality all natural art materials.
Socialize - We sing and dance and play in groups, and also have time to explore independent interests. We learn to get along.
Be Nurtured - If children need comforting, our English, Spanish, and Mandarin teachers are there to provide us with the nurturing we need when we need it. Morningside PlayCare works with parents to develop individualized and gentle approaches to supporting children in being their best selves and acquiring good social skills.
Infant and Toddler Schedule

We follow the individual needs of each infant and toddler. Our day begins with free play. Throughout the morning, we provide individualized care that includes snacks, napping, and activities for the children. We have an outing at least once a day (weather permitting) to our beautiful and expansive garden, or our young-child-centric playground. Children eat lunch together before taking a nap in the early afternoon. The late afternoon schedule is similar to the morning, but includes some quieter activities as a rolling wake-up time occurs. Children staying longer hours may go outside again. Throughout the day, we provide the children with snacks, napping, diapering, and toileting based on their individual needs. 

The Neurology of It All
At this time, when the young brain is voraciously acquiring language, the Mandarin we teach your children in PlayCare is acquired as quickly as the English (or Spanish, Polish, or Japanese) you are teaching them at home. (We currently enroll children from each of these linguistic backgrounds.) The process of simultaneously acquiring two (or three) langauges makes the brain more agile, more adept at learning other skills when they reach grade school and at acquiring a third language. The research is well established.
Why Start with Mandarin?

The world is changing. Mandarin has become a strategic world language, and employers will soon expect multilingualism. It's smart to give children the most challenging languages (like Mandarin or Arabic) during early childhood, when the brain is primed for language acqusition. Spanish or other European languages can be easily acquired next. A decade from now, most Americans will still speak only English or Spanish. However, those Americans who are literate in Mandarin will distinguish themselves as a sought-after global resource. 


Americans who speak Mandarin without an accent (those who acquire the language in early childhood) will be particularly distinctive. As high school students, they will have a level of literacy in the language that rivals native levels. As teens and young adults, they will have a unique advantage for college admissions and career advancement in both public service and the private sector. Because they have acquired a second language so young, they are poised to easily acquire a third. And with that comes a level of social and cognitive agility that will serve them across sectors and throughout life. Posessing this skill will increase your child's options in a global era, and makes it more likely that he or she will become a multilingual American and global citizen.


What Happens When They Reach Kindergarten?
We are proud to say that all of our graduates have been accepted at the premier Mandarin and Spanish immersion elementary independent day school in New York City, Hudson Way Immersion, as well as at other language rich independent schools.  A parent's decision to continue their child's Mandarin immersion will allow the child's vocabulary to grow along with them. It will also assure that they retain the language. Following the European model, our curriculum becomes dual language in Kindergarten, changing the focus to building fluency, literacy, and numeracy in both English and Mandarin. Children graduating from our in pre-school, Kindergarten, and First Grade classes are poised to be agressively recruited by the few existing dual-language Mandarin elementary schools. They may also continue with us here at Morningside, as we grow our own program by a grade each year.