Who We Are

How it all started...

Nihao School is part of the i-Immersion family. Our mission is to raise multilingual children through quality programming in a home-like environment. The story of the Nihao School began in early 2005, when Ms. Helen and her husband Uncle Jason was approached by their neighbor to care for her 2-year old daughter, and then more neighbors asked, then it was the neighbors' friends... six months later, Ms. Helen and Uncle Jason realized that they have started something special- a Mandarin immersion preschool where they teach non-native speakers to speak fluent Mandarin- and the school flourished. Wow! That was more than 10 years ago! Today, Nihao has taught over 200 kids and enriched the lives of over 100 families. Come visit Ms. Helen's Nihao School!

School Philosophy

Inquiry-Based Immersion

  • To be exposed and to acquire multiple languages
  • To possess a positive self-image
  • To resolve conflicts in the acceptable ways
  • To develop healthy eating habits and lifestyle
  • To acquire school-readiness skills
  • To feel competent and independent
  • To practice and develop good manners
  • To become more aware of other cultures

Nihao! teachers share the philosophy that children are actively engaging with their environment and are curious about the world around them, ask questions and construct own knowledge through investigation and exploration.  Our inquiry-based curriculum is based on children’s input and interests as well as seasonal observations and cultural activities.  In the classroom, teachers use project-based learning to support children’s cooperation during interdisciplinary activities, related to math, science, art, language, movement and music.  Nihao! children develop a love for learning, gain independence and confidence in their own abilities which Nihao! values as the strong foundation for learning in the primary grades.

The Nihao! immersion environment enables children to become confident in their ability to speak and understand the Mandarin language, converse about developmentally-appropriate school topics, experience aspects of Mandarin community and culture while learning in a warm and caring environment.  By learning Mandarin, we are adding countless opportunities to children’s lives includes many benefits for personal and professional growth.  Regardless whether or not one of your home language(s) in Mandarin, parents can support the language journey of their child by sharing an encouraging attitude towards the Mandarin language and culture.  Nihao! truly embraces the different linguistic and cultural backgrounds within our community and celebrates the diversity that becomes visible in our curriculum and classroom.

Age Group

3 mo. - 4 years

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Ladybug

(3-12 mo.)

Butterfly

(1-2 yrs.)

Owl

(3-4 yrs.)

Ladybug (3-12 mo.)

The Ladybug infant class is designed for children ages 3 months to 12 months. Our experienced staff works closely with parents to ensure that the classroom is an extension of home, with each child on the schedule that works best for them. A low student-to-teacher ratio guarantees each child receives a great deal of personal attention and care throughout the day. We go beyond meeting the primary needs of each student and seek to create a healthy and warm environment to encourage infant development.

The Infant Room is full of opportunities for learning and development. Students explore sensory materials, and play using books, toys, blocks and other manipulative materials. They are encouraged to discover their environment through walking, crawling and pulling-up.  Students will join the Butterfly class during music, storytelling, and other class activities that are age-appropriate.

In addition to an enriching immersion environment,  our daily routine promotes the following 6 development areas based on the California Department of Education- Infant/Toddler Curriculum Framework.

  • Responding with Reflexes
  • Expanding Responses
  • Acting with Purpose
  • Discovering Ideas
  • Developing Ideas
  • Connecting Ideas

8:00-8:30am       Supervised Play

8:30-9:00am       Diapering

9:00-9:30am       Belly Time

9:30-10:00am     Bottles

10:00-11:15am    Nap Time

11:15-11:30am    Reading Time

11:30-11:45am    Individual Feeding

12:30-1:00pm     Diapering

1:00-2:00pm      Supervised Play

2:00-2:30pm      Bottles

2:30-3:00pm      Diapering

3:00-4:00pm      Nap Time

4:00-4:30pm      Snack Time

4:30-5:00pm      Diapering

5:00-6:00pm      Supervised Play

  • 3 sets of changing clothes with onesies (weather appropriate and labeled)
  • Crib sheet (for pack-play labeled)
  • 3 blankets labeled
  • Diapers, wipes and diaper cream (labeled)
  • Bottles already made or pre-measured
  • Baby food (if on solid, labeled) cheerios or snacks if on finger food (labeled)
  • Bibs (est. 6 all labeled); plastic feeding bib optional for feeding
  • Extra pacifier if your child uses one (in plastic bag labeled)
  • Extra formula to leave at the center (please write expiration date on the container)
  • Toothbrush and rinse cup if your child has teeth
  • Light sweater
  • One color photo of the child and one color photo of the family

Please label all the belongings including bottled caps, plastic bags, blankets, bibs, clothes, etc. Thank You.

Butterfly (1-2 yrs.)

Our Butterfly Class is designed for students 1 to 2 years-old.  We promote interactions and social skills with peers, how to play in a group, how to share and take turns, etc.

Students in this age have a natural curiosity for the world and this will be guided through a variety of age-appropriate activities of arts, story time, singing, supervised play, and outdoor activities (weather permitted).

Materials are selected accurately to stimulate students’ curiosity and hunger to learn.  Simple rules are introduced and review daily.  We encourage and reward appropriate behaviors, and build in each student the self-esteem and confidence to learn and grow safely at their own pace.

In addition to an enriching immersion environment,  our daily routine promotes the following 6 development areas based on the California Department of Education- Infant/Toddler Curriculum Framework.

  • Responding with Reflexes
  • Expanding Responses
  • Acting with Purpose
  • Discovering Ideas
  • Developing Ideas
  • Connecting Ideas

8:00-8:45am      Supervised Play

8:45-9:15am       Diapering or Potty-Training

9:15-9:45am       Circle Time

9:45-10:45am     Supervised Play

10:45-11:15am    Diapering or Potty-Training

11:15-12:00pm    Reading Time

12:00-12:45pm   Lunch Time

12:45-1:00pm     Diapering or Potty-Training

1:00-3:00pm      Nap Time

3:00-3:30pm      Diapering or Potty-Training

3:30-4:00pm     Snack Time

4:00-4:30pm      Supervised Play (or Outside Walk)

4:30-5:00pm      Diapering or Potty-Training

5:00-6:00pm      Supervised Play

  • 2 sets of changing clothes (weather appropriate and labeled)
  • Crib sheet (for pack-play labeled)
  • Blanket labeled
  • Diapers, wipes and diaper cream (labeled)
  • Sippy Cup (for water only)
  • Bibs (est. 2 all labeled)
  • Toothbrush and rinse cup
  • Light sweater
  • One color photo of the child and one color photo of the family

Please label all the belongings including bottled caps, plastic bags, blankets, bibs, clothes, etc. Thank you.

Owl (2-4 yrs.)

The Owl Class is designed for students 2-4 years-old.  Through a wide range of activities, we help students gain confidence as they become active learners, adapt to collaborative group experiences, and learn to respect the feelings of others.  This is a critical period for language acquisition and a great time for bilingual environment.  The Owl class prepares children for kindergarten readiness in the following disciplines.

Pre-writing and pre-reading are introduced to children in a simple and easy way.  Phonic sounds are presented to students during Circle Time and Reading Time.

In addition to an enriching immersion environment,  our daily routine promotes the following 4 development areas based on the California Department of Education- Preschool Learning Foundations.

  • Social-Emotional Development
  • Language and Literacy
  • English-Language Development (this is in addition to Mandarin immersion learning)
  • Mathematics

8:00-8:45am       Supervised Play

8:45-9:15am        Potty-Training

9:15-9:45am        Circle Time

9:45-10:15am      Supervised Play

10:15-10:45am    Table Activities

10:45-11:15am    Potty-Training

11:15-12:00pm    Reading Time

12:00-12:45pm   Lunch Time

12:45-1:00pm     Potty-Training

1:00-3:00pm      Nap Time

3:00-3:30pm      Potty-Training

3:30-4:00pm      Snack Time

4:00-4:30pm      Supervised Play (or Outside Walk)

4:30-5:00pm      Potty-Training

5:00-6:00pm      Supervised Play

  • 2 sets of changing clothes (weather appropriate and labeled)
  • Bedsheet (for rest mat)
  • Blanket labeled
  • Diapers, wipes and diaper cream if not potty trained (labeled)
  • Sippy Cup (for water only)
  • Bibs (est. 2 all labeled)
  • Toothbrush and rinse cup
  • Light sweater
  • One color photo of the child and one color photo of the family

Please label all the belongings including bottled caps, plastic bags, blankets, bibs, clothes, etc. Thank you.

Admission

Application & Forms

We warmly welcome new families on a rolling admissions basis.

  • SITE VISITATION: At the mandatory session, the administration will give a walk-through of the facility and information about our school’s practices and philosophy. Site visit schedule is by appointment and invitation only.
  • SUBMIT DEPOSIT: You must complete a registration form and complete your deposit via ACH transfer to secure your child's spot. Spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • APPLICATION PACKET: Once you complete the ACH deposit, you will need to return the Enrollment Documents to our office at least one week prior to your child's first day of school. We are regulated by California State and regulations state that children cannot be fully confirmed, nor are they permitted to attend until the completed package has been received and processed.

Site Visit Form

Contact Us

School Hours

Mon-Fri 8am - 6pm

School Address

Bahia Street (by Los Prados Park), San Mateo, CA 94403

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 9am - 6pm

Phone & E-mail

+1 (650) 666-2598 TheNihaoSchool@gmail.com