Our son attended Ya Ya Chinese Childcare for two wonderful years, from 2 to 4 years old. The school is run by He Laoshi ("teacher He," i.e. Mrs. He) from her home in Albany, near El Cerrito Plaza. He Laoshi has decades of experience with children in China and the USA. She previously taught at Shu Ren in Berkeley before she decided to found a home-based school of her own.

It's hard to do justice to just how great this daycare is in a relatively short review, but I'll try. First of all, all instruction is in Chinese. My son is completely bilingual, to the extent that I now learn Chinese words from him, and he even corrects me, when I mispronounce something in Chinese. He Laoshi has taught several children from completely non-Chinese backgrounds to speak fluently, and many of them stay on with her for her after school program, once they graduate to kindergarten and beyond.

He Laoshi keeps the children engaged in activities throughout the day, while making ample time for playing outside. Almost every day, our son would bring home something he had made, drawings, paintings, and other crafts. He Laoshi has the children help in a small vegetable garden she keeps in the back. She also has pets they can play with: Max the dog and a bunny rabbit. The kids can play outside behind her house, which she converted into a small playground, and she often takes the children on short excursions to the local park and high school fields.

He Laoshi teaches the children stories and songs, and even how to perform kung fu. Our son often came home singing Chinese songs that I eventually figured out. Every year, He Laoshi has a wonderful school show for Chinese New Year. She teaches the kids to perform songs and dances for the show. I was totally blown away. My son participated in his first one as a two-year-old, and I just couldn't believe how much he had learned.

He Laoshi simply loves children. She seems to know exactly what to do. She is gentle but firm, and teaches the children good, respectful behavior. He Laoshi also provides healthy lunches for the children, and sometimes teaches them how to cook Chinese foods, like turnip cakes. Our son never had anything negative to say, and really I don't either.

If we had not moved out of state, our son would still be enrolled. He Laoshi's school is a treasure. If you're interested in a real Chinese immersion daycare that also provides a stimulating, nourishing environment for your child, I can't recommend He Laoshi highly enough. Finding her daycare and enrolling my son there was probably the single best decision I made while we lived in Berkeley. We are so sad to leave.

John D

Branford, CT.

One of the best things we have done for our child is sending him to Ya Ya Chinese School. He has been going to Ya Ya since it opened in June, 2010, and has made an astounding progress in various areas in addition to learning Chinese and the Chinese culture. He has blossomed into a bright and confidant bilingual boy that we are deeply proud of.


Teacher He has a rich experience in education and has superb skills. Her teaching styles are creative and lively, so the children learn very quickly while having fun. She is warm and gentle with children while not lacking strength; therefore children love her and respect her at the same time. She is able to keenly observe each child's strengths and weaknesses, and gives individual attention and guidance to help them grow to their greatest potentials. But more important than anything else, she embodies honesty, integrity and genuine care for the children like they are her own, which is why we trust her with our child.


We moved to Danville recently, but we are continuing to go to Ya Ya everyday, and will stay with Ya Ya for the summer and the after school program in the future. A good school like this is very hard to find and all the driving we have to do is nothing compared to the benefit we gain. I highly recommend Ya Ya Chinese School to any parent who is in search of a great Chinese school for his/her child.


Shunzi, a very happy parent


My daughter has been attending Ya Ya Chinese Childcare since August 2010
and we couldn’t be happier with the program. When my daughter started the
afterschool program, she didn’t speak a word of Mandarin and now she knows
so many words, poems, and songs that she has even been teaching the rest
of our family! In addition to effective, fun language instruction, Ya Ya
engages the students in a variety of activities from Kung Fu/Tai Chi to
cooking and gardening to arts and crafts. Every day is new adventure as
the kids learn and grown together. I especially appreciate the “at home”
atmosphere that Ya Ya inspires—the kids are happy and secure knowing that
they are truly cared for in a warm, loving environment. I can’t imagine a
better experience for my daughter and am so happy that we found Ya Ya. You
will be, too.

We love Ya Ya! He Laoshi is a very talented teacher and has great patience. She teaches Chinese language/culture through music, arts, and fun activities. My daughter attends Ya Ya full day and my son attends Ya Ya’s  afterschool program. I can see how much they enjoy the time there! My son grows great interest in Chinese and now he cannot wait to start the second Chinese language book. He has also built strong bonds with He laoshi and his afterschool friends. My daughter often surprises me with new words, new poems or new drawings.... Both of my kids are growing with good social manners and excellent learning habits, which we can not say enjoy thank you to He Laoshi! If you are searching for an academic rich and loving environment, check out Ya Ya. You can find a lot of information on her website (https://sites.google.com/site/yayachineseschool) and there will be an open house in early of June. 

I can't express our delight at finding such a warm and nurturing environment for our 4 year old son. Teacher He has such a way with children; she's got 16 years experience; she's loving and gives each child lots of individual attention; and she inspires and motivates her children to learn incredible things!. She teaches them Kung Fu/Tai Chi, Chinese language, Calligraphy and countless other things. You'll be surprised what your child comes home with! We've had bad experiences with another Chinese immersion pre-school and Teacher He has absolutely turned things around for us.

If you're interested in exposing your child to Chinese (language and culture) or you're just looking for a safe and nurturing environment for you little one where your child will thrive, I can't recommend Ya Ya enough.

Stephan J.
Oakland, CA
(Reviewed on Yelp 6/23/2010)

I want to recommend a newly opened Day Care in Albany to parents who are seeking Mandarin speaking environment for their kids during summer time, regular school time or after school.

It was opened on June 14. Ms. He, the owner has many years experience teaching kids Mandarin for different age group. Before she runs her own day care, she was my son's teacher in his regular preschool. My son has attended the summer camp at her day care for a week now, and I can see he's learning a lot, and also enjoying that place greatly.

Seeing is believing, I encourage you to contact Ms He, and arrange visit to observe her teaching style yourself.

''Learning Chinese Culture through Language, Tai Chi, Children's KungFu, GuZheng, Music, Painting, Calligraphy, Arts and Crafts. A loving, safe and warm environment, bilingual in English and Mandarin with a teacher who enjoys reading to children and provides healthy meals to complete the nourishment of the student. I will help their Maths and reckoning by the abacus.''

(Reviewed on Berkeley Parents Network 6/14/2010)


       您好, 我是丁思洋的妈妈. 我们在波士顿已经安顿下来. 杨杨非常想念您和亚亚幼儿园的小朋友. 让我帮他向你们问好. 他经常和我说特别喜欢在何老师那儿. 非常感谢您, 不仅在杨杨的心中留下了美好的回忆, 在我和我先生的心理也留下难忘的记忆. 尤其是您举办的活动,让人记忆犹新. 希望有机会再能回去看您. 也祝您在以后的日子里,事业顺利,身体健康.




We love the teacher Mrs. He, or as our daughter says in Mandarin, "He Laoshi". Our daughter has attended Ya Ya preschool since she was 2 1/2 years old, she is now 5 and well prepared for Kindergarten.  We don't speak Mandarin at home but our daughter now speaks fluent Mandarin thanks to He Laoshi.  Originally we choose Ya Ya preschool over the others that we had visited because we could see that He Laoshi is a teacher with compassion, she runs it like a preschool and not just a day care.  She really cares for the kids and gets them to thrive.  She also teaches them confidence by teaching Tai Chi and Chinese dances.  Our daughter recently got accepted as a fluent Mandarin speaker into a Mandarin immersion charter school for the next school year.  We will miss He Laoshi but our plan is to enroll our daughter in the her Summer Camp program.