Ya Ya Chinese Child Care

Community Subscriber

Albany, CA

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Home-Based Daycare/Preschool
He Yazhi (Laoshi)
510-290-3827 or 510-559-3687
yayacche [at] gmail.com
Near EC Plaza
Maximum Capacity: 
Language(s) Spoken: 
Chinese, English
Ages Served: 
30 months - 72 months
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri
Additional Services & Features: 
K-5 afterschool available

Parent Reviews

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(I wrote this review of Ya Ya Chinese Childcare for Yelp, but I am reposting it here for the Berkeley Parents Network. Short version: This daycare is wonderful!)

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, where 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 a year, 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 and JanJan

We are a chinese family. We enrolled my 5 year old daughter to Ya Ya for 6 months since Jan 2015. She has been thrived since then. He laoshi, the owner of Ya Ya preschool, is a very experienced, diligent, and wonderful teacher. She has been running daycare for five years, which is not a very long time compared to a few other homebased daycare centers I visited. However, she is the one who truly loves children, and who always has those wonderful ideas to create an environment for the kids to learn happily. I'm always inspired by her enthusiasm. For example, she teaches a lot of poems and songs. She wrote every song on a display paper, where kids can turn pages by themselves at any time. Kids learn how to sing, how to recognize chinese characters. One song I remember is about rainy day, which describes busy people in the streets. Kids sometimes perform the stories. She makes them cupcakes, teaches them kongfu, prepare performances for chinese spring festival. For example, they would practise for a month for a chinese dance performance for a bounch of 3-4 year olds. And this was only one of the many performances. The show was amazing! I can't imaging how they did this.

My daughter used to be in a child development center run by my previous University in Kansas for four years, since she was 13 month old. So we are familiar with the American style daycare (BTW, we love that daycare center). Comparing with our previous center, YaYa does not have very strict rules, which could be the downsides for some parents. For example, the pickup time is flexible, and price dependent. You don't get bills every month. Everybody calculates their own expenses based on the hours. Although not encouraged, kids can still bring toy to school. My daughter more than once asked me: why xxx can bring his toy car to school but I cannot? It is stated in the contract that parents will get fines for late pickup, but not in reality even for ten minutes late. I guess teacher He is just too nice and does not want to take agressive actions to parents even if they are not obeying the rules. She takes pictures for the kids from time to time. All the pictures are shared among families. We are ok with all these. We think having a loving, responsible and enthusiastic teacher is way more important than following some strict rules (of course any rules regarding safety issue has to be on top, which I think Ya Ya does pretty well). Teacher He loves communicating with parents, sharing the stories, education experieces with me from time to time. I am very grateful of having her as my daughter's teacher. I would highly recommend Ya Ya to my friend.

Archived Reviews: 


July 2011

Re: Mandarin Immerson Summer camp
You may try Ya Ya Chinese School (https://sites.google.com/site/yayachineseschool/). My 6-yr old daughter, with some language experience and have been there for almost 2 weeks and she really enjoy the loving, relaxing enviroment in Ya Ya. Ms. He the lead teacher is experienced and kept kids at all age well entertained and enthusiastic to learn the language through songs, games, and some gong-fu. And declicious lunch is provided as well. Check out more info on their website and their summer camp is still open for enrollment. Hongli

May 2011

Re: Mandarin afterschool programs in the East Bay
My daughter attends Ya Ya Chinese Childcare in Albany and we LOVE LOVE LOVE this program. Teacher He is so good with the kids and in addition to Mandarin language, she teaches them calligraphy, math with abacus, Kung Fu/Tai Chi, she does arts and crafts, cooking, gardening. It is such a warm and loving atmosphere, like a home away from home. She just created a new website, definitely check it out: https://sites.google.com/site/yayachineseschool/ VERY highly recommend! Happy Parent

May 2011

We love Ya Ya! He Laoshi is a very talented teacher and has great patience. She teaches Chinese language/culture through music, art, and fun activities. My daughter attends Ya Ya full day program, and my son attends Ya Ya's afterschool program. I can see how much they enjoy their time there! My son has developed a great interest in Chinese and is eager to start the second series of Chinese language books. 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 have grown with good social manners and excellent learning habits, for which we can not say thank you enough to He Laoshi! If you are searching for a rich academic and loving environment, check out Ya Ya. You can find a lot of information on her website (https://sites.google.com/site/yayachineseschool) including specifics about an open house she is planning on hosting in early June. Michelle

June 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.''