Welcome to

Nihao School

Raising a multilingual child with you

Welcome to Nihao School! We nurture language and cultural learning in a home-like setting for young children 0-5 years old. The School began in 2005 as a family daycare business built on love for early education. During the COVID year, we established a network of independent daycare providers committed to a career in early education, promoting and nurturing the healthy growth and development of children during the unprecedented times. Nihao School has since become not just a family daycare but a laboratory school for other providers to learn the knots and bolts of daycare business.

As the driver of the early education community, we believe that early care and education - and access to ECE - is vital for all children. Nihao School is children’s first experience to become a contributing member of a community, and the emotional and social development that will follow are the building blocks for future academic success. We're grateful for the opportunity to be part of this precious growth experience! We look forward to meeting you and your little one!

How We Started

Toddler with Toys

What Makes Us Unique?


At i-Immersion’s daycare and preschools, we know you have many options when it comes to childcare.  We create a network of early education programs specializing in language immersion to raise multilingual kids with you.


Our daycare and preschools strive to achieve the following goals.

  • Promote the development of each child’s cognitive, social, emotional, physical and aesthetic abilities to their fullest potential

  • Incorporate each child’s interest and events that make up their lives in the daily activities to foster learning and problem-solving skills

  • Offer a variety of developmentally appropriate activities to meet children’s individual needs and learning styles

  • Provide a team of passionate educators with knowledge and experience in teaching young children

  • Promote active involvement of parents in our program

Playing with Wooden Alphabets


Language immersion is a type of learning that takes different forms:


  1. Full or Total Immersion.   This is the original form of language immersion. Children are provided curriculum in the second language 100% of the time and rarely use their native English vernacular in the classroom setting. Total exposure provides a full experience of speaking a second language.


  1. Partial Immersion.  Partial immersion occurs when 50 percent of the time is spent learning a foreign language, while the remaining time is spent in the native spoken language. In this set up, there are typically two teachers in the classroom, one speaking only English while the other speaks the second language full-time. 

  1. Double Immersion.  With double immersion, the goal is to have the child speaking fluently in both the native language and two other non-native languages.


  1. Two Way or Dual Immersion.  Dual immersion first began in Florida's Dade County with the increase of native Spanish speakers. Traditionally, the native language is English. This program is designed to serve both English and native Spanish-speaking students. All students are learning in the same classroom while being immersed in the various languages. This model allows children to cooperatively learn from each other, succeed academically, and become bilingual. This type of immersion is relatively new and is evolving.


In addition to conducting our day-to-day activities in target language(s), our daycares and preschools adopt one or more of the following popular preschool approaches to support student’s creativity, memory, and understanding of the world around them.

Three Cute Kids
Screen Shot 2021-07-11 at 8.50.43 PM.png


Picture a preschool setting where teachers joyfully lead music activities and where children look forward to singing and playing with songs together.  Then imagine that you, the parent, know these same songs, sing them in music activities at home with your child, and also get to share special music time at school.  Just think of the bond this can create among you, your child, their teachers, and the whole school community! That's what Music Together at Nihao School looks like.

Featuring an artistically conceived flow of songs, rhythmic rhymes, instrumental jam sessions, finger plays, and movement activities, our weekly classes are 30- to 45-minutes song and taught by certified Music Together specialists in cooperation with classroom teachers in the Nihao School classroom.  The combination and types of activities are research-based, so they support children's developing competence in tonality and rhythm, even after the activities evolve into creative musical play and a good bit of genuine, silly fun!

Our teachers follow through on the weekly sessions, adapting activities to their curriculum and using music to support the children's learning and development in many areas.  Not only will your child crave the repetition- you'll really appreciate knowing what your child is learning at Nihao School and joining in on the fun!




Our infant group is typically designed for children 3 to 24 months old. A low child-to-caregiver ratio ensures that each child receives personalized care throughout the day with a schedule that works best for your baby.  Children can explore sensory materials, play with books, blocks and other manipulative toys. They are also encouraged to discover the environment through walking, crawling, and pulling up. Our infants will enjoy a mix-age classroom setting with the toddlers and preschoolers.

Happy Baby

Our toddler group is typically designed for children 2-3 years old.  Children in this class will continue to develop their social/emotional, language/communication, cognitive, and physical development in a mix-age classroom setting. Our lessons target learning opportunities for each child with simple objectives such as- ``learning how to play in a group`` to a more advanced one such as ``turning a door handle``. Daily lessons surrounding life skills promote responsibilities and maturity at a young age. We want to build in children the self-esteem and confidence that allow them to grow at their own pace.


Our preschool group is designed for children 3 years and up. Through a wide range of activities, children gain confidence as they become active learners that are adaptive to a collaborative group experience. This is a critical period for language acquisition and a great time for bilingual environment. The following 9 essential readiness skills will be introduced in our mix-age classroom setting to prepare children for kindergarten- shapes and colors, cutting, writing, letter recognition, number recognition and counting, sounding out letters, reading readiness, following directions and paying attention, and social skills.



Educational Toys

West Knolls

Nihao School by Ms. Alice

W 39th Ave, San Mateo


  • Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-6:00pm

  • Ages: Infant, Toddler, Preschool

  • Meal: AM Snack, Lunch, PM Snack

  • Potty Training Required? No

  • Curriculum: Montessori, Waldorf

  • Immersion: Partial Immersion (English/Mandarin/Spanish)

2021-22 Enrollment Information

Our application is accepted on a rolling-basis.  Please contact our office or complete an Interest Form for questions concerning availability and waiting list for the 2021-22 school year.  Considering us for 2022-23? Start your tour and application early to secure a spot.


Complete An
Interest Form

Complete an interest form to speak to our Campus Director.

A Site Tour

Book a site tour to see our beautiful campus.

Submit An

Submit an application to enroll or a waiting list application.

A Deposit

Place a deposit to secure your spot in our program.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you have mix-age classes?

Mixed-age classrooms are an important component of our preschool program. The older students help the younger students acclimate to the classroom, and, in the immersion classroom, serve as language role models. The older students benefit from this relationship by developing leadership skills, confidence, and maturity.

If my child spends 2+ years in your program, will they be bored if the material is the same?

Not at all! Our curriculum follows students’ interests and questions and changes every year. When there is content that is repeated, such as social and emotional learning concepts, students can go deeper in the second year because they are developmentally in a very different place.

Does my child have to be potty trained to attend?

No. Your child does not have to be potty trained. If your child is in the process of potty training, the teachers will encourage the child to use the bathroom during class time.

How can I register my child and set up a tour?

Registration forms are available online. A tour can be scheduled by calling 650-666-2598, by filling out an interest form online, or by contacting us via email.

What is the discipline policy?

Any discipline given to a child is done in a positive way.

What is the school’s peanut policy?

All of our schools are nut-free.

What approach do you take to make language comprehensible to children?

We practice TPR (Total Physical Response) to make the language comprehensible to children. Communicating in the target language is a key element of our program!

How do I continue with my child’s Mandarin education after we graduate from your preschool program?

To ensure that your child continues in his or her secondary language learning, we currently offer in-school enrichment programs at the elementary-level. Visit our in-school enrichment program page and talk to our Program Specialist if you would like us to offer our language immersion program at your child’s school.

Which Chinese writing system will you use?

Most of our daycare and preschools teach the simplified Chinese writing system. Some may introduce traditional characters.

What phonetic system will be used?

Most of our daycare and preschools teach the pinyin phonetic system. A few will teach Zhuyin (Bopomofo). Pinyin is way of phonetically transcribing Chinese using the familiar Latin alphabet. It’s used in Mainland China (with simplified characters) and in Hong Kong (with traditional characters). Zhuyin fuhao or “Bopomofo” is a phonetic alphabet used in Taiwan to enable children to read Chinese phonetically. Children learning Chinese today will need to be able to write in pinyin: that’s the easiest way to using our English-language keyboards to write in Chinese. By introducing Bopomofo to young preschoolers, we enable them to learn to write and read Chinese phonetically during that important “sensitive period”—without getting confused between English and Chinese.