First Mandarin Immersion School to be accredited

Challenge School is so proud to be the first Mandarin Immersion School in California to receive accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).  We wholeheartedly thank the generous support from all Challenge School children and families, as well as all the hard effort of our staff. This was not an easy journey. Challenge School our and staff went through an extensive self study process, measuring the program and our services against ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and more than four hundred accreditation criteria. In California, at present, there are approximately 15,000 licensed preschools. Of these, only 5% (approximately 500) have achieved NAEYC Accreditation. Challenge School is the first Mandarin immersion school to receive such prestigious status.  

East meets West

We are the first Mandarin immersion school in California to achieve NAEYC accreditation. It is especially meaningful to us as the teaching styles are very different between Eastern and Western cultures. Our Chinese traditional teaching favors the of use teacher directed methods where teachers stand in front of children and deliver instructions. Children recite or copy what the teacher says. Children learn a lot through constant repetition and recitation. Traditional Chinese teaching also focuses on academics. On the contrary, the Western teaching methods are more flexible and creative. NAEYC particularly emphasizes the relationships between children and teachers. NAEYC wants to see a positive, sensitive, warm, and respectful relationship with children. As a result, teachers no longer stand in front but move among the children. Curriculum is no longer just academic, but also focuses on other areas like social, emotional, and creative development. There are merits to both teaching methods. Challenge School is very proud to be able to find a balance point and be recognized by the most prestigious independent national professional organization in the field of Early Childhood Education​ NAEYC

Why accreditation?

Accreditation makes a difference. Accreditation is a mark of excellence that is awarded by an independent professional organization. When a center achieves accreditation, it has to demonstrate that it continuously maintains high standards of quality in the area of early childhood education. The NAEYC administers the largest and most widely recognized national, voluntary, professionally sponsored accreditation system for all types of early childhood schools and child care centers. The NAEYC is the nation's largest organization of early childhood educators.  Please also see what others have said about NAEYC accreditation:  RightChoiceForKids KnowledgeBeginnings


The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. We advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children. 

To achieve NAEYC accreditation, centers must demonstrate satisfactory status in the 10 following areas (
details please see here):

1. Relationships: Encouraging warm responsive relationships between children and children/adults

2. Curriculum:  Curriculum is developmentally appropriate, and is promoting development in: social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive

3. Teaching: Using multiple approaches that are developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate

4. Assessment of Child Progress: Use ongoing systematic, formal, and informal assessment approaches to provide information on learning and development. 

5. Health: The program promotes the nutrition and health of children and protects children and staff from illness and injury

6. Teachers: Employing those who have the educational qualifications, knowledge, and professional commitment 

7. Families: Building relationships based on mutual trust and respect helps to involve a family in their child's educational growth

8. Community Relationships: Establishing reciprocal connections with groups that support the goals of transition, inclusion, diversity, and health

9. Physical Environment: Maintaining a safe and accessible environment

10. Leadership Management: The program effectively implements policies, procedures, and systems that support stable staff and strong personnel and fiscal, and program management