While quite a bit of research points to the benefits of dual language acquisition at very young ages (0-5 year old) such as brain development, executive functioning, early literacy, improved language communication and enhanced social skills such as empathy, I can personally attest to this being true on an anecdotal level for our toddler. After visiting three other pre-schools in the Boulder area, my husband and I decided Boulder Bilingual was the right fit for our then 1 ½ year old who is now almost 3 years old. While other programs in the area pride themselves on all day outdoor play or Waldorf or Montessori education, for me, very early age language acquisition (0-5 years old) alongside a loving family environment that valued fun was what felt right for us as a family. I grew up with heavy exposure to French as a pre-teen and continued acquiring French through university and on into my career, but I will never have the fluency or native accent of someone who acquired two languages at a very young age, and yet my bilingual upbringing is something I would never trade. I really wanted my child to have the opportunity to acquire a second language when language is being acquired in general. I also wanted to find a school where I felt all the kids were happy, smiling and enjoying themselves mixed with a balance of self-directed and group based play. I also like that some activities are structured, like story-time and show and tell, while others are more free like when they have dance time and dance to music. I also love that this is a true family, and they are in this mission together.
Has daily second language exposure slowed my toddler’s language development down in English? No, not at all. In fact, she’s very verbal and inquisitive. Do we speak Spanish at home? No. Neither me nor my husband are Spanish speaking. Does our child speak Spanish equally as well as English? No, not yet, but she’s very competent in her comprehension of both languages. She also loves singing Spanish songs and can count in both languages. But she’s not 3 yet, so I’m looking forward to seeing her continued growth over the next 2-3 years. Plus, she runs into school every day and loves talking about her teachers – which is I think a telling sign that she enjoys school here.
Most importantly, Boulder Bilingual is a loving family environment of 4 sisters originally from Nicaragua, an additional pre-school teacher in the older class who is from Mexico, the 4 sisters’ mother (from Nicaragua), and two husbands (one from the US and one from Nicaragua) who help with administration and grounds keeping. This U.S-Nicaraguan family is the bedrock of this community and you can feel it in how they care for each other, the parents and the children. In addition, one of the family members makes a home cooked meal for all the children for lunch, and the children are taught to sit with each other, serve each other and share a meal together at one big table (everyday!), which I love. They are committed to not only play based learning, but to multi-cultural teaching and extensive 7:30 am to 5:30 pm Spanish language exposure as well. Given the full 7:30 am-5:30 pm day is the automatic part of their tuition schedule, this is also a convenient and affordable option (compared to other preschools in the area which tend to be more money for less hours of care) for 2 working parents.
In a town where some people complain that Boulder is not diverse enough, this is a wonderful opportunity to expose yourself and your children to not just a bilingual school, but a multi-cultural community where many of the parents are bilingual (in a number of languages, not just Spanish) and many of the families are either from or have spent time living in other non-U.S. countries and they value this experience. In short, if daily consistent care by one big family (and therefore no high teacher turnover here), exposure to multiculturalism, early language acquisition in an immersion environment and a healthy dose of fun are priorities for your 0-5 year old, this is the school for you.
Lucy Goldstein November 2019
As a working mom, my children spend more time at school than with me during the week, and that reality is really hard. The decision to send them to Boulder Bilingual has made it all so much easier, has given me peace of mind, and has given my children a second family, and a real home away from home. More than just a childcare, Boulder Bilingual really is a family - Paty, the owner, is the director and her husband is the business manager. Her mother and three sisters are classroom teachers, along with two other amazing and caring women. When he isn't reading to or wrestling with the children, her brother-in-law handles the front office, always with a smile. At the end of the day, you won't get a daily digital report on the number of toots your child made, but you will get a happy, well-fed and tired little munchkin. My almost-4-year old has been attending since she was about 15 months, and my one year old started a few days after her first birthday. My older daughter speaks Spanish and English very well, and knows her letters, numbers, colors, and shapes in both languages. With all of the options for bilingual primary and secondary education in Boulder, I think this is a big advantage. I have found the other families here to be fantastic as well - lots of hard-working, loving parents and siblings who embrace diversity, and who prioritize kindness and empathy. There are a lot of high-quality options for childcare in Boulder, but Boulder Bilingual is really special. I feel very lucky to have found the facility, and dread the day my kiddos age out of it!
Kristelia Garcia Peterson
" When we first started looking for a preschool, our daughter was 2 and had been in an in-home daycare setting since she was 6 months old. We hoped to find a setting where she could have routine and structure, but also plenty of time for play and a loving, supportive atmosphere. What we found in Boulder Bilingual is so much more. There is so much warmth and thoughtfulness in each interaction, and we feel as if we’re part of a big, supportive family. Copious snuggles and daily home cooked meals add to the magic. We now have three children here, and each one is thriving! We can’t recommend Boulder Bilingual highly enough!"
Madison & Paul Brower
“I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Boulder Bilingual. I have seen my eldest graduate, have one child currently enrolled, and am looking forward to my third child starting with them soon. The teachers and staff at Boulder Bilingual are somehow able to create an environment that perfectly balances play and learning, rules and love. Dropping off a young child can be so hard for parents but I have never once doubted how much the staff care for my children. Seeing my children light up when they see their teachers in the morning is such a gift!
And as an amazing benefit, their language skills in Spanish have been incredible! My children often come home and help ME with my Spanish! Having now had one child enter Kindergarten, I’ve also seen how prepared she was from a language/writing/curriculum standpoint.
We could not have found a more loving and supportive daycare and preschool for our family!”
"Boulder Bilingual is a wonderful preschool and daycare. Our son began attending at 1.5 years old and he left at 5 years-old feeling very prepared for kindergarten. Our daughter has been attending since she was a year old and it is her second home. The teachers and staff treat the kids as if they were family, and provide all the tools and positive reinforcement to prepare the kids for the next stage in life. More importantly, our kids have fun at Boulder Bilingual and would often rather stay there than come home! "
"We love Boulder Bilingual and the caring family environment that they provide. Our 2.5 y.o son loves his teachers and the school staff. This past year we could see how he flourished and developed, specially his language skills -- he can speak Spanish even though we don't speak it at home. They also provide lunch and snacks for kids and the food is amazing and super healthy".
"Boulder Bilingual has felt like family from day one. Both of our children have been loved and nurtured by every one of the caregivers, and we could not be more confident in knowing that this is the best place for them to grow up. The community of friends, the quality of care, and overall joyful energy for life make us so grateful for our years here. We'll be sad when our time with Boulder Bilingual is over, but we know our children will be well prepared, emotionally, socially, and educationally."
Cat & Matt Price