Language immersion, or simply immersion, is a method of teaching a second language in which the student’s second language is the medium of classroom instruction. Through this method, learners explore all the traditional academic centers (math, literacy, science, and social studies) in their second language. The main purpose of this method is to foster bilingualism, in other words, to develop learners’ communicative competence or language proficiency in their target language.
At Little Big Minds, we aim to leverage the rapid brain development that occurs between birth and 5 years old by providing children rich and dynamic learning opportunities and we do it all in Spanish!!
Build Brain Power! – Learning a second language at an early age stimulates brain development and expands cognitive abilities. Greater neural activity promotes denser tissue in the areas of the brain related to memory, attention, and language resulting in greater flexibility in thinking, enhanced mental development, improved listening and problem-solving skills, and sensitivity to other cultures. (Bialystok 2001, Mechelli et al., 2004; Kovelman, Baker, & Petitto, 2006).
Compete in a Global Economy – Surprisingly, only 5% of the world population is a native English-speaker. Foreign language skills provide our future leaders the ability to communicate in a global economy.
Develop an Authentic Accent – Research shows that kids who learn a second language before the age of 7, develop more native-like pronunciation, speech patterns and intonation.
Build the Foundation for Reading Excellence – Children who acquire a second-language learn to continuously scaffold, connect and compare what they know with what they are learning. Skills learned in one language are easily transferred to the other language. Children are able to recognize symbolic relationships between letters and characters to become excelling readers in both languages.
Achieve Higher Test Scores – Standardized test results show that students who have focused on foreign language studies at an early age routinely achieve among the highest scores in all subjects tested (CAL, NABE, 2003).
Encourage Cultural Sensitivity – Not only does a second language provide young people the ability to communicate in another language but, at Little Big Minds Preschool, we focus on educating our students about world cultures. We believe that this holistic approach provides students with a unique understanding of other cultures and the confidence to engage in discussion about cultural differences. By trying different ethnic foods, playing games, dancing, listening to music and reading stories about other countries we encourage a sensitivity to other cultures.
Embrace Natural Learning – Unlike adult learners, children are able to absorb a language naturally. They learn through song, dance, interactive and experiential play. They mimic pronunciation fearlessly and build vocabulary effortlessly. It beats hours in the high school Spanish lab!
We will adhere to the financial policy set forth in the Parent Handbook.
We have taken on significant additional expenses in order to staff classrooms without co-mingling, provide runners, modify classrooms, increase access to safe resources and disinfecting supplies, modify policies and procedures, and more. Each of these items comes with a significant cost. Weekly tuition does not allow us to budget, plan, or staff for consistent services.
Since we are not mixing classes for aftercare, each classroom has a dedicated aftercare teacher. If a morning teacher is absent the designated aftercare teacher will substitute wherever possible. If an aftercare teacher is absent, a morning teacher will stay for aftercare.
All parents will be notified of a positive COVID-19 result on campus. Please understand that due to privacy laws, we cannot disclose ANY individually identifiable information about the affected person (even whether the affected person is a child or an adult). Children in the affected classroom will be asked to stay home for 48 hours while we conduct deep cleaning and monitor the symptoms of everyone exposed.
We do not plan to offer an online curriculum option at this time.
Given limited classroom space and teaching staff, student/teacher ratios will not change for the coming year. No care beyond your program extra hours option available in the fall.
If we are forced to close campuses at any time due to government mandate or force majeure, we will follow the financial policy set forth in our Parent Handbook which states that we will not refund current month tuition but future charges will be halted until the school can re-open.
We will take and document teacher temperatures daily. Prior to their return to work, all teachers will be asked a series of risk questions. An affirmative response to any of those questions will trigger mandatory testing. In the absence of these risk factors, a teacher would be tested if they exhibited symptoms or if there were a change in their risk factors (traveling outside of the US, exposure to someone with COVID, the presence of a fever).
Playgrounds are the only common areas.
High-touch surfaces will be sprayed with DHS approved disinfectant after each class use and before the next class enters the playground.
As a childcare provider licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services we are always required to report communicable diseases to the local health agency through the Communicable Diseases Outbreak Report.
- During this time of heightened concern, please understand that we will err on the side of caution. We are tasked with protecting all of the children in our care. If a child is exhibiting symptoms, we will ask their parent to pick them up.
- If a child has persistent symptoms that align with COVID-19, a doctor’s note may be required prior to their return to class. For example, if a child has shortness of breath and a runny nose related to allergies, a doctor’s note would confirm that the symptoms are not related to COVID-19. If your child has any of the above symptoms and you are confident they are not related to COVID-19, please be proactive and seek a doctor’s note in advance.
- If a child tests positive for COVID-19 they must stay home for 14 days or provide proof of a negative test.
To stop the spread, we will require children with family members or members of their household who have tested positive to stay home for 14 days.
If a teacher tests positive they must stay home for 14 days and they are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before they return to work.
A child who tests positive must stay home for 14 days or until they are able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
|Fever / Chills / Sweats|
|Shortness of Breath or Rapid Breathing|
|Fatigue / Lethargy|
|Nasal Congestion/Runny Nose|
|Loss of Taste and/or Smell|
Due to restricted parent access, arrivals and departures will be handled through curbside service and staggered pickup/drop-off times. Parents should wait in their vehicle for a masked staff member to meet them and walk their children to their classrooms.
Teachers will wear masks during drop off and pick up daily. Children will not be required to wear masks but may voluntarily do so.
You can help us by embracing the HEROES guidelines attached here.
• Take your children’s temperature daily,
• Work with your children to teach and reinforce proper hygiene at home.
• Maintain social distance at arrival and departure times.
• Avoid gathering in groups.
• Wear masks in all public places.
• Keep your children home if they are sick.
Classroom surfaces, furniture, and toys will be cleaned daily. We are using guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting set forth by the Center for Disease Control and approved by the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Parents will not be allowed on campus except in case of an emergency.
Child safety is of paramount importance and one of the best ways we can limit unnecessary exposure is to limit the number of adults on campus. Throughout our history, we have celebrated our Open Door policy and we have invited and encouraged parent participation and involvement on our campuses. We can’t wait to welcome you back to our classrooms. Until then, thank you for your understanding as we work together to protect one another.
- Children will stay with their class all day. We will attempt to prevent or limit all co-
mingling of children wherever possible.
- No parents will be allowed on campus until further notice (except in case of emergency).
- All arrivals and departures will be done through curbside drop-off/pick-up.
- All community events, enrichments, and afterschool programs are postponed until
- Classroom parties will be “children only.”
Research confirms that learning a second language before age five significantly alters the brain’s structure. According to the Society for Neuroscience, increased brain activity is so prominent and predictable that neurologists can identify bilingualism from a brain scan. The cognitive benefits include reading proficiency, increased comprehension, greater flexibility in thinking, improved listening and problem-solving skills. The belief that learning two languages might confuse or delay young learners has been consistently disproved. Rather, new studies show that learning two languages before the age of 5 gives children the ability to scaffold fundamental skills and apply them to both languages.
 Society for Neuroscience. (September 2008)  Bialystok, E. (2007). Language acquisition and bilingualism.
All skills and concepts learned in the second language, transfer to the native language. In fact, research indicates that children who study a foreign language develop a better understanding and command of their native language in the long-run. The curriculum at Little Big Minds will exceed all standards for early childhood education as stipulated by the Arizona Early Childhood Learning Standards; our graduates will have mastered all the traditional preschool concepts, and in addition, they will have an excellent command of Spanish.
Learning Mandarin is becoming increasingly popular so, why Spanish?
The United States has the 2nd largest Spanish speaking population in the world. There will be 52 million Spanish speakers in the United States by 2020. Spanish provides a more practical opportunity for daily application than any other language. Once a child has learned another language they are able to transfer those skills to learning other languages but Spanish is a functional academic add-on while providing all the cognitive advantage.