We Inspire a Love of Learning to Last a Lifetime

  • TCA Video

    "A Home Away from Home"

  • C H I L D

    Confident in Myself

  • C H I L D

    Humble in Achievement

  • C H I L D

    Inquisitive in Learning

  • C H I L D

    Loving Towards Others

  • C H I L D

    Daring To Explore

  • TCA History



    Our Founder, Patrick, opened his first preschool and kindergarten in Canada when he was 21 after seeing the tremendous need from parents for a progressive bilingual school (English/French) that offered an alternative approach to the heavily regulated government subsidized schools his family had managed.


    Patrick arrived in China in 2005 while traveling around the world and decided to stay. He proceeded to prepare and plan for 2 years before opening The Child Academy in cooperation with the German Center in 2007. From the beginning, The Child Academy has built a solid reputation as a progressive international school that can inspire, delight and educate both foreign and local children ranging from 18 months to 6 years old.


    Nine years since The Child Academy first opened its doors in Shanghai, you will still find Patrick on a daily basis managing both schools to make sure that each and every child is being well looked after and benefitting fully from the The Child Academy way.


    This year marks the opening of our 3rd campus at Hongfeng Road where TCA will begin a new program concept focused on very young learners and the exclusive offering of Mommybow courses in Shanghai.


    The Child Academy opened the 4th campus on Puming Road in Lujiazui area, this school has been designed especially and exclusively for our youngest learners ages 0-3. The Child Academy is expanding rapidly.


    TCA Nantang Campus is located in the center of Nantang Old Street in Ningbo. The house is a quadrangle that retains a very complete and traditional Jiangnan architectural style. It used to be one of the private schools of “Nanmen Yuanshi." The campus covers an area of 1,200 square meters and has 6 teaching classes and 2 outdoor activities areas. The ancient trees in the courtyard have stood witnessed to children of all ages reading and playing for generations past. The TCA Nantang Campus combines Chinese traditional culture with international education to bring the beautiful vision of TCA to all parents and children.


    Ningbo Hengfeng Kindergarten has a construction area of 5,000 square meters, 2,200 square meters of outdoor activities area, 14 teaching classrooms, and each classroom is approximately 150 square meters in size. Each classroom features an activities room, bedroom, bathroom and closet. The Kindergarten also has a 7 meters high digital room and a rooftop garden. Ningbo Hengfeng Kindergarten uses only high quality teaching materials with premium grade, imported, non-toxic wood furnishings for all our young learners to enjoy.

  • TCA Vision

    The Child Academy provides a developmentally appropriate learning environment where the emotional, social, physical and intellectual needs of all children ’s learning met in a safe, creative and nurturing environment. We use a combination of play based and literacy activities to help foster self-esteem, critical thinking, problem solving and leadership in an environment that includes structured, routine and open discovery preschool learning activities. In our supportive, bilingual environment children develop their language competencies in English and Mandarin, as well as their understanding of the world helping to prepare your children for success in an ever more connected international community. The Child Academy has students from over 20 nationalities and both campuses are custom designed to be environmentally friendly, with abundant space, ample natural light, communal dining halls and large outdoor play areas. Our team of passionate and professional educators guide young learners with respect, care and enthusiasm to inspire a love of preschool learning that will last a lifetime. We devote our lifetime to early childhood education.

  • Children’s Home for International Learning & Development



    The Child Academy is dedicated to providing a loving and healthy environment for the development of children. Their creativity, independence, critical thinking, global awareness and social emotional development. We are committed to developing future leaders that both lead and serve others. We believe that nurturing a child’s love for life, self-esteem and overall happiness are equally as important as developing their minds.




    Confident in Myself

    Humble in Achievement

    Inquisitive in Learning

    Loving Towards Others

    Daring to Explore

  • TCA Voices

    Kitty Chen (妈妈)

    Alex 5岁、Sophia 3岁、Isabella 3岁


    雷蛇电脑游戏技术(上海)有限公司 | 全球副总裁中国区总经理

    Global VP and General Manager (China) of Razer Computer Gaming Technology

    It’s amazing to see how all 3 of them are always excited in the morning, getting ready for school and looking forward to it. We love TCA’s perfect mix of STEM academics and innovation, while still prioritizing the development of social and emotional skills of the kids. We strongly believe that TCA is the best preschool and best place to prepare our children to meet the challenges in the future.



    Gavin Zhang (爸爸)

    Mia 5岁、Cat 3岁


    北京市中伦(上海)律师事务所 | 高级合伙人

    Senior Partner of ZhongLun Law Firm

    We have entrusted both our daughters to TCA, because of the amazing teaching team and culture. At school, they are encouraged to give their very best, and have the chance to grow their confidence, by participating in a wide range of inspirational learning experiences. Their class teacher’s work very closely with our family, constantly updating their progress, and addressing any issues that arise. They are not only responsible but take the initiative to foster progress.



    Patrick Pek (爸爸)

    Bella 6岁


    马来西亚国家石油公司 | 中国CEO

    CEO of PETRONAS Chemical Group, China (National Oil & Gas Company of Malaysia)

    We feel blessed to find TCA among many preschools in China. Every moment Bella had in TCA is filled with joy and sense of pride. TCA’s positive discipline approach to mistakes fosters confidence in children when facing setbacks at early age; it also instills positive strategy and steps to resolve issues which can benefit children for lifetime.



    Christina Jiang (妈妈)

    Ethan 3岁



    McKinsey & Company

    The most valuable assets TCA has is, I would say, it’s teachers. Every teacher Ethan has had or those we have met are well trained and patient. They notice the very minor things about our children and constantly keep us informed or reminded. One of my most enjoyable moments during the day is to see the teachers’ smiles when dropping off Ethan at school in the morning. Ethan loves his teachers, and you can sense happiness in the air of TCA.



    William Sanderson (爸爸)

    Kye 2岁


    英孚教育 | 全球教学总监

    Director, Academic Affairs, EF - Education First, kids and Teens Global

    In the short time that Kye has been learning and growing with TCA Hongfeng Rd campus, he has progressed positively in many ways. He is very passionate to do most things; he loves to help out with chores at home much to the delight of his parents. We feel he has picked up many positive behaviors from TCA teachers such as being polite and always greeting people regardless of his mood and he is getting better at sharing with his classmates and other children. He will always offer others food first before he eats.



  • Our People

    Patrick Lefebvre​

    Founder & Principal

    Patrick founded his first successful preschool at age 21 & brought his expertise to Shanghai as Founder & Principal, The Child Academy, 2007.

    Emile Yu


    Emile has been in China since the late 90’s working in numerous management and investment positions within the pharmaceuticals, real estate and hi-tech industries. Emile is the Director of Community Relations for The Child Academy

    Timothy Dickson

    Foreign Principal - Ningbo

    Tim brings 20+ yrs management experience from several Fortune 100 companies & served as National Director for 2 top education brands in China.

    Ana Fu​

    Head of Hongfeng Campus

    Ana Fu, TCA Compliance Manager and Head of Hongfeng Campus,
    Graduated from East China Normal University in Early year education major. she has been engaged in preschool education for 20 years, 10 years as preschool teacher and 10 years as head of kindergarten.

    Wendy Wang

    Lujiazui Principal

    Wendy Wang has 28 years of early childhood education experience. she used to hold leadership positions at IMC Octave Kids Learning Center, Shanghai Children World Foundation Kindergarten, Hong Kong Victoria Kindergarten and the Julia Gabriel Centre in Shanghai. She also joined the case study and international pre-school education training in Shanghai, she loves being with kids and appreciating the joys that kids bring to her.

    Linda Liu

    Principal - Ningbo Hengfeng Campus

    Linda Liu has 22 years of experience in early childhood education and 15 years as a bilingual kindergarten principal, she holds a senior certification of Montessori (AMS) and SEL instructor certification.

    Mimi Sun

    Local Academic Director

    Mimi has nearly 15 years of educational experience that includes teaching, curriculum design, leadership, and training. Driven by a passion for education inspired by her belief that each child is a distinct individual with unique needs, Mimi’s experience in early childhood education is complemented by a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology. She is also a certified instructor in Positive Discipline with additional ECNU Preschool Principal and EC-STEM certifications.

    Mandy Zhang​

    Director. Customer Relationships

    Mandy is a vastly experienced education professional. She has amassed a 15 year history both teaching at and managing learning facilities and language training organizations.

    Lara Keegan

    Nantang Campus Director (Ningbo)

    Lara has 10+ years of teaching and management in education. She holds dual certifications in NYS Childhood Inclusive Education & Students with Disabilities, as well as Positive Discipline Certified in Early Childhood.

    Paige Kuhn

    German Centre Campus Director

    Paige moved to China in 2015 where she has taught in Montessori and international school settings. Her experiences co-teaching bilingual lessons and writing curriculum combined with her passion for second language acquisition have had a profound impact on her teaching philosophy, while her educational leadership experience has inspired her to create an inclusive learning environment for children. Paige has a Masters of Science in Educational Psychology and holds CELTA and Positive Discipline certifications.

    Rita Liu​

    Academic Director

    Rita Liu,Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education; 11+ years of teaching and management experience in Kindergarten and Primary schools both in China and in Western countries. She loves children and she's looking forward to teaching and interacting with children as lifelong learners.

    Elina Wang

    Parents Relations Manager

    Elina brought extensive experience in the customer relations field when she joined TCA in 2015. After completing her Bachelors Degree abroad, Elina went on to earn her MBA and complete certifications in Positive Discipline and Senior Nursery Training. As a mom of two, she enjoys spending time with her children and building relationships with TCA students and their families.

    Cindy Gay​

    Campus Director

    Cindy has 15 years experience working with teachers and children of all ages in international education settings. This is her fifth year working in Shanghai. She holds a degree in Education and several certificates pertaining to bilingual instruction, management and Positive Discipline.

    James Green​

    Training & Development Manager

    James has 9+ yrs teaching with TCA as Head Teacher & holding a Master’s Degree in Education & certifications in TESOL & Positive Discipline

    Paul Keegan​

    Training & Development Manager

    Paul has worked in early years education since 2012; in that time he has gained significant experience in developing curriculum and is currently focused on training teachers to effectively implement our learning objectives and convey our core values in the classroom.

    Pamela Millan​

    Academic manager

    Pamela has her masters from the University of St. Eduwards/Universitee Catholique de L’Ouest in Management and did her thesis work in developing education programs in Costa Rica. She has 6 years experience in the field of education, particularly in the 0-3 age group.

    Melissa Mueller

    Mommybow Founder & Director

    Melissa developed the variety of “Mommybow” Baby Classes, and Parent & Child Classes in 2010. She designed the Early Education Foundation and After School Program for TCA. Along with 15+ years educating experience in Germany & China with degrees in Int.Marketing Communications, Montessori Preschool Teaching, and Int.certifications by IFPA & DTP and Positive Discipline for Preschoolers. She is also a certified Instructor by the International Association of Infant Massage.

    Amy Liu​

    Training and Development Manager

    graduated from Shanghai Normal University with a bachelor's degree in preschool education. She has 11+ years of teaching and management experience in kindergartens. Amy is also a mother of two.

    Ivy Xu

    CRM customers relationship manager

    Ivy Xu, majored in Early Childhood Education and a Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) in Canada. Ivy has over 10 years of education related work experience in both Toronto and Shanghai. Ivy believes Love is education, without love there is no education.

    Judy Geng

    Academic project manager

    Developing learner agency through school based curriculum and personalized education . Implementing holistic curriculum for Chinese students’ well - rounded development

  • Our Teachers

    German Centre Campus Group

    Jinqiao Campus Group

    Hongfeng Campus Group

    Ningbo Team

  • Our Program

    Core Program

    The classrooms are all bilingual with equal attention given to lessons in both English and Mandarin and are led by a team of one Foreign and one Chinese Home Room Teacher. In addition, all classes have Teacher Assistants to comply with or exceed NAEYC preschool standards from the USA.


    Daily communication through Brightwheel, monthly newsletter, weekly Wechat updates and regular parent-teacher conferences keep parents well informed on their child’s activities and progress. Regular assessments throughout the year document each child’s developmental milestones and achievements. As a result, children will be well prepared to enter grade one at any local or international primary school.

    Chinese Track

    Addressing the needs of Chinese children, we offer an intensive study program to develop English competencies. The program is supplementary with an extra hour daily devoted to English phonics, vocabulary, sentence structures and reading comprehension.

    Accelerated Reading

    To challenge and stimulate children with increased proficiency in reading, we offer a supplemental program to advance skills in literacy. We proudly utilize “Reading A to Z” to engage children and encourage and develop greater literary fluency. As an added benefit, reading materials and worksheets can be made available on request to parents who would like to participate in further home study with their child.​

  • Enrichment Programs

    The Child Academy offers a variety of after school enrichment programs for all children. All Child Academy activities are designed to stimulate children’s curiosity in areas of creative, cognitive and physical development. We invite you to encourage your child’s interest in one of our numerous after school programs.



    Little Picasso, Cooking, Piano Lessons, Ukulele Lessons, Kaixinmahua Drama Lessons



    Advance Phonics, ROBOROBO engineering, French Lessons, Spanish Lessons



    Gymnastics, Ballet, Kung Fe, Soccer, Dance

  • Our Curriculum

    The Child Academy’s progressive, literacy based curriculum is a unique blend of both child and adult directed lessons grounded in the socio-cultural approach to cognitive development and multiple-intelligences theory. It is an approach that emphasizes the importance of social learning, community awareness and cultural understanding in early childhood development which accommodates the different modes of learning within each child. In addition, our curriculum features multi-subject lessons relating to themes from classic children’s books that engage the imagination and inspires children’s natural curiosity about the world.

    Empirical research indicates that Early literacy benefits include: expanding vocabulary, maintaining longer attention spans and increased retention of information in school. Through wide ranging activities and across multiple subjects, our teachers and students explore the themes of classic children’s stories while reinforcing literacy and a love of reading which is the foundation for success in primary school and beyond.

    STEAM Focused Learning

    STEAM is much more than the individual subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) in its acronym. Stem projects for kids is a philosophy and holistic approach to teaching that connects all educational disciplines through reality based, student centered, problem solving activities and challenges. STEAM classes are meaningful and fun as they foster curiosity and the love of exploration through the incorporation of methods aligned with the natural way children learn and build interest in the world around them. TCA’s STEAM approach and specialized classes such as kids science experiments are more.

    Language & Literacy

    Language and literacy skills are tied to a child’s ability to communicate and connect with others through listening, speaking, reading and writing. Learning language is a cognitive and social experience and requires symbolic processing. The relationship between thought and word is a process with continuous shifting between word to thought and back again. The Child Academy features a literacy-rich curriculum and invites children to ask questions and explore ideas through discussion and dramatic play. In addition, we encourage children to construct autobiographical narratives in the form of storytelling, journaling and drawing. Language skills are some of the best predictors of academic success.

    Math & Reasoning

    Math and reasoning covers a broad range of skills including a child’s ability to count, understand number sense, manipulate objects in space, create and recognize patterns, sort, compare and measure. Research on children’s learning in the first six years of life confirms the importance of early experiences in mathematics for lasting positive outcomes. Through the Child Academy curriculum, children develop the ability to reason mathematically and become increasingly sophisticated in the ability to recognize and analyze the mathematics inherent in the world around them. Children’s early mathematical experiences play a significant role in the development of their understanding of mathematics, and serve as a foundation for their cognitive development.


    Science skills include a child’s ability to inquire, predict and evaluate observations. It supports a child’s ability to explore everyday life, physical properties within the surrounding environment and to make sense of concepts such as weather, natural habitats, and technology.

    Similar to learning to count or read, developing skills in science for kids is a lifelong process. Metacognitive skills develop as children describe what they see, ask questions about it, repeat the experience, and then think about how it connects to what they know about their surrounding environment. The Child Academy leverages preschool science experiments, science-based projects and processes throughout the curriculum because science discovery serves as an ideal conduit for supporting early childhood development across different domains.


    Physical development refers to a child’s gross and fine motor skills. To increase strength, muscle control and coordination, the child needs an environment that encourages play and fitness, as well as proper nutrition.

    Physical development in children follows a directional pattern. Large muscles develop before small muscles. The Child Academy curriculum actively engages a child’s mind and body through multidisciplinary activities that invite children to touch, climb, crawl, and manipulate objects and ideas.

    Second Language Acquisition

    Learning a second language is a complex social and cognitive process. It includes phases from pre-production where children observe and respond but only with gestures. Over time, the child will progress into speech emergence and then ultimately gain fluency both in second language comprehension and communication.

    The Child Academy curriculum includes numerous bilingual tools, colorful visual aids, and hands-on projects that invite children from diverse language backgrounds to participate successfully in the learning community and routines of day. Engaging the child and encouraging him to express himself in the second language throughout the day builds natural connections between real-life and language concepts.

    Social & Emotional

    Social and emotional development refers to a child’s ability to identify feelings, self-regulate and build relationships. High-quality relationships correlate to positive outcomes for young children. Brain research also verifies that emotional and cognitive development are interrelated. Therefore, we integrate a social-emotional component into all TCA lesson plans because young children who have strong social and emotional development are more likely to have good academic performance in future schooling.


    Baby Classes

    Baby ELITE:

    Baby ELITE is an Educational and Physical Developmental Program for infants of the ages 3 months up to 12 months. This program was carefully designed with developmental aspects of inspirations by the baby sign language, the German Pekip program, the Montessori learning and the International Infant Massage Concept.
    This unique 12 - Week Program was designed to cover all Educational and Physical developmental aspects of an infant to reach maximal developmental skills learning. The Program covers 5 foundational developmental stages:


    Postnatal Mommy & Baby Exercise Course:

    Age Group 2-10 months|6 - Week Program|45min each session|Wednesday’s 2pm

    Our Postnatal Exercise Class is a unique, interactive and effective way to exercise while bonding with your baby.

    Postnatal Recovery Course. Exercises are focused on rebuilding strength after pregnancy and birth. Interactive movements are adapted to suit all baby ages of 2 to 12 months

    The class is held in English by professionals such as a German Doula, as well as certified in Pre- and Postnatal training.


    Infant Massage Parent Course:

    Age Group 2-12 months|6 - Week Program|45min each session|Monday’s 2pm

    This professional instructed massage course for your infant will teach a comprehensive course which includes all body massage strokes to support baby overall relaxation and health, relief growing pains and discomfort.

    This beautiful course supports baby and parental bonding. Suitable for Infant age 2-10 months.

    Taught by a certified trained instructor by the official International Association of Infant Massage.

    Early Education Foundation

    Mommybow's Early Education Foundation (EEF) is a unique experience that establishes an effortless, anxiety-free transition into preschool for young learners between the ages of 14-24 months. Parents and Babies will partake in a twice weekly, half-day routine influenced by The Child Academy curriculum and led by experienced, qualified teachers. Focusing on sensory, pre-phonics/ language development, art, and Montessori inspired classes. EEF class will ease into the pre-k/ nursery level classes at The Child Academy when they enroll their child following the completion of Mommybow's Early Education Foundation.

  • Our Campuses

    German Centre Campus

    Jinqiao Campus

    Hongfeng Campus

    Lujizui Campus​

    Ningbo Nantang Campus

    Ningbo Hengfeng Kindergarten