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Early Years - Zurich

6 months to 4 years

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The focus for our youngest children is on creating a safe and secure environment for each child while stimulating language, cognitive development, social and emotional development and motor skills.

The teachers use enquiry-based learning to allow the children to discover the world around them. They facilitate learning through play and provide infants and toddlers with opportunities to explore various topics using their senses. In Pre-School the teachers continue with enquiry based learning and encourage the children to take a more active role by asking questions and discovering the answers based upon a broad given theme.

Early Years (0-3 years)

Max. 8 children for 6-18 months groups

Max. 11 children for 18-36 months groups


2-3 teachers per group

2 days min. attendance

German and English


Drop-off: 07:30 – 09:00

Pick-up: 15:45 – 18:30

Pre-School (3-4 years)

Max. 16 children per group


1-2 teachers per group

3 days min. attendance

German and English


Drop-off: 07:30 – 09:00

Pick-up: 15:45 – 18:30


The Early Years curriculum is centred around the needs of each individual child to discover and develop their curiosity. We therefore provide a safe and secure environment for each child to explore their world through their senses. There are precise objectives in several areas of learning, which will guide the teacher to develop the small child's skills in a caring and holistic manner. Parent teacher conferences are an ideal opportunity to discuss the individual needs of the children, set new objectives and help find continuity between home and school as the children achieve those early childhood milestones.

The Pre-School programme encourages children to fully engage in enquiry-based learning. With this method, children choose topics to learn by asking questions based upon a broad given theme. Teachers then use the children’s questions to guide the direction of the theme and help the children “discover” the answers.


With English and German teachers on the group each day, the children are encouraged to ask questions while they explore and investigate their world. Pre-School children also begin to play with the two languages as they begin to notice similarities and differences in the language sounds. While we use baby sign language in the Early Years, literacy is introduced in Pre-School using a UK based phonics programme.



School begins
Circle time


Snack time


Free choice centres
Structured centres
Outdoor play


Lunch time


Sleep time
Quiet time for non-sleepers


Free choice centres
Structured centres or outdoor play


School ends
Optional Day Care or ASC


How does the settling-in process work? (0-3 Years, Early Years)

The parent spends time in the setting with his or her child and interacts with the teacher, plays with the new toys, and helps the child discover the new surroundings. On the first day, this can be an hour, hour and a half, during a morning or afternoon. The following days we repeat the same routine and gauge the child's comfort level in the new rooms with new faces and decide when to try the first short separation. The process is very much based on the child's needs, as well as the parent's comfort level, so it is difficult to put an exact time frame on this special process. We gradually lengthen the separation time and begin adding routine elements of our day: circle time, snack time, activity/play time, lunch, sleep, afternoon routines, until the child is comfortable with a full Tandem IMS day.

How does the settling-in process work? (3-4 Years, Pre-School)

Settling-in for Pre-School children is typically a faster process than Early Years settling-in and full days are often possible from the very beginning. As the process is very much based on both the child's and the parents' needs, we can of course start slowly with half days and gradually work up to full days.

Do you teach literacy and numeracy?

We offer a playful introduction to letters and numbers based on the children's interests. The BBC phonics programme Alphablocks is introduced to children in Pre-School and the children are also encouraged to play with the sounds within both English and German.

How often do you go outside with the children?

We go outside once a day, regardless of weather. We strive for at least two Outdoor/Forest Mornings a month and often spend an entire day outdoors once the weather is warmer in the spring and summer months.

How do you support toilet training?

This is a child-initiated process and is closely observed and supported by the class teachers in Early Years and Pre-School. Close communication and teamwork between teachers and parents help this important process immensely.

Interesting to know

Baby Sign Language

Baby Sign Language

Learn about the benefits of sign language for babies.



Exciting activities for children of 3 years.

Tuition Fees

Tuition Fees

Get all the information you need regarding tuition fees.

Your child’s teachers

Julia Helling
Team Leader
Michaela Suter
Sokha Sean
Sonja Heimo
Iris Velu
Delany Walsh-Schär
Yathusa Vijayakumar
Christina Schmid
Art Teacher Pre-School
Melin Bozcicek
Dean Bochicchio
Edina Kryeziu
SLU (2)
Sookmi Lutz


Tandem IMS

Massi grew up in the translanguaging environment of Tandem IMS, becoming fluent in both English and German from an early age. The enquiry-based learning allowed him to be himself, learning easily by asking questions constantly. We are grateful to all the teachers that accompanied him since he was two years old. Thank you for your patience, professionalism, creativity, and engagement. Tandem IMS and its teachers are putting a lot of effort in recognising each child's needs, adapting to their rhythm, their curiosity, making everyone feel unique. 

Massi and his parents
Early Years, Pre-School, Kindergarten
Luca and his dad-1

Seeing our children becoming less and less happy attending public school, we felt compelled to look for a better alternative that could meet their needs.  What we found turned out to be so much more than expected: an inspiring culture, motivating teachers, and an exciting multilingual spirit.  While learning is never easy and often demanding, for our children, it suddenly became a fun and productive experience.  The depth and breadth of the learning opportunity offered by this school is nothing short of great!

Luca and his dad
Primary School

It was an incredible journey for the last 6 years and we will be missing every single day of this experience. Dedicated teachers truly loving the kids and the daily job they do, dedicated educational team, and outstanding curriculum to make sure kids are not only prepared for day-to-day life, but also for the school after. But more importantly, are the social skills which Arthur and Andrew watched and learned every day. Something, one can’t buy for money but have it in your heart.

Arthur, Andrew and their mum
Early Years and Pre-School

Neven started in Kiga 1 and stayed until the end of Primary 6, a total of 8 years. He is a very active and lively boy. All the different teachers he had at Tandem IMS were able to motivate and interest him through all these years. They recognised his strengths and supported him when needed. Neven successfully passed the Gymiprüfung and also in Gymnasium it shows how well he is prepared for learning in a demanding environment. As we’re both working parents we always felt understood and supported by Tandem IMS. If we would start again with a younger child we would choose Tandem IMS again.

Neven and his mum
Primary School

Tandem IMS's sense of community and the depth of care and dedication teachers and staff bring to the school, is what makes it so special. At Tandem IMS, teachers get to know each child individually and take time to understand the best ways to help them learn and grow. Children learn to treat each other with respect, work together, and to appreciate differences of background, identity, and perspective. Both socially and academically, our son greatly benefitted from Tandem IMS's nurturing learning environment.

Viggo and his parents
Mariana and mum

Mariana thrived in the familiar atmosphere of Tandem IMS. The bilingual education prepared her well for further language study, and the teachers were very professional, committed and caring of my child’s needs. After leaving Tandem IMS, Mariana settled exceptionally well in her new school and was academically well prepared for the new demands. Thank you, Tandem IMS!

Mariana and her mum
Primary School

At Tandem IMS, I really felt that the children were growing their knowledge and improving their language skills in both, English and German. Caspar entered at the age of 4 into kindergarten 1 and stayed for 2 years. He could not speak one word of English and German when he joined, since we speak Italian and Russian at home. When he finished kindergarten 2 at the age of 6, he could communicate very well in both English and German and we were very proud of him.

Caspar and his dad
Parents of Andrew

Tandem IMS was the best choice and the best investment for our child. Tandem IMS makes parents confident that their child is in the best hands. The experience, the education and the engagement level of the teachers is set at the highest standards. And as a bonus, our little son was taught in 2 languages, so that for the Kindergarten he is well prepared and speaks, without any difficulties, German and English on top of Russian. Without any hesitations, our younger little baby was also enrolled at Tandem IMS.

Andrew and his family
Early Years and Pre-School
Mother and Cedric

We were impressed how quickly Cédric settled in which was also due to the warm and caring atmosphere that welcomed him. Cédric loved to go to Tandem IMS as he found an environment that adapted to his needs and gave him brain food (he is a very curious boy). We felt that the excellent teachers recognize the strengths of each child individually and support children to develop further. During his time at Tandem IMS, Cédric progressed impressively and he always felt very safe and was very eager to go to Tandem IMS.

Cédric and his mum

Emma enjoyed the inspiring environment, the caring teachers and the super interesting curriculum. Each day was different and the children learned a lot by going through the various subjects that were spread throughout the year. A lot of effort also goes into organising special events through which the children can discover the entire world. Emma benefited a lot from Tandem and was now ready to go to kindergarten. We are very grateful for the great time Emma spent at Tandem IMS and are missing the team a lot!

Emma and her mum
Early Years and Pre-School


Find out what's happening at Tandem IMS

Multi-Activity Summer Camp 2022

18.-22.07.2022 | 4-10 year olds
Discover the many fun activities your child will enjoy during our Multi-Activity Summer Camp 2022: Flyer.

Opening: Erlenbach for 0-4 years

In August, our new location for Early Years and Pre-School (0-4 years) will open in Erlenbach. Find out more.

extra curricular activities 2021/22

Holiday Camps and After School Clubs for School Year 2021/22 - find out more.

Thank you for your interest in our school

We recognize that your choice of school will be one of the most important decisions you face. As a first step please fill out the Enquiry Form. A member of our admissions team will then contact you to arrange a visit as this is most certainly the best way to get to know us.