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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.

Tandem IMS Zurich Early Years Tandem IMS Zurich Early Years Tandem IMS Zurich Early Years Tandem IMS Zurich Early Years Tandem IMS Zurich Early Years



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 & Teacher
Michaela Suter
Sokha Sean
Iris Velu
Zharai Bah
Sonja Heimo
Christina Schmid
Art Teacher Pre-School
Jade Filali
Glory Ougishwa
Andrea Sigrist
Milijana Barudzija
Dean Bochicchio


Mariana and mum

Mariana thrived in the familiar atmosphere of Tandem. 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, Mariana settled exceptionally well in her new school and was academically well prepared for the new demands. Thank you, Tandem!

Mariana and her mum
Primary School

At Tandem, 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 was the best choice and the best investment for our child. Tandem 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.

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 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, Cédric progressed impressively and he always felt very safe and was very eager to go to Tandem.

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 and are missing the team a lot!

Emma and her mum
Early Years and Pre-School


Find out what's happening at Tandem IMS


Are you wondering when your child should learn a second or third language? Our experience shows that there are numerous benefits of becoming multilingual, especially from an early age. Find out more in our blog.

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