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New Preschool Center to Open in Astoria, Bringing Mandarin Immersion and G&T Education

March 14, 2017 By Staff Report

Astoria parents won’t have to travel into the city for their pre-school children to receive a standard of education that is typically only available to high-income earners and celebrities.

Talent Prep Astoria Preschool, located at 35-16 Astoria Blvd, will officially open its doors in April and will provide children ages 2 to 4 with a quality education. It is the first preschool center to open in Queens under the Talent Prep brand founded by borough native Yobe Qiu.

Yobe, who was a preschool teacher at the “Avenues: The World School” in Chelsea, said she wants families in Queens to have the quality language immersion and Gifted & Talented (G&T) education that celebrities like Tom Cruise afford their children, but at a much more affordable and accessible level.

“After teaching for many years, I realized that this type of education shouldn’t be exclusive to children of wealthy parents in Manhattan,” Qiu said. “I live in Queens, so I looked for a place where we could open a center like this to serve parents in the neighborhood and finally found one in Astoria.”

The center currently has three classrooms in total, with two teachers in each room. Each classroom has one teacher who can offer bi-lingual instruction in Mandarin.

The preschool curriculum focuses on the development of each child’s emotional / physical growth as well as communication skills through the use of music, art, movement, puzzles and books. This also includes yoga instruction safely designed for children.

Parents can enroll their kids in half-day or full-day classes, and beginning at the age of 3 enlist their kids in Gifted & Talented preparatory sessions as well as the coveted Mandarin Immersion program.

More Than a Preschool

“G&T preparation and Mandarin immersion is in large demand right now, especially for new parents in the neighborhood,” said founder Yobe Qiu.

The Gifted & Talented program offers specialized instruction to prepare kids to pass the G&T exam offered by the city in January.

“Our instructors conduct private and small group sessions, in which they familiarize the students with the test questions, give them practice tests, and evaluate students’ individual strengths and weaknesses,” Yobe shared. “Our practices and activities ensure that students are more confident and know how to solve the challenges they will encounter on the test.”

In order for parents of enrolled students to stay informed of their children’s progress, Talent Prep will send them a weekly e-mail on all the instruction items that were covered, as well as ideas and guides on how to practice with their kids at home.

After a child completes seven G&T sessions at Talent Prep, an individualized and detailed report is written and discussed with parents to go over their child’s progress and determine the best approach to continue their education.

Children learning mandarin characters

Instruction for Older Children

For children ages 4 to 8, Talent Prep’s Mandarin Immersion program is offered on weekends. Alternatively, parents may enroll their kids into weekend tutoring for ELA reading and writing. There, children are taught how to master literacy and composition skills, preparing them for relevant state testing.

Math, Robotics and STEM classes are also made available for children in grades K to 5 on weekends and weekday afternoons. For parents who wish to plan ahead, a 10-week full day summer camp that incorporates all of the programs Talent Prep has to offer is open for registration as well.

“We are excited to host open houses on weekends this month so we can show parents in Astoria all that we have to offer,” said Qiu.

For more information, including rates and how children can obtain a free Gifted and Talented Assessment, interested parents are asked to e-mail or visit their website at:

Sample preschool schedule (Click to Enlarge)

Note: Talent Prep is an advertiser of the Astoria Post.

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Click for Comments 
Jennifer Nicolosi

As a working mom going through the education system today, it’s a fierce competition out there when you’re trying to offer the best for your children. I’m thankful that there’s a program and people in the neighborhood that can provide a variety of support. This place is only a couple blocks from me, I’ll be checking it out for myself what this place really has to offer instead of making assumptions.

Yvonne P.

My kids actually go to their other location. But so glad that they have a new location closer to my house. They have a lot of great outdoor and indoor activities like yoga and etc. They have incredible teachers. It’s quite affordable, that’s why both my kids go there. I saw a dramatic change in their grades. I’m so glad they moved to astoria!

Sara Greenberg

If the rates did not increase from December when I first inquired, it is actually very affordable. The location has been standing for quite some time. The lady who we met was extremely knowledgable, now this explains a lot. Too bad they did not open in time for my child so we chose a different program.


Douche comment Joey. Maybe Billy, like many of us, are curious about rates because managing our finances and giving our kids the best resources are of utmost importance.


I’ll bet it isn’t going to be “affordable” but nice to have options and seems like a well thought out program although it seems to lack any outdoor play or age appropriate sports.

Glad my kids are grown up and I don’t need to make these kinds of choices.


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