History of Le Jardin des Enfants

Why Le Jardin des Enfants?

The Mini-Maternelle program is an exciting new way for parents to provide their children with the building blocks needed for a lifetime of learning while exposing them to the benefits of a foreign language in a nurturing and supportive environment.

It is not necessary for the parents of the child to speak French — only that they recognize the many benefits of exposing their child to a foreign language and culture at a young age! The program is formulated to meet the unique needs of each child, to develop his or her self-esteem and to improve needed skills. The child will seamlessly be exposed to French while developing essential cognitive and motor skills and while having a whole lot of creative fun!

When did Le Jardin des Enfants start?

JDE was established in 2014.

Ali Keech and Pascale Setbon, both educators, met in Brooklyn  in 2010 when French bilingual education was taking hold in the Big Apple.  A year after Pascale and Ali met, Ali moved to Los Angeles and upon arriving on the West Coast, found many communities full of progressive, like-minded parents seeking a strong bilingual preschool program that would give their child a solid foundation for a curiosity-filled life. Knowing of Pascale’s immense success in Brooklyn with her educational program The Language and Laughter Studio, the two decide to export the progressive, experiential and French language immersion philosophy that had become a rock in New York French education, to the sunny streets of Los Angeles. And this is how Le Jardin des Enfants was born.

The Le Jardin des Enfants program is adapted from France’s National Education guidelines and based on the successful programming at LLS.

Educator Bios

Ms. Axelle
Lead Teacher

I am a French native and have lived in Los Angeles for the last 10 years. I studied communication and marketing and have a background in theater at the National Conservatory of Orleans. After moving to the United States, I discovered a new passion for teaching. I have experience with adult language lessons to bilingual children’s theater classes.In 2014, I completed my Early Childhood Education units with UCLA. My background in Early Education includes 4 years of lead teaching in a French immersion preschool. This experience gives me the ability to adjust learning opportunities for my students. I have a positive and engaging approach in my teaching style. 

Ms. Diane
Director

Diane has earned her degree in Child Development with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education. She is a certified early education, preschool teacher, and director in the State of California. In her free time she likes to go on walks with her family, gardening, and hiking. Also, her passion includes researching early education.

Her philosophy is that learning through play requires active participation, patience, and thoughtful guidance. In these moments, teachers are helping the students reach the next level in development milestones and this helps to create the foundation for later learning.

Ms. Charlotte
Parent and Me Teacher

I am a dynamic and enthusiastic teacher and a native of France. In 2006 I graduated with an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. Also, I am a professional dancer and was recently certified as a Zumbini instructor. My experience includes working in early education and teaching dance to children. As a new mum, I am excited to lead the parent and me classes. It is a great way of bonding with your little one and there are many benefits of learning a new language at a younger age.

Ali Keech
Founder

Ali is a certified preschool and elementary school teacher in California and New York State and holds a bilingual teaching credential for French. She graduated with a Master’s of Arts in Bilingual/Bicultural Childhood Education from Columbia University in New York City and has worked in various multilingual and educational settings. Her proudest moments yet, however, have been the births of her children, Cecily and Spencer, who, together with her husband and family and friends, are being raised to be multilingual global citizens.

Pascale Setbon
Founder

Pascale Setbon was born in 1972 in the Quartier Latin of Paris. She attended La Sorbonne where she earned a BA in Management and an MA in Marketing. Pascale relocated with her family to New York in 1997, where she experienced great difficulty in finding bilingual educational programs for her two young children. She soon found that there were many ther families in the same situation who were looking for a program to support their desire to maintain and strengthen a multicultural identity and heritage. Pascale decided to explore this dilemma by attending several language workshops and conferences given by Bank Street College, the Board of Education, and other accredited institutes. After four years of dedicated research and studies, Pascale was ready to share with others what she had learned. She helped to develop the French Playgroups curriculum at the International School of Brooklyn and for two years worked at the French Institute in Manhattan. In 2005 Pascale launched her own language-diverse learning program, L’isle Aux Enfants at the fledgling Language and Laughter Studio (LLS).

Four years later, LLS has become a full-fledged learning center for early bilingual education with more than 25 different classes in French and Spanish. Pascale believes that children learn and make sense of their world through first-hand experiences with people and materials. With this approach in mind, Pascale encourages children to immerse themselves in the a second language through everyday activities. Complementing tacit experiential language acquisition with focused directives, classes at LLS help to facilitate bilingualism where children learn to hear, understand, and speak foreign languages with confidence and pride.