Je m’appelle Emmanuelle (Manu). J’ai créé Ma Petite École en 2006 afin de permettre à vos enfants de bénéficier d’une première expérience scolaire enrichissante.

Notre programme de maternelle est organisé en petite, moyenne et grande section en fonction de l'âge et du développement de chaque élève.

Au cours de leur scolarité, les enfants vont développer leurs facultés fondamentales, perfectionner leur langage et commencer à découvrir l'univers de l'écrit, celui des nombres et d'autres domaines d'apprentissage.



Ma Petite École is a Family Child Care Home offering a French preschool curriculum.
Here, children enjoy learning in a bilingual environment. Boys and girls ranging in age from 2 ½ - 6 learn a new language with guidance from Emmanuelle Benefield, a native of France, and her husband Brian. Our school offers kindergarten as well.


“As an educator for thirty years and an administrator for twenty-five of those years, I have worked with hundreds of teachers. Emmanuelle is among the best. She is a prime candidate to support the theory that teachers are born, not made.

As an instructor, Emmanuelle quickly assesses the needs of her students and devises a program that challenges them and holds their interest. She is creative in her lesson planning, mixing her teacher-centered activities with hands-on lessons that engage the students in a very active, meaningful way.

Students thrive in her classroom because she creates a culture that encourages them to grow intellectually while inviting them to develop a community where respect for themselves and their classmates is paramount.”

Gordon Sharafinski, Head of the Schools of the Sacred Heart, San Francisco

“What wonderful writing! And at such a young age. Their future kindergarten teachers will have to devise new challenges for these accomplished writers! I just have to say how nice it is to see the lovely life they lead at Ma Petite École.”


“These guys have better handwriting than I do.”


“The video of Luke reading is absolutely priceless, and the idea very thoughtful of you. Thank you.

He is so lucky to have you to push him in his skill development. He really loves school!”



“We are Duncan's grandparents. You do a terrific job and have done wonders for him. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS.”

Rog and Liz


Two snacks and a healthy, organic lunch are included with tuition. Meals are served family style and prepared with local, fresh, organic and seasonal ingredients. Meats are free from hormones, antibiotics and beef is always pasture raised. Eggs are free range as well.

Meals are healthy and regularly expose the children to French cuisine as well as international cuisine.


Crêpes françaisesThe children are encouraged to use teamwork by participating in both preparation and clean-up.

The children also raise homegrown vegetables and herbs in our garden.

All of these activities contribute to a greater appreciation for the value of locally grown produce.



On special occasions or for snacks, we proudly serve tasty desserts and "viennoiseries" from local French purveyor:



At Ma Petite École, the low teacher to student ratio allows students to thrive through individual and personal attention. The program is based on yearly enrollment in order to provide continuity for the students. Tuition is paid on a monthly basis and is due on the first day of each month. 


Full Day - Monday through Thursday, 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Friday pick-up is at 3:30 p.m.

2021 - 2022  Holidays

  • Labor Day (Monday, September 9, 2021)
  • Thanksgiving Break (Monday, November 22 through Friday, November 26, 2021)
  • Winter Break (Monday, December 22 through Friday, December 31, 2021. School resumes on Monday, January 3, 2022)
  • Presidents' Day (Monday, February 21, 2022)
  • Spring Break (Monday, March 21 through Friday, March 25, 2022)
  • Memorial Day (Monday, May 30, 2022)
  • Independence Day (Monday, July 4, 2022)
  • Summer Break (Monday, June 27, 2022)
The 2022-2023 school year starts on Monday, August 8 2022
August through June are full tuition months.

At Ma Petite École, our program follows the curriculum established by the French Ministry of Education. The children’s work is focused on developing memory and creativity, reasoning and imagination, diligence and autonomy, and fostering the spirit of initiative. Intellectual development is stimulated with observation, experimentation, and active exploration; we give children opportunities to build on their understandings. We offer a structured and clearly defined teaching program oriented toward the acquisition of core knowledge. Children benefit from coaching that helps them understand why reading, math and science knowledge is useful to them. Inspired by the children's interests and passions, we guide them through learning tasks, finding information, and seeking multiple perspectives. 


In their first year, children aged between two-and-a half and three-and-a-half enter the “Toute Petite Section” program. We focus on the following subjects:

  • Socialization and interaction with other children and teachers. Social skills are encouraged through group play, learning responsible behavior, and respect for others. Emotional growth is cultivated by promoting cooperation, a positive self-image, as well as developing trust and independence.
  • Behavior towards learning: Listening to directions and focusing on directed activities in order to develop attention span.
  • Immersion in the French oral language though interaction in the classroom and nursery rhymes.
  • Early literacy.
  • Fine motor skills: Drawing circles, as well as horizontal, vertical, and interrupted lines.
  • Mathematics: Counting up to ten, and beginning to write numbers up to three, depending on the child’s developmental stage. Matching numbers with a quantity. Recognizing and naming shapes.


In their second year, children aged between three-and-a-half and four-and-a-half enter the “Petite Section” program. We focus on the following subjects:

  • Handwriting: Lower and upper case alphabet. Writing short, simple words where the relationship of letters to sounds has been studied.
  • Literacy: Differentiating sounds. Distinguishing the syllables of a spoken word. Recognizing the same syllable in several statements.
  • Mathematics: Writing numbers up to 20. Counting orally up to 30. 
  • Nature and Science: Children observe different forms of life. Keeping animals, and growing plants and vegetables are valuable ways of learning about life cycles.
  • Time: Understanding the cyclical aspects of certain phenomena (i.e. the seasons) or representations of time (i.e. the week and the month).
  • Space: Learning where to place themselves geographically on both a local (city, state and country) and global level.
  • Arts: Drawing, painting and craft activities are important methods of expression. The children discover by experimenting with different materials.


In their third year, children aged between four-and-a-half and five-and-a-half enter the "Moyenne Section" program. We focus on the following subjects:

  • Learning how to read for the children who have been at Ma Petite École in "Toute Petite section" and "Petite Section."
  • Writing in lower case, and recognizing or writing cursive letters. 
  • Mathematics: Exploring different counting patterns like skip counting, learning mathematical symbols (i.e. +, -, =) and techniques, and practicing addition and subtraction. Our program uses the world renowened Singapore method. 
  • Time and space concepts: Learning how to say the date. Situating events in relation to others.
  • Word discovery: Introduction to art and customs for different cultures. Raising an awareness of others, and nurturing respect for differences.

At MPÉ, we offer a rich kindergarten program for children who have started with us at an early age. They enter elementary school in First Grade with strong school skills and an eagerness to learn.

For more details on the foundation of our curriculum, you can refer to the French Ministry of Education’s website:



Our Partner