This offering is a NextSeed Community Bridge Note, designed to provide working capital for businesses affected by the current economic downturn. This is being conducted on an expedited basis pursuant to the SEC’s temporary regulatory COVID-19 relief.  Click here for more information about NextSeed's Community Bridge Note.


  • 100% Mandarin and Spanish immersion program for children 18 months to 2nd grade.
  • Curriculum designed around emerging neuroscience on the linguistic genius of the young brain.
  • Morningside PlayCare graduates have been accepted at the premier Mandarin and Spanish immersion elementary independent day schools in New York City.
  • 148% YOY growth from 2018 to 2019.
  • 2021 expansion goals include a new facility, and a contract with the City of New York to provide Pre-K services.
  • Full enrollment is planned for fall 2020, using both in-person and remote services.


Campaign Updates

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September 1, 2020

Morningside PlayCare is Closing Early!

Morningside PlayCare has decided to close its offering early, with a new closing date of September 8, 2020. If Morningside PlayCare is under its maximum funding goal before that date, it will continue to accept investments until the new closing date. If you've invested in Morningside PlayCare, you have the option to cancel your commitment until 11:59 pm CST on September 6, 2020.

The NextSeed Team

About Morningside PlayCare

Morningside PlayCare cultivates the language genius, open mindedness, and wonder-filled hearts of young children. We do this by providing nurturing care, as we immerse children in the Mandarin and Spanish languages through play, authentic creative activities, Yoga and exploration of Nature. In 2015 Mom/Educator, Dr. Gail Foster, approached leaders in the field of early childhood education and linguistics with a vision: Let’s establish a model nursery school specifically designed to tap the emerging neuroscience on the linguistic genius of the young brain. With support from scholars and practitioners, Dr. Foster recruited Columbia affiliated families with toddlers to collaborate in the start-up of an early childhood program that would give their children the gift of multilingualism. This team helped open the first home of the Morningside PlayCare on the 18th floor of a residential building in beautiful Morningside Gardens.

Our mission is to help create a generation of young Americans distinguished to serve as bridge builders, peacemakers, and citizen diplomats. We envision young adults who are globally and academically competent, multilingual, fluent in Chinese and Latino culture, living in loving connection with nature, confident in their ability to build and create, and aspiring to a planet where all have the opportunity to realize their potential.

Morningside PlayCare (MPC) is located in the lovely Morningside Gardens, a residential co-op community in Morningside Heights, New York City.

Curriculum & Philosophy

Morningside PlayCare is a 100% Mandarin and Spanish immersion program. Morningside PlayCare's distinctive play-based and nature-based curriculum was inspired by the Hawthorne Valley Waldorf school, Flying Deer Nature Center, and yoga.

From the ages of 0-5, the young brain is voraciously acquiring language. The brain is primed for language acquisition during early childhood. So it makes sense to first teach a more challenging language (for Americans) like Mandarin. We also teach Spanish because young children are neurologically capable of acquiring multiple languages simultaneously. 

The process of simultaneously acquiring two (or three) languages makes the brain more agile, more adept at learning other skills when they reach grade school. And each language seems to prime the brain for another. 

The Mandarin taught to the students at MPC is acquired as quickly as the languages being taught by parents at home - English, Spanish, French, Hebrew or Japanese (MPC currently enrolls children from each of these linguistic backgrounds).

Campaign Goal

By raising capital on NextSeed, our goal is to ensure we have continued ability to provide our critical services to the children and families we serve. We are inviting those who support this vision to invest in our success as we recover from setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Business

Our Big Vision: Improve cross-cultural relations by increasing cross-cultural communication. 

  • First design a model to rapidly create a multilingual American citizenry.
  • Develop best practices in early childhood language immersion. 
  • Produce multilingual children. 
  • Spawn licensed, home-based childcare programs employing those fluent in languages other than English. 
  • Grow into an elementary school. 
  • Be a lab for scholars. 
  • Expand our services geographically. 
  • Transform the way language is taught in the United States. 

Our Services & Market: Morningside PlayCare teaches Mandarin and Spanish to children ages 18 months to 6 years in a full-day and After School childcare program. The curriculum includes science and yoga in a play-based, language immersion, and green program. As our knowledge base grows, we contribute to the field by collecting data, reporting at professional conferences, and helping to organize this emerging field.

An American Problem

US Practice is Out of Sync with Research: According to Neuroscience, ages 0 to 5 are when children are “geniuses” at learning foreign languages. And, according to linguists, language immersion is the most effective approach. Our own experience is that children immersed in a second language from age 1, achieve fluency by age 5. Yet in the US, there are only a few early childhood language immersion programs. Americans remain monolingual, even as the importance of diplomatic, social, and business relations with countries like China rises. Americans graduate high school without critical language skills; i.e. critical global skills. 

US Human Resources are Untapped: Many unemployed and underemployed American citizens and residents have native fluency in languages other than English. Their language skills, a national treasure, are under-tapped.

A Business Solution

Our Outcomes: MPC’s first child is now fluent in Mandarin, Spanish and English at age 5. Children who remain in our program or graduate and attend immersion elementary schools, have strong Mandarin skills as evidenced on formal and informal assessments. Our work has been well received at national Mandarin language conferences. Our business is profitable and we continue to engage with colleagues to define this sector.

Impact of COVID-19

COVID-19 Has Moved MPC to Online Teaching Services And Stunted Our Capacity to Provide Childcare.

COVID-19 & NYC Lock-Down Impact: Expecting to have a soaring year, we were instead taken off trajectory for these 2021 expansion goals: A new facility, a contract with the City of New York to provide PreK services, and full enrollment for fall 2020. Parents are now re-assessing their need for out-of-home, and full-time childcare. 

Our niche market is keeping their children home for the summer. They are feeling both locked-down and hopeful, awaiting a solution to their childcare needs. They want a return to childcare and language learning in the fall – if it’s safe. Meanwhile, new state regulations for social distancing which require fewer children per class, will negatively impact the fall enrollment capacity with implications to our fall income.

COVID-19 Impact on Tuition Income: Parents who remained employed have loyally continued to pay full tuition - this despite a gross reduction in our services. Other loyal families, the COVID unemployed, paid tuition at greatly reduced rates (30% are paying 75% less in tuition). Fall tuition deposits, usually generated in spring and summer have dropped off by 80%, as parents ask us to delay requests for fall tuition commitments. Recruited families in the pipeline pre-COVID are hopeful but tentative, with about half freezing payments. New recruitment and enrollments froze early April. Some families have left New York City, not sure when they will return; others are considering it.

The Bottom Lines:

  1. Online childcare is not childcare. 
  2. Parents working from home still need childcare. 
  3. Parents are frozen with fear in the face of existing industry options and general uncertainty. 
  4. Online learning as it exists industry-wide, is not an effective way for young children to learn language or develop social and other skills.

Recovery Plan

Our Measures to Mitigate the Impact of COVID: In late March, with agility and parent support, we created a rich online platform, Mighty Morningside. It includes live 3 hour morning interactive classes and nature activity kits sent to homes. 

This continuation of services was critical to the children’s retention of language skills. Parent input informed a successful build-out. We created a COVID scholarship fund from lunch rebates. Attendance in online classes has been 90% , a testament to the quality of our program, and parent commitment to sustaining their child's language acquisition. 

To cut expenses, we renegotiated contracts, and reduced staff hours and CEO salary. We also applied for loans and grants. While devastated on one front, we see this disruption as an opportunity to innovate our field.

Planning Funding for a New Model: Radical changes in home, work, school, and social life are upon us – not to mention changing geopolitics. We need the resources of down-time and specialists to assess our best ideas for innovation, and consider others. Parents are afraid to enroll now – Perfect! We will use the time to plan.


Impact on Cognitive Development
Foreign Language Acquisition and the Young Brain.
(University of Washington)

There has been a revolution in our understanding of children’s minds, brains, and learning capacities. We now recognize that young children know, feel, and learn more than we ever imagined. In laboratories at I-LABS and around the world, children’s natural curiosity and drive to learn is being uncovered in basic research studies. Just as basic research in genetic mechanisms led to the Genome Project, discoveries about the developing mind set the stage for a new science of learning—requiring new policies and programs. Combining interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches, I-LABS scientists are on the forefront of these basic discoveries. 

Ben-Zeev, S. (1977) hypothesized that mutual interference between a bilingual child's two languages forces the child to develop particular coping strategies which in some ways accelerate cognitive development. In all groups, parent occupation and education level were similarly high. In spite of lower vocabulary level, bilinguals showed more advanced processing of verbal material, more discriminating perceptual distinctions, more propensity to search for structure in perceptual situations, and more capacity to reorganize their perceptions in response to feedback.

Impact on Overall Academic Performance
Foreign Language Acquisition and the Young Brain
(University of Washington)

  • Language learning correlates with higher academic achievement on standardized test measures.
  • Language learning is beneficial to both monolingual English and English language learners in bilingual and two-way immersion programs.
  • Language learning is beneficial in the development of students’ reading abilities.
  • There is evidence that language learners transfer skills from one language to another.
  • There is a correlation between second-language learning and increased linguistic awareness.
  • There is a correlation between language learning and students’ ability to hypothesize in science.
  • Language learning can benefit all students.
  • There is a correlation between young children’s second language development and the development of print awareness.
  • Heritage learners who use their language skills to interpret and translate for family members experience higher academic performance and greater self-efficacy.
  • There is a correlation between language study and higher scores on the SAT and ACT Tests.
  • There is a correlation between high school foreign language study and higher academic performance at the college level.
  • Language learning provides cognitive benefits to students.
  • Language learning affects attitudes and beliefs about language learning and about other cultures.

Impact on Future SAT SCORES
SAT scores correlate with years of language study.
Foreign language study and SAT-verbal scores.

Modern Language Journal, 71(4), 381-387. Cooper, T. C. (1987).

Comparison of verbal Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and California Achievement Test (CAT) scores of high school students who had or had not taken at least one year of foreign language study supported the conclusion that length of foreign language study was positively related to high SAT verbal scores.

Eddy, P. A. (1981). The effect of foreign language study in high school on verbal ability as measured by the scholastic aptitude test-verbal. Final report. U.S.; District of Columbia, from ERIC database.

Students in the eleventh grade in three Montgomery County, Maryland, high schools were the subjects of a study to determine the effect of foreign language study on performance on the verbal section of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The following results were reported: (1) when verbal ability is controlled, students who study foreign language for longer periods of time will do better on various SAT sub-tests and on the SAT-Verbal as a whole than students who have studied less foreign language; (2) having studied two foreign languages has no significant effect on SAT scores or on scores on the Test of Academic Progress (TAP); (3) language studied has no differential effect on SAT or TAP scores; and (4) there is some evidence that higher grades in foreign language study will increase the effect of this study on SAT scores (particularly the reading and vocabulary sub-scores). In conclusion, it appears that the effect of foreign language study makes itself felt more in the area of vocabulary development than it does in that of English structure use.

The Team

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Gail Foster. Ed.D.
Founder and CEO

Dr. Gail Foster has a 20 year history as an educational entrepreneur developing frontier programs in her field. A graduate of Columbia University's Teachers College, her experience includes consulting and leadership service to school start-up entrepreneurs, service as a high school administrator, and contributing to the field as a published research scholar. 

In addition, she has served as a nonprofit administrator, organizational consultant, teacher trainer, and classroom teacher Pre-K to Higher Ed. Dr. Foster has served on many distinguished boards, including the national Council on American Private Education and various private and charter school boards. As a research scholar at the RAND Corporation, the Institute for Independent Education, the NYC Department of Education, CUNY, and the Toussaint Institute, she has published on the power of inquiry-based learning, inner city private schools, private school start-ups, small public schools, African American boys with special education labels, and community-based and women led educational enterprises, including historically black independent schools. 

She is the winner of numerous civic awards and a gubernatorial citation, as well as an invitation to the White House for developing programs that are responsive to parents, place children at the center, and serve as leading edge models for education practitioners and policymakers. She is a mom with a passion for transforming American education, and views her current work as yet another opportunity to serve and contribute. In her past incarnation, Dr. Foster founded the Association of Historically Black Independent Schools.

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Issuer Statement

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