The CEFA Methodology

“CEFA Teachers are great thinkers,” explains Beim. “They’re trained to question ‘what’ and ‘why’ they teach their students.”

CEFA’s proprietary curriculum originates from the French standards of junior kindergarten which begins at ages 2-3, and remains a strong element in the program today. It features a unique blend of core subjects, such as reading and math, combined with fine arts, including yoga and music, providing children with the freedom to learn and grow through play.

The methodology behind the curriculum is based on early childhood education research that demonstrated how experience-based brain development sets a course for future learning, health, and behaviour. The CEFA methodology also incorporates best practices from early learning programs around the world. 

Teachers have the dual role of presenting activities to the children (as they would in Montessori) along with keenly observing children, documenting their interests, and following the child’s lead (as they would in Reggio Emilia schools). The methodology focuses on teaching children to learn from any and all circumstances, and to question and reflect on their learning. In teaching children how learn, the effort of the teacher is to build the habit of lifelong learning and curiosity.

Teachers document children’s social and educational development throughout the year, and sit down with families to review regularly. 

Through an open-source learning model that encourages educators to continually contribute to curriculum development, CEFA has created a contemporary, creative, and advanced program that incorporates the most up-to-date philosophies on early childhood education and early learning.

CEFA’s founder Natacha Beim realized that age-specific curricula aimed at engaging and teaching the whole child were needed, so she searched for a school doing just that. When she couldn’t find one, she creating a curriculum of her own which incorporates four key pillars, now known as: Innovators, Masterminds, Creators, and Changemakers.

Licensed Early Childhood Educators

All CEFA teachers are licensed Early Childhood Educators trained in the highest standards of child development and child safety.

In addition, CEFA Teacher Training provides teachers with the tools to successfully lead students through the CEFA curriculum, to be inspired, and to inspire others.

Teaching is at the heart and soul of everything we do.  The CEFA Teacher Training not only shows how to teach the curriculum, but soft management skills like working with families, leadership, planning & organizing skills, and presentation skills. The training also goes over the entire methodology and philosophy, paving the way towards a managerial role if the teacher is interested.

CEFA curriculum Teacher Training content includes:

  • The CEFA teaching method and CEFA philosophy
  • Working with children and families
  • The CEFA curriculum, games and teaching materials
  • Teaching reading, writing, math, socials, and science the CEFA way
  • Teaching the habit of contribution
  • Planning and organizing the CEFA early learning curriculum

Classes include presentations, group activities, planning, and exams.

At CEFA Early Learning, we value professional growth for each individual. Our Infant Toddler Scholarship Program is a unique program exclusively offered to CEFA teachers to promote higher education for our full-time employees, and offers up to $1,500 in tuition reimbursement towards infant toddler training through an accredited BC Institution.

Child Comparision Chart

The History of CEFA Early Learning

Natacha Beim working on the construction of her first school.
By age 22, Beim had finalized her curriculum and began working on a business plan, and at 25, she opened the doors to her first CEFA school. She had trained each one of her new teachers one by one to enable them to work with her own curriculum. Her curriculum focused on teaching children to read and write, as well as many other skills, and included art, yoga, dance and many other disciplines that were not the norm in early years centres. Early Childhood Educators had to trust that this “new” methodology was good for children, and parents had to be early adopters of this new way of teaching.
Natacha Beim cutting the ribbon of her new school with the Mayor of West Vancouver.
The first CEFA school defied all rules in Canadian early learning: It taught children to read and write, and had an excellent science and math curriculum, while other early learning centres focused only on play. It also offered a full-time program when preschools only opened between two and four hours instead. It had a chef preparing children’s meals when no other centres focused on children’s nutrition, and it had an excellent arts curriculum which included dance and drama. At first, parents wondered whether the school would be too much for their children. Only the children of European, Asian, and South American families welcomed the school with open arms, as this calibre of early learning flourished internationally, and was something they were familiar with. But soon, noticing the difference in their own children after only a few weeks of attending CEFA, all parents became fans of this new approach to early learning.
Beim, expecting her first child (far right), at a pajama party she organized for families of her school.
Beim continued to work on her curriculum, and spent hours in the classrooms and working with her teachers to develop even more games and activities to introduce. The entire curriculum was presented through games and play.
Beim’s oldest son, Julian, graduated from CEFA.
The school soon became extremely popular, with waiting lists years in length. Parents of the school often traveled over an hour each way to have their children attend the school. It was after the insistence of those parents that Beim decided to expand, allowing parents of CEFA students and teachers of her school to open schools closer to their homes. In 2003, a second CEFA school opened in the city of Burnaby, co-owned by a CEFA parent and a CEFA teacher.
Grand opening of CEFA Burnaby Canada Way, with Natacha Beim (far right), teacher Karen Chan (next to Beim), Mayor of Burnaby and CEFA parent Christine Yang.
Today there are over 30 CEFA schools, all owned by parents of CEFA students or previous CEFA teachers.
Beim with student learning about math
Beim still works on the curriculum and teacher training. She is the Executive Chair of CEFA Systems, the Franchise company. Both her sons, Julian and Dominick, graduated from CEFA and still remember those years with great fondness. “I created CEFA before I had children, and seeing my own children go through the program gave me such joy – I felt very lucky to be with them during those years, and watch them learn before my very eyes!” – Natacha V. Beim
Jun 1998
November 1998
July 1999
June 2003
Early Childhood Education Jobs at CEFA

About the Founder of CEFA Early Learning

Natacha V. Beim
Early Learning Expert

Natacha V. Beim is an early learning expert and the Founder and CEO of Core Education & Fine Arts (CEFA) Early Learning Private Schools for children ages one to five. 

Beim opened the doors to Canada’s first junior kindergarten school—CEFA Early Learning®—in West Vancouver in 1998. She was only 26, but her own multifaceted education had provided her with a solid foundation upon which to build her dream. 

Having worked as an elementary school teacher, as well as a junior kindergarten teacher, Beim experienced firsthand the incredible effect of early academic exposure in young children. Leveraging the global strength and benefits of worldwide early childhood education, and after studying international best practices, Natacha created a proprietary curriculum featuring a unique blend of core subjects, such as reading and math, combined with fine arts, including yoga and music. 

Born in Uruguay and raised in Montréal, Beim was a published poet at the young age of 16, spoke three languages and had pursued interests as a teacher, ballerina, model, journalist, painter, writer, theatre actress, and runner.

She brought this dynamic perspective into play when creating the early learning program at CEFA. Incorporating the latest research in behavioural and developmental sciences and psychology, Natacha wanted to ultimately differentiate between early childhood education and childcare. 

As a pioneer in the field of modern education, Beim is a sought-after speaker, educational leader, and writer who shares her progressive views with educators and parents around the globe. She continues to pursue studies in the field of developmental psychology, focusing on the early years, to continually evolve CEFA’s leading curriculum.

Beim now resides in Vancouver, Canada where she divides her time between research, writing, curriculum development, speaking engagements and her most important accomplishment to date–being a mom.

CEFA Core Values

Our Mission is to inspire children to learn and be knowledgeable, seek self-betterment, and contribute as individuals:
  • Make a Difference

    We make a difference in children’s lives and inspire and educate children to do the same throughout their lives

  • Inspire

    We inspire magic and joy

  • Lead

    We lead by example

  • Respect

    We have a deep respect for children, evident in all we do

  • Self-Improvement

    We believe in continuous self-improvement

Do you believe in the CEFA Core Values? We’re looking for qualified individuals to help expand our business. If you’re interested please contact us, or visit our franchise site.

Do you believe in the CEFA Core Values? We’re looking for qualified individuals to help expand our business. If you’re interested please contact us, or visit our franchise site.