About Bambino

History & Founder

In 1990, Yumiko Funaki has founded Shonan English Academy that has later changed its name to Bambino.

Yumiko, being an independent woman, enthusiastic teacher, and a single mother of three, had a passion for creating an environment for young children to develop their language skills early on, as she knew the potential of young minds and the benefits of what can learning an additional language have on their brain and development in total. She didn’t aim to create just English speakers – more than that she wanted to shape future leaders, free thinkers, and global citizens of tomorrow.

“Our children will soar, and in the 21st century, they will write history and be part of international community. I dream that the children who grew up in Bambino grow up to be human potential who can play an active role on the global stage.”

She created an all-English environment by introducing children to native English-speaking teachers and focusing on four parts of English language development (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), so throughout the years, she developed an original preschool curriculum that is still being used in Bambino. Find out more about it here.

She was an active part of the school from its founding to 2022 when she suddenly past away. The school is now under the management of her three children.


Our vision is to connect people from different cultures by facilitating in the raising of bilingual children that will not only be fluent in English but develop curiosity and awareness about the world and people from different cultures – to shape global citizens of tomorrow.


Our mission is to provide a learning program for the development of eloquent bilingual students from preschool to college, following a unique curriculum developed and improved through 30 years of experience, that was influenced by The Montessori Method of learning. 

Yumiko Funaki (on the left) with the Bambino teacher and the student.

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