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Cultivating the UAE’s tots by providing quality pre-school education is the need of the hour according to single mother of two, and CEO and Founder of the British Orchard chain of nurseries, Vandana Gandhi.

By Staff Reporter (dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com)

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Published: Tue 16 Jul 2013, 9:51 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:55 AM

“The demand for quality education is in itself very high in this country. The knowledge economy in this part of the world is booming. Therefore, I believe it is the need of the hour to have quality pre-schools in the UAE.”

Children at the British Orchard Nursery in Dubai Silicon Oasis. — Supplied photo

The first Indian national to be the recipient of the Dubai government’s Emirates Woman Award for business excellence and innovation for the pre-school education concept, Gandhi’s story is an inspiration to many aspiring female entrepreneurs.

After a successful career in finance and banking, the 38-year-old entrepreneur, who was born and bought up in Dubai, decided to launch a chain of nurseries.

“I love this city. Dubai is home to me,” she said.

With 10 branches across Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, Gandhi plans to expand and take her nursery concept across the GCC, the Far East, and India. British Orchard Nursery is the only nursery chain in the Middle East to be ISO: 9001-2008 Quality certified.

Since its inception in 2006, the nursery has become a centre of excellence in the UAE for early years’ education. It follows the British National Early Years Curriculum, with the addition of structure and progression. She had also initiated the concept of corporate franchising for government organisations in Dubai including Dubai Municipality, RTA and dewa.

“I am a mother of two young adults myself and I am also passionate about molding young minds. Children are our future leaders. Studies and research have proven that the importance countries give for children’s education is massive. I started the nursery with the support of my parents and the UAE government. The ease of doing business in the UAE is unparalleled to anywhere else in the world. There is an immense support given to women here. The government has a lot of respect from women entrepreneurs and is a very innovative and trend setting government,” she said.

Gandhi believes that the biggest love for an adult is their child and the amount of working women in the country is on the rise.

“A lot of working mothers are finding it hard to cope raising children, especially with nannies. A lot of young working moms are dependent on nannies. That is why it is important to have good quality pre-schools. We take in children who are as young as six months old,” she said.

British Orchard Nursery houses a family-centered environment and Gandhi launched a unique concept called ‘GymJuniorz’, a fitness centre within each of the nurseries that help develop the motor and physical skills of each child. The nursery facilities include comprehensive creative spaces that offers role play to develop children’s social and imaginative skills; soft play; swimming pools; construction area where children recreate real life events and situations; a library; a water play area where they can develop the understanding of challenging concepts in a ‘hands on capacity’; sand area to explore scientific and mathematical concepts; messy play or painting area to develop creativity; grass area etc. The school offers Arabic lessons, ballet, and gym lessons as well as computer classes.



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