Dubai: More parents opt for early childhood centres to give children a head start

Nearly 250 centres care for more than 23,500 children, 3,000 more than this time last year

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Published: Thu 4 Jan 2024, 11:35 AM

More parents than ever are choosing early childhood centres in Dubai to give their children a head start, according to figures just released by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

Nearly 250 centres – 27 of which have opened in the previous 12 months – care for more than 23,500 children, 3000 more than this time last year.

The latest data on Dubai’s private early childhood centres show a 15 per cent increase in the number of children enrolled, echoing the 12 per cent record enrolment growth reported by Dubai private schools earlier this academic year.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director general of KHDA, said: “Early childhood centres are not only about today’s children; they are about tomorrow’s innovators and changemakers. Just as they nurture children to live, learn and thrive in a city and world that is constantly evolving, they also nurture the growth and prosperity of Dubai.

“The enrolment growth we have seen in the past year is a clear indication of the effort centres have made to improve quality, and of the trust that parents have placed in early childhood centres to provide children with rich learning experiences."

Data also points to the diversity in early childhood centres in Dubai. Parents can choose from centres offering 14 different curricula and learning approaches, with Arabic, English, French, Spanish or Russian, among others, as the main language of instruction. The majority of centres have children from up to 20 different nationalities enrolled, while some centres have more than 41 different nationalities.

The majority of children enrolled – 66 per cent – are between two and four years old. Nearly 80 per cent of children attend five days a week. The infographic also includes data on the number of teachers and staff employed at early childhood centres.

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