Nursery schools in Abu Dhabi ordered to display licences at reception
Abu Dhabi - In addition to the new policy, the schools were also reminded to renew their licences on a yearly basis.
All Abu Dhabi nursery schools have been ordered to display their licences at their reception areas to assure parents that they are authorised to operate, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) said on Tuesday (March 19).
Dr Sara Al Suwaidi, licensing director for early childhood education (ECE) at Adek, said: "It is important for parents to have access to all licensing requirements related to nurseries in order to ensure that they are enrolling their child in a licensed nursery school."
The ECE team of Adek regularly visits nurseries to ensure compliance with health and safety measures and overall licensing requirements, Al Suwaidi said.
In addition to the new policy, the schools were also reminded to renew their licences on a yearly basis.
"They must start the process at least two months prior to the expiry date of their licence," the official said.
Currently, a total of 244 nursery schools are operating in Abu Dhabi.
There are 194 preschools (10,776 students) in Abu Dhabi, 43 (2,681) in Al Ain, and seven (253) in Al Dhafra, all of which have already been familiarised with Adek's licensing criteria and policies.
"It is part of Adek's role to ensure that the early years of children are based on a solid foundation. We look forward to hearing that all preschoolers are prepared to move onto the next level of schooling, and this can only be done through a safe, secure, well-rounded, licensed nursery that has qualified staff and a well-established curriculum," Dr Al Suwaidi said.
Some of Adek's nursery licensing procedures include recruiting qualified and licensed principals and staff and complying with Adek's occupational health and safety requirements. Children at the nursery must be between the ages of 45 days and four years, and the nursery must use an established curriculum. Each child must also have an updated medical record at the nursery clinic; all fees must be approved by Adek; and a refund policy must be in place, should parents wish to withdraw their children from the nursery.
Among the academic and compliance areas that nurseries are expected to focus on include: instructional support, which refers to how teachers develop children's understanding of concepts and ideas; and classroom organisation, which refers to the staff members' ability to effectively manage children's behaviour and increase engagement in order to maximise learning time. Emotional support and personal care routines for small children are also important.
Additional Adek standards and requirements include healthy habits; periodic pest control; healthy preparation and storage of food; breastfeeding awareness programmes; risk assessment; CCTV monitoring; securing doors and windows at all times; regularly checking fire alarm system; evacuation plans and emergency exits; providing firefighting equipment and regular maintenance; school bus safety; and providing first aid training to all nursery staff members.
Parents' guide on preschools in Abu Dhabi
>Only children aged 45 days to four years must be accepted
>Must follow an established curriculum
>All policies must be accessible to parents
>All fees must be Adek-approved
>A refund policy must be in place
>Teachers must develop kids' understanding of concepts and ideas
>Staff members should be able to manage children's behaviour
>Safety and security measures should be followed (CCTV monitoring, fire alarm system, school bus safety, first aid training, etc)
>Healthy habits must be practised and hygiene should be a priority