Dubai hits milestone in early childhood education

KHDA announces on Friday that more than 20,000 children of 58 different nationalities are enrolled in 226 early childhood centres (ECCs) across Dubai

Dubai: More than 20,000 children of 58 different nationalities are enrolled in 226 early childhood centres (ECCs) across Dubai, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) announced on Friday.

KHDA said the milestone “underscores Dubai’s cultural diversity and its vibrant education ecosystem”.

“Dubai is a future-focused city, and its future lies in cultivating our children’s well-being, their sense of wonder and their love of learning,” noted Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director general of KHDA, adding: “Everyone benefits when every parent of a young child in Dubai has access to high-quality education for their children. ECCs benefit from enrolment growth; parents benefit from the peace of mind that their children are being cared for and nurtured; and children benefit from learning and playing in a positive and supportive environment.”

According to KHDA, pre-schoolers, aged between 45 days and six years, are supported and nurtured by more than 1,300 teachers and 1,900 teaching assistants at ECCs across Dubai.

Data shared by KHDA revealed 70 per cent of children enrolled in Dubai’s private early childhood centres were in the 2-4 age group. It also showed that the emirate’s Jumeirah district had the most ECCs (78), followed by Hadaeq Mohammed Bin Rashid (38) and Deira (25).

Several options

Parents of young children can choose from 13 different early childhood curricula currently offered by Dubai’s ECCs. Most ECCs offer the Early Years Foundation Stages curriculum, while other options include Montessori, IPC, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and several other curricula. Parents can search for early childhood centres on the KHDA’s digital directory, available through the education regulator’s website and app.

Dr Al Karam said: “We want to build a quality-driven and diverse early childhood education and care sector to encourage even more parents to give their children a happy and beneficial learning experience. We are committed to working with ECCs to grow a world-class sector that will fulfil the hopes of our children, our city, and our nation.”

By the numbers

By the numbers
Private early childhood centres in Dubai
• 226 early childhood centres
• More than 20,000 children enrolled in Dubai ECCs
• More than 1,300 ECC teachers and 1,900 teaching assistants
• 68% of ECCs have students of up to 20 different nationalities
• 1:5 ratio of teaching staff to children
• More than 80% of children attend an ECC for at least 4 hours a day, five days a week.