Top 10 kindergartens in Dubai: where to enroll your child and avoid regrets
Dubai boasts numerous exceptional kindergartens, making it challenging to make a choice. To save you time, this article highlights the best of the best while providing an overview of preschool education in Dubai.
Organization of Preschool Education in Dubai
Preschool education in Dubai is divided into three stages:
Nursery. This stage is for infants aged 3-6 months. Nurseries in Dubai are located in villas with private gardens and offer flexible schedules, accommodating full-time or selected days for child care.
Kindergarten 1. Designed for children aged 3.5 to 4 years, kindergartens operate until lunchtime. If both parents work full-time, alternative child care options may need to be considered.
Kindergarten 2. This preparatory group focuses on children aged 4 to 6 years, teaching them fundamental skills such as reading, writing, counting, and basic self-discipline. It serves as a preparation for school.
All kindergartens in Dubai are privately managed, allowing each institution to choose its own educational program, such as the British EYFS, American NAEYC, or Italian Montessori method. As there is no centralized kindergarten rating, parents often rely on reviews from other parents when selecting an institution.
Interesting statistics: according to the Edarabia educational directory, Dubai is home to over 200 kindergartens.
Factors to consider when choosing a kindergarten
Several crucial factors can significantly impact your experience with a particular kindergarten:
- Proximity to home. While many kindergartens offer transportation services, Dubai's notorious traffic can cause delays. Choosing a kindergarten within walking distance, ideally 10-15 minutes away, can make commuting easier for both you and your child.
- Language of Instruction. English is the predominant language of instruction in Dubai kindergartens. However, due to the city's diverse expat population, kindergartens with native speakers of other languages can be found. Some institutions even offer multilingual programs, teaching children multiple languages simultaneously.
- Availability. Popular kindergartens often have waiting lists. It is crucial to decide whether it is worth waiting or if enrolling your child in an available alternative is a better option.
- Group Size. The attention given to each child can vary based on the group size. Smaller groups typically allow for more individualized attention.
Additional important information
Dubai kindergartens prioritize the smooth adaptation of children to their new environment. On the first day, one parent accompanies the child for an hour, gradually increasing the duration of their stay. The time extends from two hours to three hours and eventually to a full day.
This approach allows the child to gradually become accustomed to the initially unfamiliar and even intimidating environment. Additionally, adults receive informational brochures and leaflets with helpful tips for parents.
Meals in each kindergarten are organized based on their individual policies. Some kindergartens require parents to pack lunch boxes for their children, while others take full responsibility for providing meals.
Furthermore, it is crucial to be aware of strict pickup times when collecting your child from the kindergarten. Late pickups may result in fines, although the specific amount varies across different institutions. The fines range from $100 per hour to $30 per minute.
Top 10 kindergartens in Dubai
British Nursery School
? Age: from 6 months to 4 years
? Address: More than 10 locations in Dubai
? Website: https://britishorchardnursery.com
British Nursery School operates based on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) program, which is widely used in British schools. This program emphasizes the holistic development of children through play. By the end of their time at the nursery, children will be able to express themselves confidently in English and will be fully prepared to continue their education in an English-speaking school.
The nursery provides a range of amenities, including gyms, water play areas, libraries, sensory rooms, and spacious playgrounds. With over 16 years of experience, the nursery has been recognized with more than 25 national and international awards. It was also the first kindergarten in the UAE to receive certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
Kangaroo Kids Nursery
? Age: from 45 days to 4 years
? Address: Villa 49, St 8a (end of St 21), Safa 2
? Website: https://kangarookids.ae
Kangaroo Kids Nursery combines the EYFS program with The Curiosity Approach methodology, which fosters curiosity and encourages independent learning. Educators at the nursery communicate with children in English and also provide daily lessons in Arabic and French. The kindergarten places special emphasis on the Scandinavian concept of Hygge, creating cozy corners in each room where children can relax and enjoy the present moment.
In addition to language development, the nursery offers activities such as swimming, yoga, football, and music. With operating hours from Monday to Friday, 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM, it is an ideal option for families with both parents working full-time.
Great Minds Early Childhood Center
? Age: from one year to 6 years
? Address: Street 29, Villa 11, Al Wasl Next to City Walk, Behind Box Park
? Website: https://greatminds.ae
At Great Minds Early Childhood Center, the Montessori system is implemented, which involves the adult acting as an assistant rather than a mentor. The educators create an environment conducive to development, allowing children to choose their own areas of exploration.
The training program at Great Minds is structured into five components: sensory, practical, linguistic, mathematical, and cultural. Children are encouraged to engage in creativity, compose music, create theatrical productions, use their hands for various projects, and explore the world through literature and basic mathematics.
Children's Oasis Nursery
? Age: from 3 months to 4 years
? Address: 176 22 Al Beteel Street Umm Suqeim 2
? Website: https://childrensoasisnursery.com/the-venue/
Children's Oasis Nursery follows the EYFS program, placing a strong emphasis on learning through play and teamwork to foster essential social skills in an engaging manner. The tutors primarily communicate with children in English, but the nursery also offers Spanish, French, and Arabic lessons for interested children.
The nursery provides a sensory area for the development of motor skills and coordination in younger children. Older children can enjoy a wide selection of games and creative activities to stimulate their growth and imagination.
Willow Children's Nursery
? Age: from 45 days to 6 years
? Address: three locations, including Dubai Marina
? Website: https://willowchildrensnursery.com
At Willow Children's Nursery, the EYFS program is combined with the Reggio approach. While we have already discussed the EYFS program, it is worth delving into the Reggio technique. In essence, this Italian pedagogical system emphasizes creativity, design, research activities, learning through the environment, and the collaboration between educators and children.
The nursery offers a creative room, sports hall, library, multiple playgrounds, and even a media center for children. The entire space is designed to allow children to explore their surroundings safely and discover something new every day.
? Age: from 3 months to 6 years
? Address: six locations, including Jumeirah Beach Residence
? Website: https://www.odysseynursery.com
Odyssey Nursery incorporates two methods into its program: the Reggio approach and the Washington system of Early Learning Developmental Benchmarks. This combination enables children to seamlessly transition into top English-speaking schools while fostering critical thinking and independence from an early age. Educators at Odyssey Nursery encourage children to explore something new each day and foster a sense of teamwork.
The nursery takes full responsibility for nutrition, offering balanced and healthy meals that promote a love for healthy eating among the children.
? Age: from 1 year to 4 years
? Address: Club Drive, Dubai Sports City/Shop #1, Meydan Heights Retail Centre
? Website: https://kindercastlenursery.com
With a decade of experience, Kinder Castle has established itself as a nurturing environment where children receive warm and compassionate care, promoting holistic development. The nursery's educational program is based on the well-known EYFS, which focuses on the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of children.
Kinder Castle boasts spacious classrooms, indoor and outdoor playgrounds, a library, sensory area, and a music room. The outdoor playground features a sandbox, water play complex, climbing structures, and cycling trails. As an added bonus, the nursery has its own kitchen where healthy and nutritious meals are prepared for the children.
? Age: from 1 year to 3 years
? Address: Repton Al Barsha, Dubai Science Park/Repton Nad Al Sheba, Nad Al Sheba
? Website: https://dovecotenursery.org
Dovecote Nursery follows the principles of the EYFS program, combined with elements of the Montessori system. Educators interact with children in English while also conducting classes in Arabic and other languages. In addition to spacious classrooms, children have access to a veranda and a garden.
The nursery's program includes sports, language development, mathematics, and creative activities. Dovecote Nursery also provides nutritious meals for children and aims to instill a healthy attitude towards food from a young age.
Masterminds Nursery & Kindergarten
? Age: from 15 months to 6 years
? Address: Villa 17, Rumiah (12A) Street, Umm Suqeim 3
? Website: https://www.masterminds.ae
Masterminds Nursery & Kindergarten integrates the US Connecticut educational framework with their unique Pathways to Excellence approach. Their comprehensive program encompasses reading, writing, mathematics, languages, music, swimming, gymnastics, and teamwork. All children at Masterminds learn to play the violin and gain a foundation in English, French, and Arabic.
Upon completion of the program, children will be well-prepared to enroll in any school following British or American educational standards.
Alphabet Street Nursery
? Age: from 2 months to 3 years
? Address: Al Manara, Road 8A, Villa 11
? Website: https://www.alphabetstreetnursery.com
Like many other nurseries on this list, Alphabet Street Nursery operates according to the principles of the British EYFS. The educational instruction is conducted in English, making it an excellent choice for fostering bilingualism in children. The nursery takes an individualized approach to each child, creating a safe environment where every student can reach their full potential.
Each educator supervises a maximum of four children, ensuring that everyone receives proper attention. Alphabet Street Nursery also offers a convenient transportation service, allowing staff members to pick up and drop off the child at home, saving time for busy parents.