Home LearningExcellence In...Pre-school High trust and quality education drive 16% enrolment growth at Dubai’s private early childhood education centres

High trust and quality education drive 16% enrolment growth at Dubai’s private early childhood education centres

by Belinda Breeze

Enrolments at Dubai’s private early childhood centres continue to rise, with a 16% increase in enrolment during the 2023-24 academic year

According to figures released by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), 25 new early childhood centres opened in the emirate this year, bringing the total number of centres of 274.

The centres care for more than 27,000 children, including over 2,500 Emirati children.

Her Excellency Aisha Miran, Director General of KHDA said: “Early childhood centres play a crucial role in nurturing our children during their formative years. Providing high quality early education is essential to support children’s cognitive, social, and emotional development, laying the foundation for lifelong success. Parents are becoming increasingly aware of their children’s developmental needs and the importance of early childhood education in meeting those needs.

Her Excellency Aisha Miran, Director General of KHDA

“The continued growth in enrolment over the past year reflects the dedication of our early childhood centres to delivering top-tier education and the trust that parents place in these centres to offer rich and meaningful learning experiences for their children. Furthermore, results of international assessments consistently show that students who begin their learning journey earlier score higher in mathematics, science, and reading than their peers. 

“We are grateful to early childhood managers and teachers for creating safe, joyful, and stimulating environments where our youngest learners can thrive. We encourage parents to make use of this valuable resource and explore the diverse choices available to them.”

The report also highlights the diversity of student demographics and educational offerings in the sector, with 134 centres caring for children from at least 20 different nationalities.

Parents in Dubai can choose from 16 different curricula offered by early learning centres, with the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum from the UK being the most widely offered (215 centres), followed by the Montessori curriculum (20 centres), and US curriculum (eight centres). The main languages of instruction include English, Arabic, French, and Swedish, among others.

The majority of children (69%) enrolled are between two and four years old. Nearly 80% of children attend five days a week.

Early childhood centres in Dubai employ more than 1,700 teachers and 2,500 teaching assistants.

Parents can use the directory on the KHDA website and mobile app to search for early childhood centres based on location, fees, and other criteria.

Key findings:

  • 16% enrolment growth
  • 27,490 children enrolled
  • 2,574 Emirati children enrolled
  • 274 early childhood centres
  • 25 new centres opened during the 2023-24 academic year
  • 1,240 children of determination
  • 1,719 teachers