Types of Nurseries in Dubai – When to Enroll your Child?
Starting preschool is a big milestone for every child. For them it is the first step into the real world on their own. For parents it is a proud -yet super scary - moment. The excitement of seeing their babies off, the fear of them not being able to adjust, the realization that you have already begun to miss them, its all a roller coaster of emotions. Which is why, it is all the more important to find the perfect place for your child to begin their academic journey. Dubai has dozens of great preschool options which cater to different styles of child-care and teaching methodologies. Let’s have a look at the types of nurseries available here. Day-care centers are a great option for working parents, as they usually take in babies as young as a few months old and are usually open till after normal office work hours. The days are spent with activities, play-time, arts and crafts, with nap time and lunches being provided. Playgroup starts admitting children usually when they are about 2.5 years till 5 years of age, before they start school formally. The days are structured around singing and music, arts and crafts, role-playing activities, story sessions, and play time. Educational toys are carefully selected for children to hone their motor skills, and with the use of toys basic ABCs and numbers are taught. Learning is mainly done through play-based activities so children learn to assimilate into a social environment out of their homes. Montessori schools. These are based entirely on an informal teaching style the children lead the way in learning. The basis of Montessori schools’ teaching is developing a child’s personality through different stimuli, using toys and sensory objects so children learn through a fun, play-based educational start. Nursery schools are proper schools set up for children between the ages of 2.5 to 5 years, where they begin to learn ABCs, numerals, and some even introduce the children to early reading. They aim to equip children with enough knowledge to start their formal education from kindergarten or prep (depending on the school’s curriculum). Nursery classes within schools. Enrolling your child in a nursery class in a proper grade school has many advantages. Your child is prepared for formal schooling from the start as they adapt to full day of school easily. If the child has older siblings already enrolled in the school, then it makes it easier for them to feel safe and comfortable knowing they are close by. Nursery classes in schools usually have longer class durations as well, so it works out better for working parents. Workplace nurseries/day-care centers. These are extremely convenient for working parents, having their children nearby or even in the same building as them. Parents can keep a regular check on their children, and the children adapt much easily to the environment and the hours away from home. Knowing when your child is ready for preschool is very important, some kids are ready much earlier than their counterparts, others take a little longer. Each child is different when it comes to their development, and being ready for preschool is a milestone that every child reaches at his own pace. If your child can clearly communicate their basic needs, such as feeling tired or hungry, wanting to go to the washroom, then that’s a good sign that they are ready. School policies vary, some schools have a strict potty-trained children only policy, whereas other schools have measures in place for changing diapers or taking the children to the loo with assistance. Especially for nurseries, children need to have enough self-care skills where they can do some basic chores, such as i) clearing up toys, ii) getting snacks out of their bags, iii) being able to eat independently, iv) follow instructions of the teachers, v) being capable of making friends, and vi) having conversations with their peers. Choosing a preschool is not an easy task, a lot of factors need to be considered. Location is of utmost importance, as parents want their child not to be too far from where they work or live, in case of any emergency. Also, commuting long routes is especially tiring for preschoolers. Curriculum and teaching philosophy is also an important factor, parents have to see if the school is following a similar approach as their own in handling children, particularly how the teachers handle a toddler tantrum, or if they are not feeling well. Class sizes need to be considered a low ratio is preferred as this allows the child to have more individual attention by the teachers. Overall, reaching the point where your child is ready for preschool or a day-care center is a very exciting time for both the child and the parents. Once you feel your child is ready to start, then the time comes to find the best possible option for him, and living in Dubai that should not be much of a problem at all with all these great options to choose from!