In the Middle East, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to nurseries for our children – there is a variety of curriculums and languages offered, not to mention state of the art facilities and outstanding staff.
So how do you know which nursery is best for you and your child? Here at Mumzworld, we have set out some essential points to consider when choosing the right establishment for your child.
First of all, consider the curriculum offered. Do you want to follow the same curriculum as that of your home country? Or are you looking for something different? The UAE offers a range of international curriculums as well as Montessori and Reggio.
Location is also very important- certainly in Dubai where the rush hour traffic is unpredictable. Is it close enough to your home or en route to your place of work? The last thing you want is to be travelling 30 minutes out of your way each day when needing to get to work.
Also, consider the hours they operate – do they operate flexibly, with early drop-offs and picks up (if so required). Are they open over the holidays, or do they have holiday camps? What are the extra costs for these services? Furthermore, do they provide a lunch/snack service, or do you need to provide a packed lunch?
Next, take a look at the facilities. Is there enough to keep your child suitably stimulated? Will there be an opportunity for outside play in the cooler months? How are the days structured?
Once you have narrowed down a few nurseries, we recommend shortlisting around 3 or 4, go to visit them. If possible, walk around during the nursery’s operating hours, so you get a real insight into how the place is run.
An important note to consider is how the nursery communicates with you – some have an app that you can download and see what activities they did that day when your child ate, slept and even how many diaper changes they had. Alternatively, check if there is an opportunity for you to regularly have updates via the teacher directly, so you can adequately track your child’s progress.
Make sure to speak to other parents, and seek out reviews online via websites such as Edarabia (www.edarabia.com) or community Facebook forums – word of mouth recommendations are often the best!