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Enrolments at Dubai’s private early childhood education centres continue to rise, with a 16 per cent increase 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 to 274.

These centres care for more than 27,000 children, including over 2,500 Emiratis.

“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,” said Aisha Miran, Director General of the KHDA.

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, with nearly 80 per cent of children attending 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



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