Nurseries, preschools, kindergartens and everything in between!
Finding a preschool that satisfies your little one’s curiosity, provides a caring and stimulating environment and most of all is a ton of fun for littlies is enough to send any mama into a bit of a spin! With so many options available for families we’ve done the legwork for you with our comprehensive guide to the best preschools in Dubai. Pencils at the ready, mama!
As one of the only nurseries located on the Palm, Asya’s definitely has a competitive advantage. Not to mention the fact that it is kitted out with custom made furniture from Potterybarn, only the best for The Palms littlies, how suitable ;- )
This is a beautiful school with the aim of being a 7-star nursery (as the owner was once quoted saying). Asya’s accepts children from 6 months to 4 years and offers half as well as full-day programs. The KHDA approved academic plan is guided by EYFS but has been tailor made to suit this schools particular needs. A rather pricey option, but then again, location is key here mamas. Needless to say; they’ve got beach facilities…
Asya’s Nursery, Al Das, Shoreline Bldg 10, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Tel: (+971) (0)4 435 6627, www.asyasnursery.com
Beautiful Minds Nurseries (Yellow Brick Road, Crystal Valley, Emerald City and Indigo Valley)
Providing a high quality EYFS education, Beautiful Minds Nurseries are spread over four different locations in Dubai. Enrol your kiddos in Yellow Brick Road Nursery in Al Garhoud, Crystal Valley Nursery at the Arabian Center in Mizhar, Emerald City Nursery in Jumeirah 2, or Indigo Valley Nursery located close to Dubai Terminal 2. We love the ethos of these nurseries mamas, which focus on making your little ones feel loved, happy and confident. And with babies accepted from just two months old, the nurseries are a great option for new mamas heading back to work too!
Yellow Brick Road Nursery, Al Garhoud, (+971) (0)4 282 8290, www.beautifulmindsnurseries.com
Crystal Valley Nursery, Arabian Center, Mizhar, (+971) (0)4 284 5519, www.beautifulmindsnurseries.com
Emerald City Nursery, Jumeirah 2, (+971) (0)4 349 0848, www.beautifulmindsnurseries.com
Indigo Valley Nursery, Near Terminal 2, Dubai Airport Freezone, (+971) (0)4 263 3544, www.beautifulmindsnurseries.com
With 6 locations across Dubai, Blossom is a personal Sassy Mama favourite (2 of our minis are currently attending). Inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy with elements of the Montessori and Steiner approaches, Blossom welcomes little pupils aged 6 months to 6 years. Each of the 6 nurseries offers a fun and stimulating environment with large indoor and outdoor play areas plus swimming pool or wet play zones with dancing fountains (!) for sensory splash time.
With opening hours at 7:30am-6pm, Blossom is a great choice for working mamas – plus an All Year Programme ensures that there is an option for kids to attend during holiday time. Blossom nurseries also offer their pupils a healthy daily menu of breakfast, lunch and light dinner (plus snacks in between) – all cooked on site and created by a leading child nutritionist.
Blossom Nurseries, Various locations around Dubai, Tel: 055-NURSERY, www.theblossomnursery.com
If you like the idea of a smaller nursery with a personal feel (a little like the nurseries you remember from home mamas), Child’s Play could be the place for you and your littlies. Located in a villa in Jumeirah 2, the nursery has a fun outside space, including a mud kitchen and gardening area, along with lots of bright, colourful classrooms and various role play areas. The curriculum is EYFS, but with elements of child development theories such as Piaget, Montessori, and Reggio Emilio thrown in for good measure.
Child’s Play Nursery, Villa 9, 9B Street, Umm Suqeim 2, Tel: (+971) (0)4 348 0788, www.childsplaynurserydubai.com
There hasn’t been much choice for mamas hunting for nurseries in the Ibn Battuta area in the past, which is why the arrival of CreaKids was welcome news when it opened its doors last year. However, it’s not a new concept, as CreaKids is a part of the international holding company Læringsverkstedet Centres, who are based in Norway and have more than 100 centres worldwide. The beauty of this place is the fusion of curriculums, combining Norwegian, EYFS, and Montessori. And kiddos can attend right up to FS2, making it an ideal option if you aren’t ready to send them off to school for a while (we know how you feel, Mamas!)
CreaKids, Ibn Battuta Mall, Tel: (+971)(0)4 368 4130, www.creakids.ae
Emerald City Nursery is a leading preschool in Jumeirah that stays true to it’s vision of providing the best quality practice for babies and young children in a loving and respectful environment. Merging professionalism with that all-important personal touch, they cater to the needs of littles from the age of 2 months to 4 years, in a way that supports individuality (so you can be sure that your tot is accepted, encouraged and supported – no matter what).
Emerald City Nursery, Near Box Park, Jumeirah 2, Dubai, Tel: +971 (0) 4 349 0848
Located in a spacious villa in Umm Suqeim, Golden Gate Nursery offers the British Curriculum (EYFS) and has quickly become a popular choice with mamas across the city since it opened its doors a few years ago. Why? We think it’s something to do with the excellent facilities (with everything from a water play area, to a car track, to a dedicated baby room (yes working mamas, they take babies from 3 months old), to a gorgeous sensory room to stimulate little minds – and a lot to do with the teaching staff, who advocate the importance of children learning through play at their own pace. Sounds good enough to us!
Golden Gate Nursery, Building No.27, 6B Street, Umm Al Shief-367, Tel: (+971) (0)4 321 6069, www.goldengatenursery.ae
Mamas are gaga about this very popular little nursery. Truth be told, it has become a bit of a trendy nursery for mamas to be seen at and for their kids to attend. That being said, it is all for many very good reasons. This is an excellent school with an insane waiting list but it’s worth trying as you never know (and we have heard of people who beat the odds and got lucky!)
With a solid base in the British EYFS curriculum, Home Grown applies an integrated approach where environmental awareness plays a big role – they call it “The Green Curriculum” and we are all for it! They also practice what they preach by being environmentally aware on a day-to-day basis (like responsible AC usage and artificial lights being kept low etc.) Teacher and child ratio is also very good.
Home Grown Children’s Eco Nursery, Villa 33, Street 9, Umm Suqeim, Dubai, Tel: (+971) (0)4 330 7008, www.homegrownnursery.ae
All you mamas trapped in the DIFC around the clock, fear not. The Hummingbird nursery and preschool in DIFC offers 7 am to 7pm care (through the year!!) From 3 months until 5 years of age, their doors are open for your little ones.
All mamas with their tots at Hummingbird love the place (apart from the fact that you pay through the nose). Head to DIFC for lunch any day and you will see their uniformed staff out and about with their little strollers- super cute! Once the kids move on to preschool (which is in a separate building) they follow the EYFS program. Outdoor space is limited, just so y’all know.
Hummingbird Nursery and Preschool, Various locations around Dubai, www.hummingbird.ae
This lovely nursery is located in a beautiful villa just off Umm Al Sheif street, near Spinney’s Center on Al Wasl Road in Jumeirah. The facilities really are amazing here and include a shaded natural garden as well as an indoor pool where they offer swim lessons for tiny tots. The curriculum is based on the US Creative Curriculum with a flair of Reggio Emilia and they take children from 3 months- 4 years of age with a full day option (7.30am-6pm) for working mamas. Click here for a little snippet of what this lovely school is all about!
Sassy Mama Tip: Inspire nursery is the first school in Dubai to offer ‘OneTribe’ a unique peace education program as a humanistic addition to the overall curriculum. We like! Peace and Love mamas.
Inspire Children’s Nursery, Villa 8, Street 16a, Al Safa 2, Dubai, Tel: (+971 (0)4 395 5473, www.inspireallchildren.com
One of Dubai’s oldest British curriculum (EYFS) nurseries accepts Dubai’s youngest from the age of 6 weeks to four years old, where mamas can rely on attentive care in a lovely environment. The Polo Club branch at Arabian Ranches is a bit of a favourite one, surrounded by horses, birds and nature makes it perfect for little explorers going on expeditions.
The Jebel Ali teachers are know amongst the parents for being super friendly (to the point where it is being talked about!). With hours from 8am-5.30 pm Sunday – Thursday, this is a very popular choice amongst working mamas looking for a full-day program for their little ones.
This cheerful nursery is a Reggio Emilia inspired learning centre with good facilities offering an activities-based curriculum for children between 12 months to 4 years. Kids Cottage Nursery caters for working mamas offering flexible timings as well as an early bird drop and a late class option until 5.30pm.Parents can also check up on their kids via a webcam (access is password protected) so when you ask your toddlers what they’ve done that day and get the usual ‘nothing’ you’ll know that’s not the case!
The Kids Cottage outdoor play areas have different zones with sensorial areas throughout as well as a trike and bike path and a large sand play area. A planting area allows budding gardeners and chefs to plant and nurture their own produce to take home.
Kids Cottage Nursery, Street 12, Umm Suqeim 1, Dubai, (+971) (0)4 394 2145, www.kidscottagenursery.com
By using the Emergent Curriculum, evolving to reflect the organic interactions and curiosities between the children, their teachers, and their environment, Kidville makes learning a fun and engaging process! Developing as the children interact with what is relevant, meaningful and engaging to them, makes sense to us, mamas. They offer a pre-school alternative through KVU (Kidville University) and we hear a ton of good things about it. Their curriculum has been developed by our best child learning specialists from New York and Dubai.
Kidville offers a range of activities for kids aged 4 months to 6 years old and the KVU preschool program is offered to kids aged 6 months to 4 years old. All 3 locations are spacious with light and airy classrooms as well as large and fully equipped indoor gymnasiums and soft play areas as well as big shaded outdoor areas for playtime.
Kidville, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Rimal 5 (Plaza Level), Dubai Marina, Dubai, (+971) (0)4 440 1220;
38 35 Street, Al Safa, Jumeirah, Dubai, (+971) (0)4 394 6066, (+971) (0)5 5 574 7347;
Grand Piazza (near Spinneys), Uptown Mirdiff, Dubai, (+971) (0)4 236 3648;
Located in Cluster E at Jumeirah Lake Towers, Kids Kare makes up for the lack of space in this part of town with large, spacious interiors, including the chance to journey deep into their imagination in a fabulous ‘Make Believe Hall’ (if only we could be kids again, mamas!) The nursery follows the British EYFS Curriculum, with a strong focus on learning through play – and littlies are accepted from just 3 months old.
Kids Kare Nursery, Al Sheera Tower, Cluster E, JLT (+971) (0)4 441 7673 www.kidskarenursery.com
This awesome British nursery consistently ranks as a family fave – and with nearly 20 years of experience in the business, it’s no surprise. Sadly for those based in Umm Suqeim (but a big bonus for those closer to JVC), their main premises has moved to the site of Arcadia School in Jumeirah Village Circle for September 2016, along with all of the staff – whilst the original Jumeirah 1 location stays put. A pricier option, but with facilities that match, the nursery follows the EYFS and Montessori curriculums; encouraging children to develop through educational play. They’re all about working with parents and child carers to help prepare your child for their next big steps – and students move onto some of the best primary schools in Dubai.
Ladybird Nursery, District 12, Street 26, JVC. www.ladybirdnursery.ae
Ladybird Nursery, Villa 8 & 10, Street 25A, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, (+971) (0)4 344 1011 www.ladybirdnursery.ae
Having welcomed little pupils for over 15 years, Little Land nursery is a real Dubai institution with an excellent reputation. Jointly owned by a neonatal specialist and a qualified Montessori teacher, the nursery offers classes for children from 14 months to 4 years at its new Umm Suqeim location (you may remember the little red door just near Kite Beach but they have since moved) and has a really friendly and down-to-earth feel. Although the nursery is rather expensive, don’t expect bells and whistles here – the set up is fairly basic but in that very wholesome Montessori way that we praise so highly – and the teachers are truly fantastic.
Hours are from 8am to 12.30pm but if you wish to drop off before 8am an early class is available from 7.30am at an extra cost – and similarly a late class until 2pm allows some flexibility.
Little Land Nursery & Montessori Centre, Al Dassi Street, Dubai, (+971)(0)55 111 1246, www.littlelandnursery.com
If you’ve got your eyes set on one of the GEMS schools, then this is a great start for your youngest family members. At Little Learners they teach a British curriculum (EYFS) combined with the GEMS values (world citizenship, universal values, leadership and forward thinking). Open from 8am-6pm, little learners from the age of 1-4 years old are welcome.
Little Learners, 18 B Street, Umm Al Sheif, Umm Suqeim 2, Dubai, Tel: (+971)(0)4 348 6260, www.littlelearners-dubai.com
Monroes has been a favourite of Marina mamas since it opened in the JBR a few years ago and follows the British Curriculum (EYFS). The head principal is Vicky Sanderson, who used to head up mega-popular nearby JBR nursery Toddler Town, so it’s little surprise that it’s become one of the most sought after places for kiddos in that part of town. The nursery promises ‘a holistic teaching and learning approach’, which sounds good enough to us!
Accepting children from 3 months- 5 years old with baby, toddler and nursery classes as well as a KG1 class. Open from 7.30am-5.30pm.
Monroe’s Nursery, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Murjan 6, Dubai Marina, Dubai (+971) (0)4 440 1220 www.monroesnursery.com
JLT Mamas, listen up – as Paddington Nursery is the newest nursery to open its doors in Jumeirah Lake Towers and it’s quickly becoming a favourite with parents and kiddos across the city! Teaching EYFS Curriculum, it caters for little ones between 6 months and 4 years old – and it keeps its doors open 5 days a week, all year round, which is music to the ears of working mamas! As with all nurseries in this part of town, space is a little limited – but with JLT Park just a short walk beyond the nursery doors, energetic tots will definitely sleep well every night!
Paddington Nursery, Cluster P, Armada Towers (+971) (0)4 50 1542938 www.paddingtonnursery.com
Looking for a bilingual nursery for your little ones, mama? Look no further than Le Petit Poucet, which combines The French National Curriculum and British Curriculum (EYFS) for all the lucky kiddos enrolled. Classes are taught in both English and French, with the option for your little ones to be taught in one main language, whilst being introduced to the other (we love this idea!) Oh and the nursery has a strong environmentally-friendly focus and boasts plenty of indoor and outdoor space (just wait until your kiddos see the mini basketball court!)
Petit Poucet, Villa 1, 12A Street. Umm Suqeim, Dubai, Tel: (+971) (0)4 321 9399, www.lepetitpoucet.ae
One of the major players on the Dubai preschool market is Raffles. With a total of 8 branches all over town, they’ve got the city covered from all angles. They offer EYFS as well as a Montessori curriculum at two specific locations (Springs and Emirates Hills). School timings are 8am-2pm (no full day program available) and Raffles provides a high standard of teaching and care at all their nurseries. The principal Nida O’Brien is known amongst the school’s parents for being both approachable and helpful.
Raffles Nurseries are feeder schools for Raffles World Academy, Raffles International School (south campus) and Collegiate American School.
Raffles International Nursery, Various locations around Dubai, www.rafflesnurseries.com/nursery
Words like cozy, fantastic and lovely seem to come up whenever we talk to mamas who have chosen Seashells for their children. Managed by the highly popular Marianne, Seashells follows the British curriculum and is a definite Barsha mama favourite.
From 18 months up to 4 years old, little people are welcome to this lovely school between 8.30am-12.30pm. They offer early morning options and after school activities that can extend the day to 7.30-2pm. However, there is a waiting list.. .sigh!
Sassy Mama Tip: Check out their website just because it is so darn cute!
Seashells Nursery, Street 9A, Close to Dubai American Academy, Al Barsha 2, Dubai, Tel: (+971) (0)4 341 3404, www.seashellsnursery.com
A personal Sassy Mama favourite since some of our little ones attend this lovely school.
The Children’s Garden offers a unique bilingual program with a choice of English/French or English/Arabic- (English/German is available at their Green Community branch). The school offers a tailor made curriculum where language, music and movement play an important part in the learning process. There is a strong focus on independence and fun play and the staff are absolutely amazing!
Accepting children from 2 – 5 years old and children are encouraged to stay for at least two full years to become fluent in their language of choice. Great indoor and amazing outdoors play areas, with separate arts, music and movement rooms.
Sassy Mama Tip: Children who have completed a full academic year in KG2 at any of The Children’s Gardens are guaranteed a place in a Taaleem school.
The Children’s Garden, Various locations around Dubai, www.childrensgarden.ae
Tiny Home in Jumeirah 3 is a popular choice with the Montessori-lovin’ mamas. They offer a solid Montessori curriculum and all teachers are Montessori trained. All classrooms are purpose built and filled with Montessori materials for the oh-so- important floor work. Parents like the small class sizes and the fact that the staff are very attentive to individual families’ needs. Tiny Home is open for little students aged 6 months- 4 years old. School hours are from 8am-12.30 pm with the option to add on after school activities from 12.30pm-2pm.
Tiny Home Nursery, Villa 09, Street 29, Al Manara, Jumeirah 3, Dubai, Tel: (+971) 4 346 5240, www.tiny-home.com
Toddler Town British Nursery has been a Dubai Marina institution for years, with mamas scrabbling over themselves to get their kiddos on the (admittedly long) waiting list. It’s for good reason too, with fantastic facilities and consistently good teaching staff offering the British Curriculum (EYFS) to a bunch of very happy little ones and their mamas. Thankfully for those still on that waiting list, a second location opened in Jumeirah a few years ago, promising the same level of education, but with even better facilities (including a pretty amazing outdoor play area that even boasts a safely-gated teaching swimming pool).
Toddler Town British Nursery, Villa No.20, 21st Street. Al Safa (Al Manara), Jumeirah (+971) (0)4 388 2999 www.toddlertown.ae
Toddler Town British Nursery, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Amwaj 5 (Plaza Level), Dubai Marina (+971) (0)4 452 8080 www.toddlertown.ae
Our mamas love this place which is located next door to Home Grown (so if you are planning a visit, make sure to check out the competition too!). The Willow learning methodology is based on the EYFS curriculum combined with the very creative approach of Reggio Emilia.
Willow accepts children from 3months-4 ½ years old and are open from 7.30am-6pm (normal class time is 0800-1230.) For the really tiny ones they have proper cots for naps (which isn’t always a given) and they even bring animals to school sometimes for the kids to help feed and take care of. At Willow’s each classroom has 2 qualified teachers and one helper, not the other way around-good stuff.
Willow Children’s Nursery, 9c St, off Al Manara Rd, Umm Suqeim/Jumeirah 3, Dubai, Tel: (+971) (0)4 3465078, www.willownurserydubai.com
Victory Heights families are raving about Wonder Years Nursery – and it’s little surprise when they can walk to drop the kiddos off every day (it’s the dream, right, mamas?) The nursery follows the British Curriculum (EYFS) with a focus on both creativity and play. We love the fact that every classroom has its own outdoor area, so classes can be taken outside – not to mention a main sensory garden, water play area and large garden where kiddos can get green fingered digging, planting, or enjoying a ‘sensory nature walk’. Sounds pretty idyllic, doesn’t it mamas?
Wonder Years Nursery, Dubai Sports City (+971) (0)4 368 5600 www.wonderyearsnursery.com
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