After my post on 10 nurseries in Dubai, I got asked about suggestions for nurseries in Discovery Gardens, JBR etc. Though I would love to help these moms out, but for now, I took the easy way out. Here’s my guide on how to pick a good nursery in Dubai:
1. Start early
If you plan to enroll you child in a nursery in September, start searching now. KHDA limits to a certain number of children per class, so classes get filled quite early (at least the good and reasonable ones).
2. Make a list
That’s the chronic list maker in me. I actually made a list of all the nurseries I was interested. How I made this list?
I had three sources for this list: Google, Facebook and community friends.
On Google, I typed nurseries in JLT (insert your own location here). You will be given a list of nurseries with their website. Quickly jot these down on your list with their phone numbers and their websites. Visit their websites. Get a feel on them. Websites are a good window inside the nursery. Look beyond what they say. That is probably written by content writers. Look at their pictures and what is unique about them).
But don’t just rely on Google. Some nurseries don’t make it to the top of the Google Search. They probably haven’t invested that much on their website (no idea why not).
Your next step should be Facebook. If you have the small community app, then that too is very helpful. Ask people in relevant groups for nursery recommendation. The Dubai School Guide for Parents is a good start. Many are willing to help out. Do mention your requirements (affordable, has transport, caters to speech delay etc). Add to your previous list.
Also, if you have a nearby place where mothers hang out, go there. Often. Ask them. We, mothers, are very opinionated and love handing out advice. It often overruns our stock of wet tissues.
3. Trim that list
Probably now your list has around 8-10 nurseries. But you can only send your love to only one. So it’s time to cut it off. Define your criteria. Are you looking for a nursery that is close-by? Or an affordable one? Perhaps one that offers extra classes? Or maybe with a transport facility?
Filter your list based on this criteria. Use their website for this.
4. Call them up
You should now have trimmed your list to 4-5 nurseries. It’s time to call them up. Ask them questions you are concerned about. Speech delay issues? Picky eaters? Anything. Never think that your concern is not validated. This is probably the first time you are letting your child out of the house without his parents. It’s natural to feel scared. Most nurseries are very understanding with your queries and love to answer them
5. Schedule a Visit
Go visit the nursery. Most nurseries welcome you to come at any time. Some may require an appointment. When you call them up, schedule a visit. Ask your partner to accompany you for a better perspective.
And when you are there, look around. Is the nursery clean, lit and well-ventilated? Ask about safety measures. Observe the teachers. There is only one thing you should never find in a nursery- silence. Children are supposed to make noise and if they are not making any, there is something wrong. Baby Center has come up with a great article to spot the signs of a good preschool.
Take your child along if you think it’s a good idea. See how he reacts to each nursery and you may have your answer right there.
6. Get your documents together
All nurseries in Dubai require you to submit the certain documents at the time of admission. These are the papers I submitted at the time of my son’s admission:
- Passport size photographs of the child
- Copy of Child’s Birth Certificate
- Copy of Child’s Passport and visa Page
- Copy of Parent’s Passport and visa page.
- Copy of Child’s Immunization Record (in English)
Do you have your own suggestions on how to pick a good nursery in Dubai? I would love to hear them and share them with my friends. Just comment below or send me a message on my Facebook Page.
A Mother’s Guide on how to pick a good nursery in Dubai