Dubai Nurseries Win International Award

Two Dubai nurseries have taken the top slots in a prestigious International award from the UK National Day Nurseries Association.

The team at Aga Khan Early Learning Centre (AKELC) in Oud Metha is celebrating their win in the UK National Day Nurseries AssociationInternational Nursery of the Year” award. 

Meanwhile, over at Victory Heights, IDEA Early Learning Center was runner up, coming in second in the same category.

The National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) is a well-regarded and influential  UK charity which aims to enhance the development and education of children in their early years, through the provision of support services to members.  Primarily covering England, Scotland and Wales – the NDNA also has an international branch with members from across Europe and in Singapore, India and the UAE.  It was these international members who competed for the International Nursery of the Year.


Kelli Allen of AKELC (centre) celebrates taking top spot in the International Nursery of the Year award

Kelli Allen, Head of Nursery and Preschool at AKELC travelled to the UK to attend the awards ceremony. 

Kelli told our team;

“We are delighted to be selected for this award. The Aga Khan Early Learning Centre (AKELC) would like to thank the NDNA, its Sponsors, AKELC parents and staff, and all supporters who helped achieve this prestigious award. AKELC is committed to the development of the young child, and our vision is to be a Leader in the Early Years by bringing up the standards for high-quality practices and professional development in the United Arab Emirates."

At IDEA ELC, the team are thrilled to have come second place in a challenging category and expressed their congratulations to AKELC.  

'We are proud that IDEA ELC achieved runner up in the NDNA International Nursery of the Year Award 2018" said Shaun Robison, Govenor of IDEA Education.

"Being awarded this has a direct correlation with our fantastic learning community who contribute to our successes. We would like to thank our children, parents and team for their support and dedication. IDEA ELC would also like to congratulate Aga Khan Early Learning Center for winning the category. It is impressive that two providers from the UAE have reached this stage in the International Category". 

Our own Early Years Editor, Jenny Mollon, felt that these awards were a reflection of the improving quality in the Early Years sector across the UAE. 

“There are many passionate, well qualified professionals working in the Early Years industry here and the sector is supported by several good quality centres for ongoing staff training and education. In the last year I have watched as increased collaboration between nurseries and sharing of best practice between Early Years workers has had a real impact on children’s day to day experiences.  Furthermore, the Ministry of Education* has placed a renewed emphasis on quality – looking at space and facilities, adult to child ratios as well as minimum qualifications for all levels of staff. I believe governance and industry expertise has come together to help Dubai win the top spots in this award.”

* The Ministry of Education licenses nurseries in the UAE – Early Learning Centres such as IDEA are licensed by the KHDA.

Read our highly detailed reviews of the winner and runner up here -  Aga Khan Early Learning Centre and IDEA ELC


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