New Federal legislation is being prepared to crack down on illegal nurseries, according to a spokesman for the Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA) who was speaking to local daily newspaper 7 Days.
The current law dealing with nurseries is being updated to include centres which teach children art, music and ballet and other developmental and entertainment clubs.
As it stands these establishments fall outside of regulation by the education authorities and nursery licensing.
“Their activities are ambiguous,” said Mooza Al Shoomi, head of the child department at the ministry speaking to the newspaper. “No one really knows what they are supposed to offer. They are just a grocery shop that sells commodities and are only after profits.”
Lack of qualified staff as well as deficiencies in health and safety procedures are top of the ministry's reasons for imposing legislation in this area.
The new law will make it mandatory for such centres to seek their operating licence from the ministry. Violation of the rules could lead to prison and a fine between 50,000-100,000 AED.