The move by ADEK comes into force following a string of 'illegal babysitting' premises were found in the capital. Last year, the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department investigated 69 such cases.
Dr Sara Al Suwaidi, ADEK's early childhood education licensing director, said it was of "pivotal importance" parents were given access to licencing details. She told media a trained team visits nurseries frequently to ensure they comply with licensing, academic, health and safety requirements.
Pre-schools in the emirate are required to renew their licences on a yearly basis.
Currently, a total of 244 nursery schools are operating across Abu Dhabi. There are 194 preschools (10,776 students) in central Abu Dhabi, 43 (2,681) in Al Ain, and seven (253) in Al Dhafra.
Nursery licensing procedures include requirements to recruit qualified and licensed principals and staff, and complying with ADEK's occupational health and safety requirements. There are also age restrictions. Children at nurseries must be between the ages of 45 days and four years, and the nursery must use an established curriculum. Each child must also have an updated medical record at the nursery clinic; all fees must be approved by ADEK; and a refund policy must be in place, should parents wish to withdraw their children from the nursery.
Parents are usually driven to unlicensed nurseries because of the lower up front cost, which can be less than half the price of a registered nursery. However, the overall price can be too high. In 2015, a two-year-old Pakistani girl died after falling on her head in a nursery operated from the Dubai International City apartment.