Little to no Increase in Nursery Fees - WSA Poll

Many parents in Dubai will be breathing a sigh of relief as only a handful of fee increases are reported in the nursery and Early Years sector for the coming academic year.
Little to no Increase in Nursery Fees - WSA Poll
By Jenny Mollon
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Whilst the overall picture for fee increases for the school sector is a mixed bag and currently waiting the final official rate at which fees can be increased, a poll of nurseries suggests there will be far more consensus from Nurseries and Early Learning Centres. 

We surveyed more than 30 nurseries across the UAE, and found that only 16%, were planning increases to fees for the 2018/19 academic year.  Further, whilst published government data on nursery fee increases is not available, our cross section saw a maximum increase of 5%, year on year.

In the absence of published inspection reports and a linked framework, the Early Years sector is required to have their fees approved by the Ministry of Education.  This year, it would seem that only a small minority have chosen to do so.

Zahra Hamirani, CEO of Babilou Education, a group which operates both Babilou and Blossom Nurseries across the UAE, told

“In 2017 we surveyed over 30 nurseries looking at pricing for core hours and saw that we remain competitive in the market.  We do not plan to increase core fees for 2018 start for our families and have introduced a variety of benefits for those who remain with us for longer – like discounts on renewals of programs and sibling discounts.  By doing this we hope to remain parent’s partners in education until their child goes off to big school.  Flexibility is at the heart of our company ethos with the ability to register for 2 half days to a whole week and our prices are reflective of same”. 

With an influx of new nurseries in recent years, choice has significantly increased at all price points and created a more competitive operating environment for nurseries.  These two factors have impacted upon fee decisions for Nursery owners and leadership.  That said, a handful of long established nurseries have chosen to move their fees in an upward direction.

Home Grown Nursery in Umm Suqeim will be increasing their fees by 5% this year, this being only the second increase since their opening in 2011.  Parents we spoke to have accepted this without complaint. 

“Both my children have been through Home Grown, with the oldest child starting back in 2012”, said one parent.  “This is the only the second fee increase we have seen in all this time, so it seems very reasonable.  Home Grown has great staff and facilities so it’s fairly obvious that a lot of our money is being reinvested.  We’d obviously prefer no increase, but really, we can’t complain.”

Similarly, Kids Kingdom in IMPZ are making a small upwards adjustment to fees, simply to cover rising costs.  Joanne Butcher, Centre Manager told us:

‘We are making a very minimal fee increase this year, which will average at 150 AED per child.  We have listened to the concerns of our parents who are facing increases in the cost of living in other areas of their lives.  We want to support our families wherever possible.  We will, of course, continue to offer the same high standard of care and education’.

Has your nursery made changes to its fees?  Join the discussion by adding a comment below, or on our Facebook page.

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