Struggling to choose the right Abu Dhabi nursery for your child? We’ve put this list together to assist you in making a shortlist. As well as being some of our top picks, the following nurseries have also received an 'Outstanding' grade from ADEK too. We think that's a pretty good starting point in your quest to find the best nursery for your child...
Part of Aldar Academies, Al Forsan Nursery provides a solid foundation for 2–4-year-olds to prepare them for their transition to one of the Aldar Academies (Al Ain Academy, Al Bateen Academy, Al Mamoura Academy, Al Muna Academy, Al Yasmina Academy, The Pearl Academy, and West Yas Academy). It is important to add here, that graduates of Al Forsan Nursery receive priority placement in these schools. As we would expect from the highly regarded Aldar Academies, the team at Al Forsan Nursery are highly qualified with considerable experience. The nursery boasts a relatively low staff turn-over too and is proud to offer its educators frequent professional development opportunities.
This setting really stands out; housed within the green surroundings of Al Forsan International Sports Resort, the scale and appearance of the nursery appears to grandly state just how important early years education is to Aldar.
Formerly MindChamps Nursery, this beautifully designed setting recently rebranded and transformed into a high quality EYFS setting. Operated by Bloom Education (operators of the highly reputable Brighton College schools in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ain), the nursery shares the same high standards in terms of staffing and facilities and is much loved by the community it serves. The purpose-built facility is extremely well resourced with a fresh bright appearance; it boasts several engaging indoor activity areas, including a spacious indoor gym, as well as an attractive outdoor area, with climbing and balancing equipment as well as open play spaces, used for creative and sensory activities, construction play and more.
Children graduating from Bloom Nurseries are given priority placement at Brighton College Abu Dhabi.
This nursery was graded ‘Outstanding’ by ADEK prior to its recent transformation. With the same experienced team and leadership, we feel confident that Bloom Nurseries will continue to provide a high level of education and care, albeit with a new framework in place.
Bright Beginnings have been operating in Abu Dhabi for 17 years (making it the longest running on this list). This group of nurseries advocates for play-based learning, very much in line with the two frameworks that come together to guide their practice: the UK’s EYFS and Australia’s EYLS.
Founder and Managing Director, Jo Shaban explains that at Bright Beginnings, “children are treated with respect, affection, courtesy, and above all, as individuals”. Each setting has considerable outdoor space for children to enjoy as well as bright and engaging classroom environments and shared indoor play areas. Children at Bright Beginnings Nurseries clearly benefit from the team’s considerable expertise and experience in early years practice.
This charming independent nursery feels like a breath of fresh Aussie air (yes, this nursery is proudly Australian). The nursery’s owner, Kimberly Sheedy, opened it in 2015, after feeling that she wanted something not yet offered in Abu Dhabi for her own children; this nursery certainly does have a different style to it. With spacious, bright classrooms and beautiful wooden play equipment, there is an appealing sense of minimalism and simplicity about Starfish Lane.
As we might expect, the nursery follows the Australian Government’s Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), and practice is very much child-centred, with a deliberately flexible approach to planning children’s activities, allowing practitioners to respond to children’s interests in the moment. Unusually, this nursery offers childcare services from as early as 6:30am, making it a great option for parents working in schools or government entities.
Having first opened in 2007, Jigsaw Nursery was beautifully renovated in 2017 and is now a well-resourced, modern setting with a real warmth and family-feel to it. The nursery is owned by Al Najah Education, a group that operates various schools, nurseries and training centres in the Gulf region and Asia.
Jigsaw Nursery follows the British EYFS framework and has in recent years transformed into a child-led setting, using an ‘in-the-moment planning’ approach, very much in line with the direction of recommended early years practice in the UK. This is an approach that requires a depth of understanding from early years practitioners, and we are delighted to see this nursery doing it so well. The nursery’s leadership credits its success to its passionate and experienced team of early years educators and we couldn’t agree more.
This independent nursery has been operating since 2015 and is a setting with a lot of warmth and a real ‘family feel’. It becomes clear how the nursery has come to have this homely quality when its owner, Hala Tahboub, explains that she created Treehouse with her own children in mind. This has clearly been a labour of love for Hala and manager Stephania, as there is such attention to detail and beautiful design in its facilities.
The real wow factor is undoubtedly the nursery's beautiful outdoor space, featuring a blend of natural grass and trees and landscaped play spaces. Classrooms are bright and spacious with natural tones and materials used, in line the Reggio Emilia approach that influences much of the early years practice here.
Odyssey Nurseries currently has five settings across the UAE, with 2 in Abu Dhabi. The latest addition is situated in the Mushrif area and is also beautifully designed and resourced. The group's nurseries have been heavily invested in and have a real wow factor for children and parents alike. The Khalifa City setting has been around for some time now, having opened in 2015, and is a community favourite.
As a refreshing alternative to the more commonly used EYFS framework, Odyssey utilises the Washington State Early Learning Developmental Benchmarks (to our knowledge, the only UAE nurseries using this), with the Reggio Emilia approach guiding their practice. Another aspect of Odyssey that sets it apart from others is its focus on languages. English, French and Arabic are on offer here, offering a wonderful opportunity for early multilingualism.