Ladybird Nursery Al Barsha is the third early years educational setting operated by this long-established group, joining the nurseries in Jumeirah and JVC. With a 64,000 sq ft campus, this is believed to be the largest nursery in the MENA region.
The first Ladybird Nursery was established in Jumeirah in 1996 and is one of longest running UK style nurseries in Dubai. From its modest start the group has garnered considerable loyalty and appreciation from families for its warmth and its strong community. Some 20 years after the establishment of the original Ladybird Nursery, a second purpose-built centre was opened in the much newer community of Jumeirah Village Circle. Owned by Monica Valrani, there is a close relationship between Ladybird and Arcadia School (established by Mohan Valrani).
Ladybird Nursery Al Barsha opened in August 2022. This impressive purpose-built nursery campus is believed to be the MENA region's largest, and offers an unrivalled 300sq ft per child.
According to the nursery group itself, 'the vision of Ladybird Nursery is to create early childhood learning experiences that prepare children for success in school and build a solid foundation and passion for lifelong learning. To implement the Early Years Foundation stage standards for learning, development and care in a Montessori environment.'
The nurseries' mission statement informs parents that its 'purpose [is] to provide care and education of the highest quality that will enable all of our children to become successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens'.
The new Ladybird Nursery Al Barsha's founding team are largely made up of educators from the now very established Ladybird Nursery JVC, under the leadership of Ladybird Nursery JVC’s former Deputy Manager, Louise McCormack. This staffing approach looks set to ensure this new nursery opens with the style and level of quality that families have come to expect from Ladybird, and will ensure that links between the nurseries remain strong.
Like its sister nurseries in Jumeirah and JVC, Ladybird Nursery Al Barsha will use the UK’s EYFS framework combined with the Montessori approach. A wide range of Montessori learning materials are used at Ladybird, and the key principles of Montessori are evident, such as supporting children to lead their own learning and exploration in a prepared environment.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a popular choice in UAE nurseries and focuses on the development of seven core areas: communication and language, physical development, personal, social and emotional development, literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design.
Montessori is an educational approach that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process. Children work in groups and individually to discover and explore knowledge of the world and to develop their maximum potential.
This large purpose-built facility will have 15 Montessori-style classrooms, initially using five of these. The nursery has considerable shared indoor play spaces, including a skylight library, small world area, soft play, indoor adventure and role play space, mini-chef cooking station, music room and language room. Outdoor facilities look to be extensive also, with a customised splash pad, organic garden and mud kitchens, tricycle/bike area, sand pit, sports and ball skills area, as well as the usual climbing and play equipment.
Eco-conscious families may be interested to hear that this facility is gold certified by the US Green Building Council and has been constructed using recyclable materials.
Ladybird Al Barsha has also installed a UV air purification system. The UV bulbs "emit powerful but safe UV rays that will naturally kill germs and bacteria across the campus, and eliminate 99.99% of airborne germs, making transmission of airborne viruses such as Covid-19 intolerable.
The setting also takes air quality seriously:
"Fresh air is circulated daily into the facilities, which will result in lower carbon dioxide levels, impacting early learners' physical and mental development. Exposing children to fresh air daily is found to eliminate lethargy and exhaustion, while improving concentration levels and life skills that include self-discipline, behavioural development, and creative and critical thinking. Children are less likely to develop chronic illnesses, resulting in healthier hearts, flexible joints and stronger lungs."
|Age Group||Adult to Child Ratio||Maximum Class Size|
|45 days - 12 months||1:3||12|
|12 months - 24 months||1:4||12|
Ladybird Nursery Al Barsha offers a variety of options in terms of days and timings: 2, 3, 4 or 5 days per week and timings of 8am to either 12:30pm, 2 pm, 3pm, 4pm or 5pm.
Fees start at 10,200 AED per term for 8:00am – 12:30pm two days per week, and going up to 18,850AED per term for 8:00am – 5:00pm, 5 days per week. These fees, while at the premium end of the scale, are in line with other high-end early years settings in Dubai.
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