A Parent's Guide to taking the leap for Kindergarten education in private schools in Abu Dhabi

GIIS communications team
Aug 24, 2021

Kindergarten literally means garden for the children. The first stepping stone for parents is to find the perfect kindergarten school for your little munchkins. Object permanence plays an important role here, since children learn that even when their loved ones are not visible or around, they continue to exist and love them while we create new bonds and learn new things.

As children step into this new world of the unknown wonders, primary and kindergarten schools play the most vital part in their growth and in developing their sense of self, including finding and accepting that other people can be different and still be their friends.


Important Factors to Consider While Looking for a Private School in Abu Dhabi


The focus here, as parents should not only be about looking at the best infrastructure, ambience and technologically savvy buildings. You must look at private schools in Abu Dhabi in terms of the curriculum, if what is being taught is age appropriate and not overwhelming. You should look at whether your child will be able to not only cope with the kindergarten syllabi, but also be curious, wonder and find themselves. The curriculum of kindergarten schools must not overwhelm the child, rather create space for unbridled ideas and exploration.


Teaching Staff

Kindergarten is a fragile time period for children. It forms the foundation for success. The teachers should be open to a caring and nurturing environment where play and discipline go hand in hand. The teachers must understand the children beyond what the syllabi offers, delving deep into their cultural backgrounds.


Cultural Influence

As parents, we must look at not only the qualifications of the teachers, but also the kind of environment and interaction, sensitivity they bring to the child's life. It is difficult to separate the child from its roots. A child can be in a pit if there is cognitive dissonance between the home and the school. While background should not be the stereotyping focus of education, it should not be ignored. Most Abu Dhabi private international schools are located downtown and the language of instruction in kindergarten schools is mainly English, with Arabic as a compulsory language.


School Fee structure

Private schools can dig a hole in the parents' pocket in Abu Dhabi. With the large fees, we as parents must see if the school is worth spending the amount on. A private school can cost anywhere between 10 Durhans to over 60 Durhans. It is important to understand what kind of expense a parent can afford not just in the short term, but rather long term. We must plan how much the fees and overheads will amount to. While citizens of Abu Dhabi may or may not be required to pay school fees, those who are not native, need to pay in full.

Despite all the factors, the basic morals of kindergarten should be placed on adjusting to the school and new surroundings, learning new things through classes, and activities.


Emphasis on the Needs of Kindergarten children

A child must feel seen, heard and connected. This then becomes the responsibility of the school. He or she should be able to express themselves in a myriad of ways, without putting a clamp on their wonder, even if it seems repetitive or nonsensical. Their needs, wants should be heard and they must have the opportunity to make safe connections with their peers and their teachers.


State of Art Technology in Abu Dhabi Private Schools

The school campus should illustrate state of the art technology, every corner a place to learn with respect to colors, ideas, shapes. Many schools achieve this through creative campuses, pools in the shape of letters and numbers, swings in the shape of objects, furniture in shapes of animals. This enables a learning point at every step of the way.

Focus on ExtraCurricular Activities

Focus should also be on the phonetics building, motor development through various models. Games and sport should form a major part of the day. Reading, writing, reciting, and being enthusiastic about extracurricular activities should be equally important.


Going Beyond the Kindergarten Syllabus

Morals and values must not only be a part of the kindergarten curriculum but also practiced by adults in the school. Focus on environment, gardening, inculcating practices of sharing, caring and eliminating shame through vulnerability and empathy should be practiced. An exercise could be where everyone including the teacher talks about one difficult thing they are facing. This will help children learn how to be supportive and encouraging of each other rather than pitting one against the other.

A culture of favoritism, belittling should be avoided at all costs, for this not only makes the children feel insecure but also a part of a rat race where creativity and originality is stifled. There should be conversations around gender sensitization, eve teasing, good touch and bad touch, basic understanding of who to call if lost.


Parent Teacher Engagement

Some schools provide facilities like crèche, travelling facilities, meal plans, helping the parent understand the needs and wants of the child and creating a structure for the child in a collaborative fashion. It is also important to understand what kind of parent-teacher interaction the school is providing. Feedback is the most important part of having your child enroll in a private kindergarten in Abu Dhabi. A constant communication channel should be open for the parent and the administration in forms like application, progress charts, improving points, homework status, all can be achieved through technology and regular meetups.

Do your Research on private schools in Abu Dhabi

 Before applying as well, schools can be demanding and it is important to know the process. Are there any prerequisites you need to have, if there are any documents like some schools demand for the parent to take eligibility tests and rigorous interviews, income receipts, recommendation letters etc. It is also a good idea to check for scholarships or any relief that can come in handy. Consulting friends who might have their children enrolled in similar schools, check prospectus, online reviews and rankings, attending seminars or taking a tour of the school, seeing counseling services can give an idea of the school outside of the primary, formal understandings.

There exist a large number of factors while putting our children out into the world. A private school though pricey comes with a holistic development of the child. It is, however, important to evaluate what suits your and your child's needs best. The school must be a good match as much as your child is a good match for the school. And, at the end of the day, when you do put your child in a private school in Abu Dhabi it's a new step in your journey as a parent as much as it is for your child.

GIIS communications team

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