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  • Writer's picturePatricia Mezu LL.M, M.Ed., AMI Montessori Diploma

Help! I need an Academic Plan!

Updated: Dec 17, 2022

I receive calls on an average of every two weeks, asking for an academic plan. This has been the case for over three months. Keen investors and potential preschool owners in the UAE seeking solutions to start up successfully and usually with minimum investment.

I do understand the nature of their plight, but I'm writing this article to raise awareness about the do's and don'ts of setting up an early childhood centre or nursery in the UAE. It's a bit of a 'How to Start a Nursery in the UAE'.

Let's start with the 'yeses', the 'dos'.

It's all about having the right key

I have worked as an early years advisor in the UAE for over 16 years and understand the nuances and risks involved when opening the doors to a new preschool. The right key will open the front door to your preschool. If you have the wrong key it simply won't open (unless the lock is changed, but that involves additional cost and considerable inconvenience). I believe you get the point:

"Begin With the End in Mind"; or
"Start Strong and End Well"

The key represents strategic entry. Starting strong means knowing what needs to be done and building a strong foundation. This includes taking two pointers from my seven-step process for successful start up:

  1. Contact the relevant regulatory authority.

  2. Identify the best curriculum for your nursery/preschool/early childhood centre.

Taking shortcuts does not pay in this industry.

I have seen a good number of things go wrong over the years simply because Mr ABC or Mrs 123, thought it was a simple process that did not require professional advice or expertise. After all, how difficult can it be to set up a learning environment for 'babies'? Hmmm.. unfortunately those preschools are no longer on the early years landscape in the UAE, or never started.

Here are three other landmines that you can avoid:

  1. Recruiting ill-qualified and inexperienced staff to 'look after the babies'.

  2. Failing to invest in high-quality leadership.

  3. Aiming to start in a rush.

What's Next for you as a Potential Owner-Investor in a Nursery?

There are a number of ways to success that Professional Minds provides, depending on where you are in the journey:

  1. Arrange a strategy session, by way of 'The Preschool Consultation'.

  2. Start writing your academic plan, also known in Dubai as the 'Education Care Plan'.

  3. For (2) above you are welcome to book a complimentary discovery call for further information. Additionally, book the discovery call if you have questions.

Having a quality-driven, high-standard preschool is always a great idea. I only wish you success and look forward to hearing more about your plans.

Patricia Mezu is the Founder and Director of Professional Minds, a high-level, boutique advisory service providing tangible preschool solutions internationally. She has been working in the field as an expert for over 18 years.

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