Dubai: Is your child going to join a nursery soon? As a parent you may be thinking of what precautionary measures the learning centre – whether a nursery or school – may be taking to ensure the health and safety of your little one. Education authorities across the UAE have issued detailed protocols for all education institutes including the maximum number of children that are allowed in each section, which are also referred to as ‘bubbles’. Recently, education authorities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai issued updated guidelines on how many children should be present in each section. Here is all you need to know.
On June 21, Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee approved updated requirements for operating children's nurseries, effective from July 1, 2021, include
1. Increasing the number of children within each ‘bubble’
• for children aged 45 days to two years – 12 children
• for children aged 2-4 years – 16 children
What happens if a positive case is reported within a bubble?
If a positive case is reported in a bubble, the bubble will be closed for 10 days, instead of the entire nursery being shut down.
However, if three or more bubbles are affected at the same time, the entire nursery will close for 10 days.
These protocols have been applied after observing a consistently low infection rate in the nurseries in Abu Dhabi. Also, over 77 per cent of the nursery staff in the emirate have been vaccinated.
The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) announced the protocols for reopening of Early Learning Centres in September 2020. A recent update to the protocol, announced in June 2021, increased the size of classroom bubbles from 10 students to a maximum of 15 students.
The protocol also states that a safe distance of 1.5 meters per child or person needs to be maintained and classes should include the same group each day, and the same child care providers should remain with the same group each day. No individual from outside the group can enter the classroom.
Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) also announced guidelines for reopening of nurseries and childcare centers in Sharjah in September last year. As per the guidelines, a maximum of 10 children per group are allowed for the age group of two to four year olds.
The protocol also states that at least one member of staff with a valid child first aid certificate has to be present at all times and children must be cared for in separate and fixed groups.