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Awards Countdown Day Five! The Best Early Childhood Centre in the UAE 2021 in Proud Association with Official Entry Form now LIVE.
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Awards Countdown Day Five! The Best Early Childhood Centre in the UAE 2021 in Proud Association with Official Entry Form now LIVE.

by Jon WestleyApril 18, 2021

The Top Schools Awards, the UAE’s definitive School Awards recognising the region’s most outstanding schools, teachers and educationalists, today publishes full information for entering the fifth of this year’s Awards: The Top Schools Award for Best Early Childhood Education Centre in the UAE 2021 in Proud Association with .

Entry for each individual Award is being published daily between now and the 8th May 2021.

For clarification, please note that this Award is exclusively open to what were historically known in the UAE as Nursery Schools – the UAE regulators now define Nursery Schools under the broader banner of Early Childhood Education Centres and use this term. This Award is designed to recognise the very different structural make-up, challenges and ambitions of stand-alone Early Childhood Education Centres, as defined by the regulators, and not the KG/FS years of mainstream schools. There are more than 120 registered Early Childhood Education Centres in Dubai alone.


First Steps

Please complete this application form to enter your school for The Top Schools Award for Best Early Childhood Education Centre in the UAE 2021. A PDF of the form can be downloaded at the end of this article.

Please only enter for those Awards in which you believe you have a very powerful case to be considered by judges. It is far better to enter for a single Award, and complete the application for this with passion and depth of insight, than apply for multiple awards, and stretch your ability to make your case too thin.

Not entering for an Award, does not preclude any school from being considered. All schools in the UAE are considered within the judging process, drawing on expertise and data across Which Media. Entering for an Award, however, does ensure that we have access to accurate, up-to-date information on your school – and information strengthened by your decisions on how to answer the following questions.


Please use the questions as a guide; you may wish to draw out other strengths to support your case.

Formal entry for this award must be submitted with the agreement of the Headteacher and/or Owner of the Early Childhood Centre.



Aim for 200-500 Words

Support the case that your Early Childhood Education Centre stays up to date with international best practice and continually seeks improvement to its provision.  Demonstrate how every child will benefit from this approach and how your curriculum adapts to ensure that you stay at the forefront of outstanding learning provision for young children.



Aim for 200-500 Words

Support the case that you offer exceptional facilities, teachers and resources.  Give examples of investment in:

  • indoor and outdoor facilities; and,
  • innovative classroom resources.



Support your case that your children are cared for by highly qualified staff for whom continuous professional development is a prerequisite.

Give examples of (1) superb teaching, (2) your staff going the extra mile and, (3) creating high integrity and trust-filled partnerships with parents.

Ideally give examples of how you support your parent body with parenting workshops, professional talks and other initiatives, events and actions.



Aim for 200 -500 Words

Focused on achievements over the last two years, including a full pre-Covid year when your Centre was functioning without any impact from the pandemic, provide information that is not included above that supports your application to be considered the benchmark Early Childhood Education Centre in the UAE.



[Note: Please include your typical statistics here, not those that may very well have been changed by the temporary Covid regulations e.g. Staff:Child Ratios]

  • Please list your staff:child ratios (by age group)
  • What percentage of your staff are qualified to Cache Level 1 (or equivalent) and above?
  • What percentage of your staff are qualified to Cache Level 3 (or equivalent) and above?
  • What percentage of your staff are qualified to Cache Level 5 (or equivalent) and above?
  • What percentage of your staff hold Early Years degrees or EYP/QTS?
  • How many hours per year must your staff spend in Continuous Professional Development?  (If this differs by qualification status, please detail by group).
  • What is the average number of years total experience in qualified teaching held by all faculty in your Centre engaged with teaching children?



As part of the following application, you will strengthen your case considerably by sending the following survey links to your students, teachers and parents, asking them to independently provide feedback on your school as part of your entry to the Top School Awards 2021.


Teachers should complete the survey here:


Parents should complete the survey here:


Older students (Grade 10-12/Year 11-13) should complete the survey here:


The statistical results of these surveys are valued, shared with judges and are used in our decision making.

In addition, we will use the data provided to us under your school profile in the Which Media (currently stored as part of database. In particular please complete the following sections:

  • Facilities
  • Details
  • Demographics
  • Memberships and accreditations
  • General info
  • Fees

If you do not have a school account on, please request one so you can update your review and admissions data here:



Collate evidence, identifying all areas of provision, investment, innovation, and achievement, that supports your institution being considered the benchmark Early Childhood Centre in the UAE.

This should include a minimum of 1 supporting quotation each from a child, parent, owner, Principal and teacher.

Please provide details of financial investments in facilities and staff training over the past two years and include dates of each investment. Please also include details of any future investment plans for your Early Childhood Centre over the next three years.

Please also provide copies of any feedback surveys you have completed with parents within the last two years that you believe represent your achievements, including those completed within a full Pre-Covid year.

Responses to the survey data (see above) we receive will be considered in conjunction with the above.



Please provide information on how you have managed to provide education and care for children, and their families, ‘against the odds.’ Please list areas in which early years education has been impacted by the pandemic and how you have responded.



Please provide 3 supporting photographs that best capture the impact of your provision on children. These can include photographs of your Centre during the year pre-Covid.

1 each of Film and Audio files may also be submitted.

If you have a dedicated brochure aimed at parents and students at your school or considering your school, it is imperative that this is included to support your case.


In the year the UAE Space Mission orbits Mars, the Top Schools Awards 2021 launches to celebrate schools and innovation in the UAE 



Please collate the above information in a Word document. High resolution photography, relevant film, PDF and audio files should be submitted separately with the Word file. These should be sent in a single email titled SCTSA21 ECC with the name of your Early Childhood Education Centre to [email protected]

Please note: unless you specifically identify information that is confidential and sensitive and not for publication, any information sent to us may be published and become a statement of public record. It is vital therefor that information provided is accurate.



To download the complete official entry form for the Top Schools Awards 2021 – Best Early Childhood Education Centre in the UAE, click here.

Completed entries must be received no later than 7th July 2021.

#sctsa21 © 2021. All rights reserved.


About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of and UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at]

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