Diaries Magazine

The Perfect Nusery for the Perfect Monster

Posted on the 20 August 2013 by Mavie
If you knew me 15 years ago, you wouldn’t ever think I was capable of being a mother. Even through my early twenties I couldn’t imagine a tiny tot gurgling in my arms and soaking my clothes with drool. When I fell pregnant, I thought I would carry on with life as I had done, never giving a thought to all the sleepless nights and endless trips to the supermarket, doctor’s and chemist’s that sat before me.
As soon as my first born could walk, I power-walked him to the staff crèche at my new job in Riyadh, eager to experience some alone time after 11 long months of being at home in a new country where I had little else to do. Although I was just a part time teacher, I took comfort in the fact that my son was in the basement nursery, not too far from me. It took two tear-filled weeks of crying and tantrums, me – not him, to get my son into a routine, but once he had settled, both he and I have never looked back. Now aged almost seven, he has moved throughout the Middle East, changing schools as we have changed cities. Much to his grandmother’s dismay, he has never once, completed a school year in one establishment. But has that damaged his self-esteem? No, I think it has made him stronger. He has learnt and adapted to different environments with ease.When my daughter was born, I knew she had to follow her brother’s footsteps and start school as soon as she could walk. Now, at the age of three and a half, she is begging me to take her back to school, citing that she is too bored at home. And why wouldn’t she be? She has spent the last five months at home in our new home, in Dubai. Now with summer almost over, and school’s resuming, I am actively looking for a nursery school that will give me exactly what I am paying for.Like my house-hunt, my search started with the internet. Below I have listed some nurseries around Mirdif, hoping it would help anyone in the same situation as me. Prices are for the academic term of 2013 – 2014.
1.   SUPERKIDS NURSERY – tel: 04 288 1949 (Annual Fee: 24,000 + 2100 extra cost = 26,100aed) Price is for child attending until 3pm. A small nursery off street 15. Friendly staff and a soft play area and paddling pool. Narrow outside play area, all around the villa, where kids up to age 5 can play. Lunch and snacks are included and are served in medium-sized kitchen. Downside is that classrooms are tired looking and the interior of the building is dark. Not worth the money as my daughter’s last nursery was of similar design and half the cost, even though it was in Riyadh. But I felt there were a lack of toys and furniture, so would not choose this option for my daughter.
2.  CRYSTAL VALLEY NURSERY – tel: 04 284 5519 (Annual Fee: 29,000 + 1000 extra cost = 30,500aed)The price is for a child attending until 2.30pm. Centrally located next to Arabian Center, with professional staff. I did not go inside, so cannot comment on the interior.Lunch and snacks are included in the fee.
3.  EMIRATES BRITISH NURSERY – tel: 04 288 9222 (Annual Fee: 31,200 + 2200 extra cost = Total 33,400aed with 1000aed returned at the end of the school year)  The price is for a child attending until 3pm. No food or snacks provided. A large nursery located off street 71 near the small Spinneys. Professional staff who answer questions promptly. I didn’t go inside so can’t comment on the interior. But for viewings you can turn up at 10am or 2pm only.
   4.   SMALL STEPS NURSERY – tel: 04 2883347 (Annual Fee undisclosed)
A small nursery in a villa. Tricky to find as it is off street 47 somewhere and if you are not good at directions then this nursery is not for you. No answer on phone or email so can’t comment on fees. The building itself looks old from the outside and the gate was locked, so I couldn’t peek in.
5.  GEMS OUR OWN HIGH SCHOOL – tel: 04 2361335 (Annual Fee for KG classes 600 monthly + 1500 extra cost = Total 7500aed)Located just outside Mirdif, in Warqaa 3, this school was a little hard to find. But once I got there I was blown away by the sheer size and opulence of the school. Deciding that my daughter was definitely enrolling here, I headed inside. Large classrooms, bright and airy reception. Friendly all Indian staff. Amazing price. But fully booked and no waiting list available. If you decide to go for this school, be sure to book your child’s place a year in advance.
6.  MIRDIF PRIVATE SCHOOL – tel: 04 2883303 (Annual Fee for KG classes 21,000 + 1500 extra cost = Total 22,500aed)Located in the narrow fully congested road as all other major schools in Riyadh, this school will be a battle to get to. Short school timings. Large and impressive school, with ample parking. No teachers in sight, so cannot comment on them. This may be a contender, further investigation needed.

The Perfect Nusery for the Perfect Monster

Taken from Mirdif Private School website

There are a few other schools such as the Uptown Taaleem school, but at 35,000 aed a year, I don’t see my three year old going there. Arab Unity School, is at the other end of the spectrum, at around 7,000aed a year, the school seems tired and run down from the outside, with only 4 and a half hours of school a day. If you have any other recommendations, please do leave them in the comments section below. The sooner my child goes to school the quicker my blog posts will be :)

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