Masterminds Nursery and kindergarten will be offering an integrated early years curriculum starting September 2015, combining the British Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum with pioneering enrichment programs to, in their words, ‘nurture intellectual, physical and social excellence in all children’.
Andrew Chapeau from Masterminds says, ‘Our learning philosophy is based on a child’s innate love for learning. Children can be taught absolutely anything as long as it is taught in an honest, loving and joyous environment. By bringing together the best methods and learning environment alongside the best educators, Masterminds Education is able to ignite that innate love for learning all young children have. We consider ourselves guardians of this precious flame and it is our responsibility not only to keep it burning brightly, but also to keep it replenished for the decades ahead.’
Masterminds Education has partnered with a US-based institute that has been a pioneer in child brain development for 60 years and whose founders include Nobel Prize laureates.
Programmes at Masterminds will include French and Arabic language immersion, learning to play the violin, gymnastics and swimming, as well as ensuring all children can read fluently, do maths and have exceptional knowledge, physical and social awareness – all by the age of six.
‘The ultimate aim of Masterminds Education is to produce exceptionally well-rounded children,’ says Andrew. ‘The experience of previous students who have learned through these programmes is that while they go on to be the top performing students in their class and age group, they also integrate well with other students and their leadership qualities often see them keen to share their knowledge with others and assist fellow students.
Masterminds Education has also been endorsed and used by celebrity parents, including world number one tennis player, Novak Djokovic, and his wife Jelena, for their son Stefan, as well as the singer Shakira.
Masterminds will open up with one facility in Umm Suqeim 3, but plan to offer additional early learning centres, within the next five years. Each facility will offer specially designed classrooms – developed for the children rather than the teacher – music rooms for learning the violin, as well as a swimming pool and running course.
They will initially start with age groups between two and six years old, up to Foundation stage II level (FS2/KG2). A typical day at the nursery will start at 8.30am and end at 12.30pm, and children are encouraged to attend all five days a week. The fee is Dhs16,500 per term, inclusive of all integrated activities and enrichment programs.
Masterminds Education, www.masterminds.ae (056 443 0695).
This French childcare brand was launched by two brothers, Edouard and Rodolphe Carle in 2003, who couldn’t find the right nursery for their children. They opened a nursery in Paris and today, Babilou Group is the largest network of private childcare and childminding facilities in France. It has branches in Belgium and Germany, but has now set its sights on the Middle East. ‘We’re opening two nurseries in June,’ said Michaela Glynn, the new nursery manager. ‘One in Umm Sequeim and one in Downtown on Emaar Boulevard.’
‘The focus will be on the process, not the product,’ said Michaela. ‘For example if you have a child who loves playing with cars, we can teach them all sorts of skills through that – colours, counting, dexterity, etc.’
Babilou will have a unique curriculum which blends the most renowned programs worldwide such as EYFS (British Curriculum), Reggio Emilia, Montessori and Emmi Pikler. The children will be taught in three languages: English, Arabic and French, with the primary focus on English. They will take children as early as 10 weeks, right up to four, and the nursery will be open year-round, with special summer and spring camps available.
Babilou are not stopping here. Their main focus in France is on corporate nurseries within companies, which allow mothers to return to work with ease. Lama Bechara Chivi, Babilou’s local relevancy director explains, ‘the benefits of corporate nurseries are well-known; companies are able to retain their staff, the mothers are happier and more efficient and remain loyal to you.
‘The problem remains in changing perceptions within a company, and changing HR policy.’
With strong international links to companies such as L’Oreal, IBM, Nestle and Coca Cola, Babilou’s presence in the Middle East is sure to expand.
Babilou MENA L.L.C., www.babilou.ae (800 2224568).