The initiative was launched following a directive from H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, and in line with his vision to maintain a high quality and resilient education system in the Emirate.
The funds have been distributed to all nurseries that submitted applications and qualified for support. Many of these nurseries are now back operating after also implementing all guidelines from the Ministry of Health on precautionary measures.
This is one of many initiatives rolled out by the Ras Al Khaimah Government to support businesses and other entities affected by COVID-19. Last year, a comprehensive stimulus package backed thousands of companies in the Emirate by offering business boosters such as fee exemptions, payment deferrals and fine waivers. The package was followed up by several other initiatives to ensure business continuity across all sectors.
Dr. Mohamed Abdullatif Khalifa, Secretary General of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, said: “This funding for nurseries across Ras Al Khaimah is another sign of the leadership’s commitment to ensuring a full economic and social recovery from the effects of the pandemic.
“Research shows that supporting early childhood education not only enhances the opportunities for future generations but also enables greater participation of women in the workforce. This initiative is therefore crucial to Ras Al Khaimah’s long-term development. The financial support provided by the Ras Al Khaimah Government will help ensure that the Emirate’s private nurseries continue to thrive as we move towards a post-pandemic new normal,” he added.
Helen V. John, Manager of Kinderwood Nursery in the Khuzam area of Ras Al Khaimah, spoke of her joy at receiving the funding after being closed for 11 months last year.
“The financial support has been crucial for us in reopening the nursery,” she said. “All fields are suffering and so I was relieved when I learned that we would receive this funding from Ras Al Khaimah Government. It’s a big help to the industry and will support the children at a crucial time of their development, which has suffered due to the pandemic.”
“We are using the funds to buy extra resources for the children, for some renovations, and for staff training, to improve their skills,” she added.
Amin Humood, Manager of Little Dream Nursery, which has been impacted by COVID-19, said: “It has been so difficult for us over the past year and I was pleasantly surprised when Ras Al Khaimah Government helped us in this way. The support really means a lot to us and we now plan to reopen one of our branches within the next two months. If this support hadn’t come, we wouldn’t have been able to reopen.”