The AKELC is the first and only AKES supported education programme to be established in the United Arab Emirates and is comprised of two distinct but complementary units, the Early Learning Centre (AKELC) and the Resource Centre (AKELRC).
Both units represent models of internationally recognized early childhood education and professional development for the local community and the entire global network.
Over the next 3-5 years, the Aga Khan Early Learning Center (AKELC) and Resource Centre (AKELRC) will continue to focus on achieving operational excellence and serve as an AKDN Early Child Development resource (e.g. for teacher training for nearby countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, etc.).
The Aga Khan Early Learning Centre (AKELC) is located in one wing of the Ismaili Centre Dubai (ICD) and began operation in 2010.The Centre aims to provide a caring, stimulating and secure learning experience in a purpose-built environment for children aged 12 months to 4 years. The AKELC programme includes half-day and full-day activities. The AKELC follows the UK-Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and U.S.A. High Scope curriculum, which encourages children to become good communicators, problem solvers, independent thinkers and happy learners. The AKELC welcomes children of all backgrounds and nationalities and provides a bilingual learning environment in English and Arabic.
In March 2019, AKELC was named the Best Nursery in the UAE. Previously, an external JAWDA (quality assurance programme) evaluation completed in January 2015 by the UAE based Arabian Child Education Consultants, resulted in the AKELC being rated as a 5 Star exemplary Early Childhood Centre in all six programme areas. In September 2016, the AKELC received the highest level of quality accreditation (Level 3) by the UK National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA). It is the only Early Learning Centre to have attained this level of accreditation in the UAE. Since this time, the Centre has been awarded the runner-up for: ‘International Nursery of the Year’ and ‘Practitioner of the Year’ by NDNA in 2017. Furthermore, AKELC has also received Edarabia’s ‘Parents’ Choice of 2017’. In June 2018 in Coventry, England, NDNA awarded AKELC the winner of the ‘International Nursery of the Year’ award. In November 2018, AKELC was named runner up for the UAE Leading Nursery for the Fatima Bint Mubarak Motherhood and Childhood Awards.
"The Aga Khan Education Services, a philanthropic agency, will draw on its own extensive experience in many parts of the world to offer broad, holistic, early childhood education on a secular and non-denominational basis at the highest standards of excellence. The objective is to have a curriculum of proven calibre, taught by competent teachers, to help lay strong foundations for a child's continuing educational growth."
His Highness the Aga Khan
The Ismaili Centre Dubai, 2003