Dubai: The Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA) has approved up to a 20 per cent fee increase at 18 nurseries across Dubai.
The increase comes after an MOSA study found standards differed from nursery to nursery — tuition fees also differed from area to area.
“The study also found that some low standard nurseries charge more than other nurseries that have a higher standard, said Director of the Child Department at MOSA, Moza Salem Al Shoomi.
Following the study findings, MOSA welcomed applications from Dubai nurseries that requested an increase in tuition fees.
Out of the 300 applicants only 18 nurseries were approved.
Moza explained the criteria needed for the increase to be approved.
“The nurseries can apply for the increase provided they did not actually apply for an increase in tuition fees or request one in three years.”
The nursery should also provide MOSA with clarification and documents that prove schools faced an increase in expenditure for staff and services provided.
This could, for example, cover increased salaries for teachers and staff, costs associated with complying with laws and service quality standards, implementation of new technology and communications, increase in rents, new transportation services or improvements in hygiene conditions (eg having a nurse or an equipped clinic).
Parents have voiced concerns over fee increases at one Dubai provider, Raffles International School (nursery) that was approved a 20 per cent increase by MOSA.
Emirati Nadia told Gulf News how frustrated she was about the increase: “I currently pay Dh30,000 for my daughter who goes to the nursery in RIS, following the 20 per cent increase I am going to have to pay Dh36,000 which is higher than the KG 1 student fee that is Dh26,000! How can they justify the nursery fee where students colour and draw to be higher than the KG1 fee!”
Nadia also added: “If there is an increase in fees the nursery should notify us before the start of the year so that we would have a choice whether to keep our children in that school or not.
“However RIS notified us a week ago that the increase will be implemented in the next term, this means that it is too late to find spaces for our children in other nurseries. Basically we have no choice but to pay.”
An Australian parent who did not wish to be named also told Gulf News that she was frustrated with the increase.
“The school justified the increase in the announcement letter by stating that they did not increase their fees since 2009. I disagree with this statement because I believe that they indirectly increased the fees by removing the sibling discounts [unless you have five children in the school] and food costs where they stopped including lunch meals in the tuition fee.”
Gulf News tried contacting RIS but they were unable to be reached for a comment.
In response to the parent concerns, Moza said that in schools where fees have been increased, they have met the required criteria for a raise.
Moza called on the parents of nursery children to contact MOSA over fee increases as they are responsible for nursery students and not the KHDA (Knowledge and Human Development Authority) which is responsible for students in the other educational school levels.
Parents can then make sure that the increase was approved by MOSA.
By Noor Nazzal