In order to successfully achieve our 2035 strategy, we are developing a comprehensive social and behavior change communication framework to build a common understanding of the importance of the early years and to impact behaviors that promote and encourage holistic child development and well-being. We worked with the UAE National Service Program to add an ECD training component for each cohort of NSP trainees, both men and women, reaching over 10,000 trainees each year.


Parents play an essential role in supporting their child’s development, however, they don’t have high awareness about the importance of children’s early years. Successful implementation of our ECD strategy 2035 will require improvements in mindsets and actions on the part of not just policymakers, but also practitioners, service providers and parents.




We are working behind the scenes to ensure ECD is featured at the next prominent international platforms, offering the potential to influence high profile officials, international organizations, experts and scholars.

We are also creating our own knowledge forum, World Early Development (WED) Movement, to bring together leading academics , policymakers, advocates and practitioners to educate and inform future ECD research, policy and practice.


Positioning Abu Dhabi, on an international level, as advocate and supporter of investing in the holistic development of young children, acting as a role model for how governments can promote ECD.


Positioning Abu Dhabi as a knowledge hub and key advocate for ECD improving outcomes for Abu Dhabi’s young children and their families and ultimately, our economy and society as a whole.


Quality ECD Workforce


Attracting, supporting and retaining top talent locally and internationally is the first step to having our own highly qualified workforce. This will be achieved by creating an integrated strategy to build a dynamic human capital ecosystem through working with our public and private sector partners.

We are also building the capabilities and skills of current ECD practitioners, professionals and policymakers by launching three academic programs.

Finally, we are aiming to deepen the knowledge, critical thinking and decision-making abilities of current personnel so that Abu Dhabi’s ECD-related policies and programs are more adequately promoting optimal child well-being.


Children succeed when they have secure, positive relationships with adults who are informed about ways to help in their healthy growth and development. However, some of our early childhood workforce falls short of meeting international criteria in terms of educations, skills and practice. We also have low retention rates compared to international benchmarks.


Over the next six months, 40+ policymakers and 25 child protection specialists across 20 government entities will participate in these programs.

Establishing a 10-year workforce development strategy to help identify highly qualified professionals while also improving the desirability and retentions rated of ECD related jobs in Abu Dhabi.


Data Insights


We are in the process of creating a Child Insights System, a first-of-its-kind project in the region. This is a comprehensive database comprised of key variables from various sectors and entities across a variety of dimensions related to child and family development and well-being.

We are gathering data for over 350k children in Abu Dhabi under the age of 9 and using advanced algorithms to spot trends, uncover patterns and develop valuable child insights on young children, their families and environment.


The development of programs and policies is essential for the government of Abu Dhabi to promote children’s holistic development and positive family outcomes. This is done by working closely with other governmental entities to coordinate data collection, analysis and interpretation.


By June 2021, we will have developed ten “use cases”, providing valuable information to inform policy making and service development

We are expanding the database through our on-going efforts with other governmental entities, leading to more seamless and effective policy making, program development and implementation of the ECD.

We are also aiming that within 3-5 years, an economic and social impact assessment of the Child Data Insights project will show measurable improvements from programs initiated as a result of insights we uncovered, positively impacting generations to come across Abu Dhabi.




Our primary objective is to ensure that all of our research initiatives are tailored to address actual needs and provide information to help improve the outcomes for our Emirate’s children.

We established and supported a network of local researchers and policymakers to examine key issues related to ECD in the hopes of aiming to develop a comprehensive research strategy.

We aim to develop local capacity by providing opportunities for researchers in our local universities to enhance their skills through education and training as well as offering mentoring opportunities. We successfully worked closely with our local and international research network and our local Government to identify ECD-related topics. Collaborated with NYU Abu Dhabi to conduct a survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on young children and their parents. We also studied the cultural and mindset shifts since the start of the pandemic in Abu Dhabi.


Research is a key element in making evidence-based decisions, including the development of sound policies and high-quality services and programs. It is also important to establish coordination between local institutions of higher education, government and the private sector to use ECD-related research to inform decision-making in policy making and program development.


We aim to build effective early childhood policies, programs and services that have a lasting impact on early childhood development and family well-being by laying the foundation for a robust ECD research infrastructure with clearly defined goals and objectives, strengthening Abu Dhabi’s research capability, enabling high-quality research and offering enhanced education and training to promote continuous quality improvement and program development.