Ras Al Khaimah has stepped in to support private nurseries that shut temporarily because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The money has been distributed to centres that submitted applications and qualified for support, and many have reopened.
Nursery managers welcomed the move, with some saying without the support they could not have reopened.
“It has been so difficult for us over the past year and I was pleasantly surprised when [the] Ras Al Khaimah government helped us in this way,” said Amin Humood, manager of Little Dream Nursery.
“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.”
Helen John, manager of Kinderwood Nursery in Khuzam, said the business was closed for 11 months last year and the support was crucial.
“All fields are suffering and so I was relieved when I learned that we would receive this funding from Ras Al Khaimah Government,” she said.
“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.”
The financial support is the latest initiative by authorities in the emirate to support businesses affected by Covid-19.
It follows last year’s major stimulus package encompassing fee exemptions, payment deferrals and fine waivers.
“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,” said Mohamed Abdullatif Khalifa, secretary general of the Executive Council of Ras Al Khaimah.
“This initiative is, therefore, crucial to Ras Al Khaimah’s long-term development.”
The nurseries have introduced Ministry of Health measures designed to curb the spread of coronavirus.