How to Start a Licensed Daycare in Dubai: Your 17-Step Guide

Families in Dubai rely on preschools for multiple reasons. It is their relative wealth and the number of low-cost nannies available to assist with child raising that prompts them to put their child up in daycare. This is why it is as good a time as any to open a preschool franchise. With so much room to grow, running a preschool is a lucrative company with minimal costs and a great return on investment.

If you’re keen to start a daycare center in Dubai, this is your go-to guide for financing, costs, technology, paperwork and more!

Related reading: How to start a preschool? A complete guide.

Table of Contents

  • Why Open a Licensed Daycare in Dubai?
  • Documents & Permits Required
  • 10-Step Process of Starting a Daycare in Dubai
  • 5 Questions to Ask Before Starting This Venture
  • Cost of Setting Up a Daycare in Dubai
  • Role of daycare software 
  • Get Expert Help From Illumine
  • FAQs About Setting Up a Daycare in Dubai

1. Why Open a Licensed Daycare in Dubai?

global childcare market

You’ll also have the freedom of running your own business rather than being tied to a standard 9-to-5 employment. Instead of being dependent on a traditional wage, you may take control of your money by creating a licensed daycare in Dubai. You may increase your earning potential while also reinvesting in your company.

If you have a child of your own, you may look after them while you manage your daycare. This will save you money and allow your children to socialize with other children. Opening a daycare might lead to new prospects in the childcare profession. You could be offered a different career or decide to further your degree.

2. Documents & Permits Required

In Dubai, there are two separate authorities that can award a daycare license:

  • Daycare licenses in Dubai are handled by the Ministry of Social Affairs.
  • Daycare licenses in Dubai free zones are handled by KHDA.
  • To obtain a daycare license in Dubai, you must be prepared to meet all educational, safety, health requirements.
  • You’ll also need permission from your local emirate, the Civil Defense Directorate, and the Public Health Department.
  • Your daycare must follow Dubai Municipality laws and regulations.


3. Draft a business strategy

A concise description of your day care center in Dubai should be included in your business plan. Include a summary, a description of the firm, and a market study. A financial strategy with predictions should also be included.

4. Identify a prime location for your daycare in Dubai

Working parents do not want to make an additional journey to drop off their children before going to work. Accessibility is critical, and the location must be in a popular residential area with several transit alternatives. A neighboring play area or playground should also be included.

5. Get your documents ready

A business license is required to start a day care business in Dubai. You’ll also need certificates from the Dubai Municipality and the Public Health Department in addition to the license. This checklist has all the papers and documents you’ll need to submit with your application.

6. Obtain the trade name approval

daycare licensing in Dubai

Submit three names in English and Arabic for trade name approval, then pick the needed name for your nursery from the list of authorized names. Your business name must be original and must not be similar to any other business name in India.

7. Take the approval of Ministry of Education

Because the commercial activity includes a child’s educational development, your daycare in Dubai must adhere to government regulations. The Ministry of Education will provide the go ahead depending on funds and other resources.

8. Get the permit from the Civil Defense and Municipality

To get a permit, you must first:

  • Create an account on the official website.
  • Login and fill out the service application and upload the needed documentation.
  • Make the payments.
  • You may obtain approval or rejection from the Dubai Municipality

9. Invest in equipments for your daycare in Dubai

These equipments are critical for your daycare’s success in Dubai:

  • Strollers
  • Storage units
  • Cots, cribs and mattresses
  • Feeding chairs
  • Art supplies

10. Recruit staff members

Local teaching programmes, child care and daycare job fairs, social media, and early childhood education-related online forums are all good places to start hiring teachers. Request personal recommendations from instructors, coworkers, parents, and even friends and neighbors.

11. Buy daycare insurance

The majority of health insurance providers cover day care operations. However, the insured must review the company’s policies to determine which operations are covered by the coverage.

12. Set up policies, terms and conditions

The regulations that apply to fulfilling a certain contract and that are an inherent aspect of that contract are detailed in the terms and conditions. To construct a contract, the childcare operators and parents must agree on the terms and conditions.

13. Marketing guidance

It’s common knowledge that it’s difficult to boost enrolments with word-of-mouth. The advantage of owning a franchise is that franchisees can come together to brainstorm strategies to market the brand. To attract parents to your franchise, use the following marketing tactics:

  • Create innovative advertising campaigns. Repurpose content by promoting them on TV, billboards, radio, magazines, newspapers, and social media to get the maximum ROI.
  • Release blog franchise-specific updates and cross-collaborate with industry news platforms to reach parents on a mass scale.
  • Get franchisees to tell your brand’s story to amplify your marketing efforts. What prompted them to join you? Third-party validation and reviews can amp up your brand visibility. It also warrants your brand credibility and established trust among parents and prospect franchisees.

14. Decide curriculum and activities

You must have a standard, consistent curriculum across all daycares as a franchise owner. 

  • Meet with the other franchisees to confirm the activities you want to implement for children aged 6 months to 5 years. 
  • Ensure you help the franchisee develop the program content by onboarding subject matter experts. 
  • Don’t forget to pass on the learning materials they’ll need to implement the curriculum in their daycare.
  • Judge the rigorousness of the curriculum by asking the children and parents for reviews. You can use Illumine’s instant messaging feature to create a poll asking parents for feedback on initiatives and activities.

You get to choose from a range of traditional or modern curricula for your daycare franchise, such as Montessori, High/Scope, Reggio-Emilia, Play-based, etc.

Source: SlidePlayer

15. Operational support

A franchise owner must assign an operations manager to each daycare franchise to help them resolve queries or doubts. The operations manager provides monthly visits, 24/7 telephonic support, and virtual and online training to consult daycare staff. 

You can also scale up your franchise at a higher accuracy rate by reducing the risk of human error with Illumine. Our daycare management app helps you boost employee productivity by automating daily reporting and digitizing real-time updates. 

Handling operations become less mundane with Illumine!

16. Parent workshops and events 

You can stay up-to-date about their expectations by running point on interactions with parents. Hosting frequent workshops and events will develop long-standing relationships with them. Not only will you receive valuable feedback, but you will also form a close-knit community. The workshops could expand on topics of their interest, such as curriculum components, co-curricular activities, and parental involvement. 

Most franchise owners also provide support in the form of childcare management software. These platforms monitor student performance and report on assessments. 

Illumine is a user-friendly daycare management tool that works seamlessly with over 100 daycare centers globally. We provide the necessary support to franchisees to impart world-class education and care to students worldwide. Our parent-teacher communication feature helps parents build better partnerships with teachers and saves the latter from wasting 45 hours monthly on monotonous tasks. 

Happy parents mean more enrollments!

17. Fix royalty fee

Franchise owners collect daycare franchise royalties of 4-12% of the center’s revenue monthly. That transaction is also referred to as a royalty fee. It is different from a franchise fee, a one-time upfront payment made at the time of joining the franchise. The royalty fee is an ongoing payment for the franchise owner’s continued support and permission to use trademarks. 

On average, franchise fees are between $25,000-$50,000. You can take a fixed percentage of your gross sales to calculate your royalty fee.

7 Steps to own a daycare franchise

Here’s everything you need to know about setting up your daycare business affiliated with a franchise:

  • Apply for a daycare franchise with the required documentation
  • The franchise owner’s office will send the approval to give the franchise
  • The franchise owner and the franchisee will complete the legal procedure
  • The location will be finalized with the support of the franchise owner
  • Both the stakeholders will begin working on the infrastructure and setup
  • The franchisee will get support from the owner to market the brand and hire staff
  • Both the stakeholders will finalize the daycare launch date

 9 Daycare franchising opportunities

Alarmed at the range of daycare franchise choices? We’ve evaluated the options across the United States to help you decide which childcare franchise is right for you.

1. Creative World School

Creative World School follows STEAM-based learning, prioritizing science, tech, engineering, art, and math, for daycare students. It is headquartered in Missouri and has franchises across Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Virginia. The founder of the school set in motion a learning program that is top-notch and easily customizable for franchisees.

One-time franchise fee: $75,000

Royalty fee: 5-7%

2. The Goddard School

The Goddard School equips daycare students with technological education by play-based learning. It has 400+ schools across 36 US states, including Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, etc. The founder of the school, Louis Goddard Haines, set in motion a learning program that is high-quality and easily repeatable for franchisees. The founding team of The Goddard School loan liberal sum of money to franchisees for setting up a daycare. 

One-time franchise fee: $135,000

Royalty fee: 7%

3. KLA Schools

KLA Schools gained popularity in 2017 after getting a viable spot in Entrepreneur’s list for Top 500 Franchises. Founded in Miami in 2008, the school has franchises in over 15 US states. Reports suggest that its selection criteria is very strenuous. An extensive interview is followed by a long franchise application, followed by more paperwork, and bank documents that show you have $100,000 in liquid funds. 

One-time franchise fee: $78,500

Royalty fee: 6-7.5%

4. LeafSpring Schools

LeafSpring Schools prioritize the holistic, well-rounded development of a child in daycare. Their teachers go through a strict selection process and come with extensive experience. They only take in children whose parents exhibit an academic bent of mind. In return, LeafSpring provides huge support to families in the form of transportation to and from school, meals, health checks, diapers, and digital attendance tracking.

Founded in 1988 by Gail W. Johnson, LeafSpring has more than 12 franchise schools across Texas, North Carolina, and Indiana.

One-time franchise fee: $87,500

Royalty fee: 6%

5. Genius Kids

Genius Kids was founded in 2001 with the aim of exposing students to an enlightening experience in their childhood. Its first school was set up in California. Currently, it has over 30 daycare franchise schools spread across California. To become a franchisee, you have to go through a four-step interview process. Once that’s done and dusted, the team takes you through a presentation of the franchise and the value system they stand by. The process usually takes a couple of weeks, so we suggest you start early if you’ve decided to become a franchisee.

One-time franchise fee: $50,000

Royalty fee: 6-7%

6. All About Kids

All About Kids was started by a couple named Tracy and Jim Kaiser in the US state of Ohio in 2005. Its USP of it is that it offers flexible daycare programs for children aged 6 months to 12 years. It is also the only LEED-certified green daycare in Ohio. 

Like Illumine-affiliated daycares, its franchise schools have CCTV live streaming. Parents can monitor their child’s whereabouts through a website. Both Illumine and All About Kids are invested in creating an open and transparent culture and keeping parents stress-free.

To become a franchisee, you should have $150,000 in liquid funds. 

One-time franchise fee: Custom quote

Royalty fee: Custom quote

7. KidsPark

KidsPark believes in socializing children and exposing them to co-curriculars like art and craft and sports. To that effect, their expert teachers are trained to offer one-on-one activities and group games to students. Their franchisees across California follow an open floor plan, so that teachers can keep an eye on children. 

Founded by Debbie Milner in 1988 in San Jose, it is a one-of-a-kind school because it lets parents pay by the hour rather than being charged a fixed fee for a day, week, or a month. To become a franchisee, you should have nearly $260,000 in liquid funds. 

One-time franchise fee: $25,000

Royalty fee: 5%

8. Primrose Schools

Started in 1982, Primrose Schools follow a research-based learning model. It is a combination of various curricula we discussed above, like Montessori and Piaget. Children in the franchise schools have the opportunity to learn language, science, math, social science, psychology, and more. 

They attribute their success to their balanced learning strategy. They were recently ranked fifth on a list by Forbes of America’s Best Franchise to Buy. It’s unsurprising, since it’s the biggest franchise in the US, with over 200 schools spread over 15 states. 

As a franchisee, you have access to a real estate team for location inspecting and a training team for hosting professional development for teachers. 

One-time franchise fee: $80,000

Royalty fee: 7-9%

Daycare Software

A daycare software will help you streamline your operations, manage staff, and student admissions, automate billing and Communicate and collaborate with parents, generate and share insightful reports, and provide a meaningful learning experience to children. Illumine Daycare software is used by many schools in Middle east and supports Arabic language as well

5 Questions to Ask Before Starting This Venture

questions to ask yourself before starting a daycare

Cost of Setting Up a Daycare in Dubai

In Dubai, the cost of getting a daycare company license ranges from AED 12,000 to AED 20,000. The best part is that there are no currency limitations and the ability to repatriate all earnings and capital.

To create a corporate account in the UAE, you’ll need a company license. Some banks demand that stockholders have a valid visa. A minimum balance of AED 10,000 to AED 150,000 is required for most accounts for paying off for your childcare in Dubai. If your application is approved, your account is normally established within two to four weeks.

Get Expert Help From Illumine

With Illumine, you can simplify digital attendance, childcare billingevaluation, and parent communication for all the operations in your daycare in Dubai. Take command of your childcare’s day-to-day operations and digitally supervise procedures with ease. You can also instill trust in parents by establishing a strong parent-teacher connection.

Claim your ability to expand your daycare in Dubai to the next level with Illumine by taking an 11-day free trial today!

FAQs About Setting Up a Daycare in Dubai

Q 1. How much does daycare cost in Dubai?

In Dubai, the cost of getting a daycare company license ranges from AED 12,000 to AED 20,000.

Q 2. What is the age to start preschool in Dubai?

Most Emirati parents choose to enroll their children aged between three and five years in preschool.

Q 3. How can I start a daycare in Dubai?

Locate a municipality in Dubai, get a license, hire staff members, and start advertising to receive leads for your daycare in Dubai.

Q 4. How can I make my daycare in Dubai profitable?

If you want to make your daycare in Dubai profitable, you need expert advice, a clear preschool business plan, and a childcare management app to help you stay organized and streamline your operations.

4 thoughts on “How to Start a Licensed Daycare in Dubai: Your 17-Step Guide”

  1. If I buy frenchise they will do all the paperwork and building ready.
    What is included if I buy any frenchise

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