Exploring the Educational Philosophy of Blossom Nursery, Dubai

Early years nurseries like Blossom Nursery in the UAE provide an interactive environment that helps children develop and reach their full potential through purposeful play and inquiry-based learning.

The Blossom Nursery Group, founded in 2009, stands out as one of the most established nursery education providers in the UAE  With 30 locations across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and now Sharjah. The  brand that is part of the global Babilou Family successfully merges the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Reggio Emilia-inspired approaches to teaching and learning.

Blossom Nursery believes it enables hands-on discovery learning that allows children to use all their senses and their many languages of learning early on in life.

The Babilou name, renowned worldwide for its expertise in early childhood education, originally opened its first branch in France in 2003 before expanding globally to six European countries. The first Babilou opened in Dubai in 2014; its professional reputation soon spread, and it became the most sought-after nursery.


Our nurseries embody the ideal blend of educational excellence, sustainability, and community support, setting us apart as a prime example in the early years education sector.
Lama Bechara, Chief Executive Officer, Babilou Middle East
Lama Bechara


Bechara explains that there is an  emphasis on SEN (Special Educational Needs) and inclusion, alongside their initiatives to use sustainable materials and reduce their carbon footprint, showcases their dedication to not just education, but also to the environment and broader community.

According to Sari Saliba, Operations and Education Director at Babilou Family in the Middle East, the cornerstone of Blossom Nursery's approach lies in its innovative curriculum, tailored to cultivate purposeful play and inquiry-based learning in more than one language.


Photo: Blossom Nursery


"Living in a culturally diverse country like the UAE, where multilingual exposure comes naturally to children at a young age, enables children to be effectively bilingual," explains Saliba. This unique blend of educational approaches caters to the diverse backgrounds of parents seeking to enroll their children in a local school with world-class educational approaches.


We adopt an in-the-moment planning approach, which means that we don't have a full plan for the upcoming week. We plan according to the children's interests and needs. So our teachers are now trained to see where the interest in the classroom lies and where the children are interested.
Sari Saliba, Operations and Education Director at Babilou Family in the Middle East
Sari Saliba


For example, if a child says they spent the weekend at the beach and saw the shells, the teacher crafts that idea into a lesson plan and starts having the session around that child-led idea.

“Everything is based on the child's interests,” explains Saliba.

Blossom Nursery hires educators with Bachelor's or Masters level degrees in Early Childhood education, or a related subject, or a CACHE early years education qualification. Other members of the staff have additional qualifications in other education-related areas such as special educational needs, inclusion, music, dance, and many other subjects that enhance early childhood experiences.

Photo: Blossom Nursery


According to research, during the early stages of the formation of a baby's brain, more than one million neural connections are formed each second, a pace never repeated, beginning at conception and continuing throughout infancy.

The process by which the brain's fundamental architecture is built starts before birth and lasts into maturity. Early life events have an impact on brain architecture development, which lays the groundwork for all subsequent behaviour, learning, and health. Like the foundation of a house, stronger connections and positive interactions in the early stages of a child's life lead to more functional brains. With time and experience, the brain prunes back unneeded neural connections.

For example, during a baby's first year, the parts of the brain that differentiate sound are becoming specialised to the language the baby has been exposed to the most. At the same time, the brain weeds out the different sounds found in other languages, leaving only the important, more prevalent ones. That's why a newborns cannot develop their language and visual circuits until they repeatedly hear and see exciting activity, and although our genes dictate how brain connections form, experience activates the connection.


Photo: Blossom Nursery


An environment rich in serve-and-return experiences helps children learn how to control their emotions, cope with stress, and learn skills that will serve as a foundation for later development.

Therefore, Blossom Nursery has invested in their educational spaces including teacher-planned but student-led provocations that seek to provide stimulation, social engagement, emotional development, and cognitive growth. With a free-flowing, interactive design, children can freely roam the classroom to explore all the different elements as the teacher follows to educate.

"In the younger age group, zero to three, the day is based on what they want to do, whether it is to sleep, eat, or play outside. During that stage, our teachers aim to set a rhythm for the day with planned interactive, sensory activities that encourage serve-and-return,”explains Saliba. After the age of three, children are prepped for school readiness. The day is more structured because they need to learn the standards of school systems, how to take turns, how to line up, and how to manage themselves physically and emotionally, so while there will be more structure, the children will still be able to choose their learning," Saliba adds.

By the age of 6 years, 95% of the child's brain is developed, which means what a child experiences throughout these years is critical to their life journey.

Photo: Blossom Nursery


For toddlers ages 1-3, Blossom Nursery's classroom is purpose-built. Think water splash area, a soil pit, an indoor gym, and sensory pathways to fully stimulate the toddler in more than one way.

Recognising the importance of early developmental stages, Blossom Nursery offers parents with children ages 0-3 fully-equipped baby suites aimed at stimulating and engaging a baby's sensory, emotional, and motor development.

Each baby suite is supervised by a certified nurse or caregiver who follows a 3-step programme to slowly integrate the child into the nursery and classroom environment, hence familiarising children with the idea of transitioning from one environment to another and forming the foundation of the coping mechanism that will help them with separation anxiety later on in life.

The nursery explains that they are child-led, structured learning that allows children to explore and discover all their developmental milestones, assisted by a team of experts to not only encourage but also monitor a child's progress.


We partnered up with a team of inclusion specialists and therapists who will help you understand where your child is at in their development journey and advise, according to the stage of their development, on how to potty train or their speech and language development. When it comes to screen time, we proudly follow Babilou's strict guidelines of no screen time at all.
Sari Saliba, Operations and Education Director at Babilou Family in the Middle East
 Sari Saliba


Although the brain continues to develop and change into adulthood, the first 8 years of a child's life will form the basis for all future learning and development to follow. Importantly, brain development in early childhood is critical to securing a happy, healthy future.

Despite following a more flexible approach in lesson planning and allowing teachers to run their classrooms independently, Blossom Nursery still adheres to an overall plan that covers all the fundamentals, just like any other FS1 and FS2 nursery.

After graduating from the nursery, many of the children transition into prestigious primary schools, both locally and internationally, explains Bechara.

Given the success of their approach, Bechara said that they  aim to broaden their reach within the UAE and, ultimately, throughout the region, reinforcing their commitment to sustainable education.


We are always exploring opportunities to open new nurseries in strategic locations to ensure that more families have access to our offering. Expansion efforts will continue to emphasize our key values of People First, Pedagogy of Tomorrow, Planet at the Core and Positive Growth.
Lama Bechara, Chief Executive Officer, Babilou Middle East
Lama Bechara



February 2024

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