Phase 2 of Shamsa bint Mohamed Al Nahyan Fellowship kicks off

ABU DHABI, 24th February, 2015 (WAM) — As the class of 2014-2016 Shamsa bint Mohamed Al Nahyan Fellowship in ECD, Early Childhod Development, embark on their second educational module of the fellowship programme this week, the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation’s ECD programme commissioned surveys and revealed that 90 percent of attendees from the parenting talks indicated that learning is an important concept about child development with every parenting talk – a point illustrating the need for investment and dissemination of the concept of Early Childhood Education in the UAE. With the aim to invest in the people of the Emirates, the foundation continues to nurture the fellows into ECD Ambassadors for the UAE.

Training under Yale University’s Edward Zigler Centre in the US, eight Emirati professionals and two UAE residents that are also ECD professionals were selected by the Foundation and Yale University in the USA. Graduates of this programme will be well equipped to contribute to the knowledge and social change that align with the UAE’s 2021 vision for improved early childhood services by spreading awareness of topics important to the UAE children and parents. Key topics from the parenting talks that were identified as new concepts by the attendees included the fact that eighty-two percent indicated that they learned new practices with regards to how children’s early interaction with parents impacts their social-emotional and cognitive development, while eighteen percent indicated already having this knowledge prior to the talk.

Only five percent of attendees said they understood and helped their children manage their emotions. Forty-nine percent of attendees strongly agreed to learning for the first time that a father’s role in parenting cannot be substituted by a mother and vice versa.

Only eight percent of attendees already knew that health habits learned in early years of a child can influence long-term health.

The ECD programme continues to work towards building a workforce of professionals for the improvement of young children’s learning outcomes in the UAE while integrating best international practices.

“This year, the fellows were sent on an educational trip to the USA where the fellows observed several model early childhood centres and the world’s largest professional conference on ECD, Zero-to-Three National Conference,” said Sheikha Shamsa bint Mohamed Al Nahyan, leader and patron of the Foundation’s ECD programme.

“Our two-year fellowship programme is tailored to build a UAE workforce of trained professionals with necessary skills and knowledge in ECD practices and policies,” she added.

The Fellows are encouraged to work on projects that have a meaningful and positive effect on the community.