Frequently Asked Questions

The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) is a governmental organization established in 2019 and based in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. We promote collaboration to help all of Abu Dhabi’s young children flourish and we do this across four pillars: health and nutrition, child protection, family support, early education and care; from the early stages of pregnancy to the age of eight years old. These specific four pillars were selected because development in early childhood is multi-dimensional and requires integration and coordination across multiple sectors. There is a wide body of research indicating that intervention in one sector alone is not sufficient to promote the best outcomes.

We have four distinct roles:

  1. We are an enabler: We broaden the capabilities of our partners to support holistic child development.
  2. We are a policymaker: We develop coordinated and aligned policies and laws.
  3. We are a knowledge hub: We inform decision-making through research, data and evidence.
  4. We are a disruptor: We transform how people think about and address the needs of young children.

We defined our target age group through the latest scientific research. This period is considered to be the most influential in life, with the brain’s internal structure reaching 90% of its development by the age of 5 years. The age range covered is also consistent with the definition of early childhood applied by leading Early Childhood Development international organizations such as the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization, and the World Bank.

Neurological studies show that brain development in the early years forms the basis for human growth and development for the rest of a child’s life. A wide body of research demonstrates that high-quality interventions in early childhood benefit (1) economic growth and development, (2) overall health and well-being, and (3) academic achievement. Moreover, research by Nobel Peace Prize winning economist James Heckman shows that investments in early childhood are the most cost-efficient investments a country can make to ensure a strong future workforce and enhance its economic competitiveness.
We do not provide services directly to the public. Instead, we work with the relevant entities that provide services to ensure they have strong policies and legislation, and are working collaboratively to achieve their objectives, and the desired child outcomes.We also have an online Parents Platform that provides parents and caregivers with content and resources to help them support children’s development and well-being.
Our efforts and plans aim to benefit children of all nationalities (Emirati and expatriate) living in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Our scope of work covers the Emirate of Abu Dhabi only, however, to fulfill our mandate, we work with several federal partner entities.
No, we do not manage facilities. We do, however, work closely with our partners, the local and federal service providers, to enable them as needed by providing technical expertise, coordinating between the different entities, promoting continuous quality improvement, and transforming how people think about and address the needs of young children.
We welcome all suggestions from any person or organization willing to support the Abu Dhabi early childhood development sector through our existing channels. If you have any suggestions or complaints about a specific child service or facility, we recommend you reach out directly to the entity in charge of that facility, or service delivery, or contact Abu Dhabi Call Center 800555.
ECA was established to build upon Early Childhood Development as one integrated ecosystem within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (with efforts being organized separately among different sectors). Accordingly, the establishment of the ECA will not affect the mandate of other entities currently involved in Early Childhood Development. The ECA’s role is to bring all the relevant entities together to form a comprehensive system dedicated entirely to Early Childhood Development – one that focuses everyone’s work toward a common set of goals, a unified sense of responsibility and a shared vision.
We post all our job openings on our LinkedIn page. Kindly Visit the "Join Our Team" page to find out more about life at ECA and apply directly via LinkedIn.

Please contact the Child Protection Center at the Ministry of Interior by calling them on +9712 333 3999​​​​​​​ or the free hotline at 11611​​​​​​​ or send an e-mail to them at

You should only contact the emergency phone number for Abu Dhabi Police 999, if it is an emergency case or the child needs an ambulance. 

Yes it is safe to report and your identity will be treated with utmost confidentiality.