‘Early Childhood Development’ Event Report

On Friday 31st May we held the latest in our popular breakfast events, this time with the theme ‘Early Child Development.’ 

The Venue & Sponsors

The venue was Reform Social & Grill, a favourite restaurant venue known for its family vibes, light, airy spaces, and thoughtful facilities for families. The event was sponsored and supported by:

Supervised play & babysitting 

Among the packed room of attendees, many mothers brought along their babies and toddlers, with the option of having them cared for and supervised by the professional nannies from the British Home Nursing team of nannies. 

The Speakers

  • Karla Mediah, Principal of Dubai British Foundation School
  • Doctor Shahid Ali, Paediatric Specialist at Mediclinic
  • Salil Malik, the Managing Director of Boo Boo Laand
  • Babyshop Personal Shopping Expert, Ronalyn

You can read about the speakers in more depth HERE.


The event got underway with a welcome address from Kay Marham, who explained the running order of the event, as follows:

Preparing Your Child to Start School 

Karla Mediah, Principal of Dubai British Foundation School, would first answer questions that shone a light on the experience of a young child attending foundation school for the first time. She explained that young children will typically arrive feeling understandably nervous to be away from mum and in school for the first time. Not only this, but parents can also often be anxious at leaving their child at school, away from their direct loving care. Karla stressed how important it is for the school to work and communicate closely with parents to make the transition as smooth as possible. 

Karla talked at length about how both the DBF school and parents work together to provide children with the coping skills to navigate the start of their school journey. Finishing on the topic of ‘attachment theory’ (the way children become attached to the trusted people closest to them, such as their parents), Karla explained how DBF nurtures a trusting, caring environment for children that works hand-in-hand with parents to provide the best for every individual child’s needs.

Early Child Development – the Pediatric Doctor’s Perspective

Doctor Shahid Ali, Paediatric Specialist at Mediclinic, gave a compelling interview on ‘Child Development’. Many of the mothers attending commented afterwards how much they liked him and appreciated his reassuring opening advice to “don’t worry too much about child development milestones.” In a world where parents are being bombarded with advice from well-meaning friends, relatives, social influencers, TikTok and just about anybody online about the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of childhood milestones, it was a relief for mums to hear from a genuine paediatric expert that its okay to let your child simply develop at their own pace. 

The Mediclinic Paediatric Specialist also talked about the importance of nutrition to a child’s healthy development, but with an emphasis on not exposing a parent’s anxieties and worries around food and mealtimes to the child. Any issues to do with feeding times and eating should be kept very calm and gentle. He reminded us that it is completely natural for every individual child to explore the world of food in their own way, and at their own pace. Again, reassuring advice!

Dr Ali, in his soothing calming tones, talked about the role of play in child development, and how this provides opportunities for parents to appreciate play at their child’s level. 

Exploration Through Play

The topic of play led to a fascinating interview with Salil Malik, the Managing Director of Boo Boo Laand, an exciting new ‘child’s play’ concept that will be unveiled in the summer. Salil struck a chord with every person in the audience in describing the play, fun, discovery, excitement and adventure experiences children will have at Boo Boo Laand that allow ‘children to be children’, while also providing absolutely crucial child developmental benefits. 

Toys that Promote Child Development, by Babyshop

The topic of play was further expanded upon by Ronalyn, one of a team of highly trained and experienced Personal Shopping Experts from Babyshop, who had brought along a selection of children’s toys. Ronalyn gave us a fascinating insight into the cognitive development benefits behind the selection of Babyshop toys.  

The event was brought to a close with our popular prize draw giveaway, supported by some amazing brands! The prizes included:

  • 2x Vouchers for a family of four to spend a day at LEGOLAND, worth over AED 1,100 each
  • An AED 500 Voucher from Babyshop
  • A celebration Cake from Mister Baker

As always, we’d like to thank all the mothers that attended and look forward to seeing you all soon at our June event!

Read more about the SPEAKERS here

Find out more about the event Sponsors HERE

Check our review of the venue, Reform Social & Grill

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