‘The first six years of a child's life shapes 80% of his personality,’ says Zainab Khalifa, founder of Vernus Early Learning Centre.

In the first four years of children’s lives, they are usually surrounded by family members, with limited social and linguistic skills. Zainab, who founded her center in Dubai in 2014, believes that parents should invest into these years by teaching them a set of skills and values that would faster help cultivate their personalities.

‘The different skills acquired by the persons around them build their personalities, which means that 80% of their characters can be formed in a systematic manner in this early stage,’ she told Dubai Post.

‘Once a child leaves home environment, they will see that the world is a much bigger and safer place, a child who’s educated earlier will develop social, linguistic and self-confidence skills that other children who start mixing with others at a late age won’t have.’

Zainab believes that Dubai, which has more than 200 different nationalities, is a good example of a diverse and tolerant community in which friendships are made, and values like teamwork and having confidence in others like teachers and colleagues exist, adding that these factors could make a child more accepting, and engaging with others.