The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA), in line with the UAE leadership’s vision and its commitment to early childhood development, has launched its Parent-friendly Label programme for a third cycle and is now accepting applications for organisations to earn the label.

The programme, which first launched in 2021, invites semi-government, private and third-sector organisations, who have been operating for at least two years in the UAE, to apply to earn the Parent-friendly Label. The Parent-friendly Label provides a range of 19 criteria that organisations can adopt in order to be recognised and awarded for their parent-friendly policies, practice and culture. Supporting parents of young children in the workplace enables them to flourish at work and at home, which in turn results in positive outcomes for the child and society.

Her Excellency Sana Mohamed Suhail, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA), explained the focus of the programme is on supporting the UAE’s workplaces on their journey towards becoming more parent-friendly, which in turn benefits working parents and their children.

Her Excellency Sana Mohamed Suhail, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA), said: “The Parent-friendly Label programme aims to encourage more parent-friendly workplaces, which are those that support working parents, understand family needs, actively welcome back new parents, offer sufficient parental leave and breastfeeding hours and offer a work culture aligned with this.

“These workplaces have a role in ensuring that all children have access to the best opportunities for care and development. This commitment extends to providing suitable services and resources for parents, children, and caregivers to ensure optimal child development.”

Her Excellency emphasised that this third cycle aims to build on the success of previous cycles, which benefited applicants, working parents and their children as well as society at large. There has been a notable increase in the number of applicants to earn the Label and the level of interest from the private sector has grown.”

For the last cycle, 75 organisations from 23 industries applied to earn the label. Educational institutions constituted the highest percentage of applicants at 19 per cent, followed by professional services institutions at 15 per cent, and financial institutions and banks at eight per cent. Cycle 2 has had a positive impact on the lives of more than 127,000 employees (of whom 67,000 are parents), 48,000 children aged between zero and eight, including approximately 1,500 children with determination.

Running from February 27 until 2 September 2024, interested organisations can apply, for free, based on the criteria of the Parent-friendly Label programme. Organisations can be recognised on one of two tiers of achievement – the first tier (PFL) is for workplaces that exceed local requirements and standards, while the second tier (PFL+) is for workplaces that meet or exceed leading global practices. The label is valid for two years, with a check-in with the organisation after the first year. All applicants undergo an impartial evaluation by an independent judging panel, made up of senior leaders from each of the emirates.

During the award programme's second cycle, several organisations were inspired to reassess the challenges faced by working parents, fostering a transformative shift in the workplace culture.

In the upcoming weeks, the ECA will spotlight the organisations that have earned the label through the implementation of supportive policies and innovative practices.

A series of educational webinars will be held on 5 March and 26 March, 23 April, 21 May and 18 June 2024 to raise awareness about the application process, the criteria and the benefits of applying.

For additional details about the programme or to apply today, contact the Abu Dhabi Government Call Center at 800555 or visit: to submit an application form.