About Us

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Great Minds ECC opened its doors in January 2014. Areti Panagiotou, the founder of the center had a passion for education from an early age when as a primary school girl used to help in her mother’s KG classroom. She completed a BA degree in early years education and then she went on to do a postgraduate course and MSc in speech and language therapy in City University of London, U.K. She worked in the U.K. as a speech and language therapist and in Greece as an early years teacher. Later qualifying as a Montessori trained teacher she wanted to combine her knowledge to create a unique nursery setting in Dubai. With the strong support of her family, after over 8 years of working with special needs children at the Dubai Center for Special Needs she felt the time was right to help other children reach their full potential  and the idea of Great Minds ECC was born.

Our Vision

At Great Minds ECC we aim to:

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Encourage each child to be independent and confident and develop a sense of responsibility for themselves and respect for others in the environment.
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Offer a happy and safe place where everyone is valued and different needs are acknowledged, accepted and met.
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Provide a stimulating range of activities that will challenge children and develop curiosity.
Further develop a positive attitude to learning that will support them through life.
Our vision is to see children becoming happy, confident and intelligent human beings. Little People Great Minds!

Our Mission

Our mission at Great Minds ECC is to provide a unique environment which will suit both children’s and parent’s expectations and needs. The nursery uses the Montessori Method to promote children’s social, cognitive and physical development. The approach is child centered with strong respect towards the individual’s personality. The objective is to provide children a happy and safe environment which will promote their natural growth, in line with their intrinsic sensitive periods of development.
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Meet Our Staff

Our staff are experienced and well trained professionals characterised by genuine appreciation and respect for young children, patience, flexibility, sense of humour, and dedication


Areti Panagiotou

Nursery Founder

Areti holds a degree of Master of Science in Speech and Language therapy from City University of London, U.K. a Bachelor’s degree in Early Years Education from the University of Greece and a Montessori Diploma from North America Montessori Center. She has worked in the UK as a Speech and Language Therapist, in Greece as an Early Years Teacher and most recently in Dubai at Dubai Center for Special Needs as a senior Speech Therapist. She is a full member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in the U.K. She is First Aid certified. Areti loves theatre and volleyball.


Ana Stevanov

Nursery Manager

Ana Stevanov has been working at Great Minds ECC since September 2014. She brings with her years of experience in education, development programs and care for children. She has a degree of Master of Science in Education and a Montessori certification. Before moving to Dubai she worked as an author and facilitator of projects approved by the Ministry of Education in Serbia. All the projects were intended to cater educational needs of children who attended regular and inclusive school programs. Ana loves reading and going to the theatre.


Sara Mougharbel Burhani

Head Teacher

Sara holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, from the Lebanese American University, in addition to an International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy from the Montessori Centre International. Apart from her 5 years of Montessori teaching experience in Dubai, she has also worked as an elementary school teacher for Grade 2 and 4. She is First Aid certified. Sara’s hobbies include cycling, aerobics and reading.


Jeena Mathew

Registered Nurse

Jeena Mathew is a registered nurse in DHA (DHA–P-0041407) since December 2013. Ms Mathew has a BSc in nursing from M.G University of Kerala She has worked as a surgical nurse for 2 years and she has been working as a registered nurse at Great Minds Nursery since January 2014. She is First Aid certified.


Brigette Yuliana Parraga Leon

Extended curriculum coordinator/ Teacher

Brigette is a dedicated and passionate teacher, she holds a degree in Childhood Pedagogy from Colombia, she was honoured with the merit award in 2014 for her thesis, also she holds a certificated III in Child Care Education and Care from Australia in 2020. She has experience working with children for over four years as an educator in different environments, developing programs to enhance physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development of children at early childhood, besides, she is First Aid certified. Brigette loves traveling, reading books, discovering natural places and swimming.

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