Kidogo is a social enterprise that provides high-quality, affordable early childhood care and education to support the healthy growth and development of young children living in Africa’s urban slums.
Mothers living in urban slums have to make a difficult decision each day about whether to stay at home with their children or to go to work in order to put food on the table. As a result, their young children (0-5 years old) are often left at home alone, under the care of an older sibling who is pulled from school, or in congested, unsafe, and unsanitary local “baby-care centers” with untrained caregivers. At the same time, UNICEF estimates that 200 million children globally fail to reach their full potential due to lack of sufficient care during the early years, with only 12% of children in Sub-Saharan Africa accessing formal early childhood programs.
Kidogo is piloting an innovative “hub-and-spoke” model to sustainably deliver high-quality early childhood programming to families living in urban informal settlements. They establish community “hub” centers that serve as best-practice models for early childhood care and education in the informal settlements. These centers offer safe and stimulating physical environments, trained early childhood development (ECD) caregivers from the local community, and a health and nutrition program, as well as an exploratory play-based curriculum using learning stations and child-centered strategies. Kidogo also prides itself on ensuring child development occurs within a culturally appropriate context by actively engaging the broader community, sourcing locally available resources and services, and engaging parents in effective child development practices.
Additionally, Kidogo works to improve the quality of local baby-care “spokes” through a micro-franchising program that delivers training, resources (e.g. curriculum materials, branding support, etc.), and ongoing support to “mama-preneurs” running their own baby-care centers. Their innovative "business-in-a-box" model ensures improved child development throughout the communities served while also empowering local women to start or grow their own child-care micro-enterprises.
In essence, Kidogo has three key functions:
(1) Establishing corporate-owned, community-based ECD centers in Nairobi's informal settlements
(2) Designing a customized curriculum combining global best-practices with local child-rearing techniques
(3) Providing capacity-building to local caregivers and informal child-care and development centers on the principles of ECD
To date, there is no proven, financially sustainable child-care model in Sub-Saharan Africa’s informal settlements. Kidogo combines the sustainability of early childhood development “hubs” with the scalability of micro-franchised “spokes.”
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CEI approaches in actionDeliveryFranchise of schools/centersEarly Childhood DevelopmentHealth/NutritionEntrepreneurship skills
Model details2014Hybrid (for-profit/not-for-profit)21st century skills (soft skills)OtherEarly childhood education and developmentHealth/NutritionEntrepreneurship skillsActiveLong-term projectRevenueInternational Child Resource Institute (ICRI)9050%50%
BeneficiariesOrphans and vulnerable childrenOtherChildren living in informal settlements
ECD centers are located within informal settlements to provide care for children from extremely low-income and vulnerable households. The tuition rates are equivalent to local centers, where the quality of care is significantly lower and feeding programs are absent. In addition, Kidogo provides existing baby-care and informal ECD centers with capacity-building and quality-improvement support. This ensures Kidogo reaches a wider breadth in the informal settlements and provides care to the most vulnerable children.
TechnologyMobile phoneTablet or e-readerOtherProviding community health and child development outreach, monitoring and evaluationIDEO.org Toto Health
Scale6Kidogo currently employs 6 teachers - all of whom are ECD certified and trained by Kidogo22 early childhood "hub" centers are currently active
9 key operational partnerships developed.January, 2015
Kidogo was founded in January 2014 and opened its first early childhood center in Nairobi, Kenya (Kisumu Ndogo, Kibera) in September 2014. In January 2015, Kidogo opened a second early childhood centre in Kangemi, also within Nairobi County.
Kidogo is in the process of developing “The Kidogo Way,” a proprietary early childhood curriculum and teacher training program that combines global best practices with traditional local child-care practices. Upon completion, Kidogo hopes the program will have the potential to be patented and licensed to other early childhood providers worldwide.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
Kidogo's monitoring and evaluation plan is focused on three key metrics for how Kidogo’s key inputs effect change in the short-term (i.e. 12-18 months), with the long-term goal of assessing sustained impact in child development:
1) "Hub" centers: child development and readiness to learn. This takes into account each child’s holistic development, including physical, cognitive, psycho-motor, language, and socio-emotional outcomes, to ensure children are adequately developing and learning at each stage in life. Using local development assessment tools (including Kilifi Developmental Inventory), Kidogo is implementing a case control study with baseline, midpoint, and endpoint assessment tools.
2) Micro-franchised "spokes": early childhood caregiving environment. The Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS-R) will be utilized in order to assess quality improvements in baby-care spokes as a proxy of child development. This assesses the personal care, activities, physical and program structures, and caregiver interactions, as well as other factors within the center. This will be conducted at baseline to determine initial quality, midpoint to track improvements over time with a final endpoint assessment to determine whether improvements are sustained over time.
3) Program sustainability and scalability. Using operational and financial metrics, the Kidogo team is tracking the cost-effectiveness and potential for scale of its innovative "hub-and-spoke" model. Specifically, the focus is placed on the ability of individual centers and programs to reach operational sustainability (break even) and be easily replicable across communities.Standardized assessment performanceUser satisfactionAbility to reach the poorEmployment ratesTeacher attendanceStudent attendanceTeacher retentionStudent retentionIncreased enrollmentCost effectiveness/value for moneyNo