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 through play and creative activities. Kidogo improves the health and wellbeing of the children, through access to adequate nutrition and health services. They help all children reach their full potential no matter where they are born. “Around the globe, more than a hundred million children under the age of six living in the slum, do not get quality education to prepare them for primary school and to be competitive in society. New research shows that early education starting from zero to six years is the critical and unmet need of this century. Unfortunately most parents and caregivers do not provide adequate early childhood education. Government, NGOs and private sector efforts are not enough to solve this challenge” This is according to the case study by IXL Centre for innovation, excellence & leadership. Kidogo through their ECD centres 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 Launched in January 2014, Kidogo has two early childhood “hub” centres which are currently active. They 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. The two “hub” centres support over 110 children collectively. The children are between the ages of 6 months to 6 years. The mothers are charged a small fee which helps to sustain the centres. One of the centre in Kagemi has been able to break even and is fully self-sustainable. In addition to charging the mothers a small fee for the services, the startup is exploring at other ways for generating revenue for the community hubs. The centers offer safe and stimulating physical environment, 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 in 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. In addition to establishing community “hub” centres, Kidogo is supporting and empowering local women from the community to start or grow their own babycare centre through their micro-franchising program. The program which is at its pilot stage is an innovative “business-in-a-box” model which delivers training, resources (e.g curriculum materials, branding support, etc) and an ongoing support to the mama-preneurs who are running their own centres. In October 2014, Kidogo joined m:lab East Africa’s incubation program. The incubation space offered a quiet and dedicated space conducive for team building and “heads down” focus. Incubation at m:lab East Africa also improved access to resources including investors, mentors, potential partners, mobile trainings and an avid mobile community. Kidogo has since moved location from m:lab East Africa on 3rd floor Bishop Magua Centre to its new offices in Adam Arcades Kidogo is developing “The Kidogo Way,” a proprietary early childhood curriculum and teacher training program that combines global best practices with traditional local child-care practices. They hope the program will have the potential to be patented and licensed to other early childhood providers Kidogo has participated in numerous programs and challenges including, Grand Challenge Canada, Spring, Ideo.org amplify challenge, Seed gender equality award and echoing green where both Afzal and Sabrina (co-founders) are echoing green fellows. The startup has cumulatively raised over USD 430,000 from the programs. They are looking to raise more this year. For more information visit theirwww.kidogo.co, you can follow them on twitter @Kidogo_ECD and like them on facebook www.facebook.com/KidogoECD/
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