GSF supporting children aged 0-6 years with nurturing care and holistic development opportunities to be resilient to meet challenges is crucial to their healthy development and for improved economic outcomes.
The overall goal of the Early Childhood Education and Development sector in Kenya, as prescribed in Vision 2030, is to ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary educations or that they are ready for primary education.However,current efforts at scale by the government are focused on provision for children between3-5years.
Non-state actors in this sector in Kenya are a vibrant community of organisations driving innovation andforming effective partnerships with the government for holistically servicing the needs of children in theearly years. There are many locally led childcare and ECED programmes in Kenya that are ready for scale.However, achieving scale is challenging. This is because of a lack of flexible funding for implementation,limited support in the form of relationships with scaling partners such as governments and funders,and lack of a dynamic platform to share actionable evidence and learning.
Global School Forum’s (GSF) Impactat Scale Labs programme aims to identify,fund,and support promising,locally led education organisations to scale.The comprehensive programme includes an extended 18-month duration for intensive support, offering up to GBP 75,000 in grant funding tied to milestones and providingone-on-one coaching and expertise for solution challenges, strategy building, and ongoing implementation.Additionally, participants gain access to a vast local and global education community, fostering vitalrelationships with government representatives, private sector implementers, funders, and other strategicpartners. The programme ensures organisations are embedded in the GSF network, providing opportunities for peer interactions,training and development,and participation in GSF networking and learning events.
Aashti Zaidi Hai, CEO and Founder Global Schools Forum, said:
“As part of our mission to improve education outcomes globally, our Impact at Scale Labs programme supports education programmes to scale through funding,coaching and intensive support.Our second Labs programme,
Early Years in Kenya,will partner with locally led childcare and ECED organisations focusing on children aged 0-6 years in low-income communities.”
After receiving applicants from 39 inspiring organisations across Kenya. I am thrilled to welcome Education Empowerment for Rural and Urban Slums Initiative (EERUI), Jackfruit Finance, Lake Region Development Programme and TotoCare programme pioneered by Taraji Afrika, as the final four organisations to join the second Impact at Scale Labs programme.The team and are excited to begin our journey to work alongside these four organisations to scale the reach and impact of their inspiring work toimprove equitable access to quality childcare and ECED services.”
Education Empowerment for Rural and Urban Slums Initiative(EERUi)
EERUiworks with vulnerable children aged 0-3 in rural and urban slums in Uasin Gishu county to improve child care and educational outcomes.They provide technical and infrastructural support,policy advocacy,economic empowerment and community sensitisation programmes aimed at building school readiness in the early years.They partner with ECED Centres to facilitate high transition rates
and success rates in school for children in their programmes.
Simon Wamu,CEO,EERUi,said:“We are immensely honoured to be selected for the Labin Kenya.Being among the top 4 organisations signifies a vote of confidence from GSF, given the intense competition and rigorous selection process. We are committed to strengthening foundational learning and eagerly anticipate forging strategic alliances,sharing best practices,and amplifying our impact.Through the Labs,we aspire to expand our partnership to five ECDE Centres, training 42 teachers to seamlessly transition 375 school-ready children. Concurrently, we are committed to educating 5250 community members across six sub-counties, strengthening collaboration with Uasin Gishu County, and other scale partners. These collaborative efforts aim to promote responsive and protective caregiving interventions in Uasin Gishu County, solidifying our commitment to transformative change in early childhood development.”
Jackfruit Finance, founded in 2021,is revolutionalising education funding in Kenya,having disbursed over $2.65 million in loans to 152 schools,reaching 18,700 early learners aged 0-6 and impacting a total of 49,000 children.Serving 15 informal settlements and various counties, they have achieved a remarkable 30% monthly growth and a 100% loan repayment rate.With 74% of the supported schools led by women,Jackfruit Finance has been pivotal in infrastructure development and resource acquisition, ensuring better educational outcomes.
Rob Alhadeff,CEO,Jackfruit Finance,said:”We are thrilled to have been accepted into Global Schools Forum’s Impact at ScaleLabs.This collaboration will enable us to refine our impact framework and thesis to improve educational outcomes forJackfruit Schools’ children.There search outcomes will not only inform our financial solutions but also contribute to the broader educational landscape.Together, our aspiration is to leave a lasting positive impact in education.”
Lake Region Development Programme
LRDP champions early childhood well-being in multiple rural counties in Kenya comprising of Kisii, Migori and Homabay, concentrating on nurturing environments for the under-fives. Their initiative emphasises nutrition,disease prevention,and caregiver education.To expand their impact,they’re seeking to scaleup these interventions by developing infrastructure, enriching educational resources, and fortifying teachercapacity. In the last three years, they have impacted 6,267 children and 3,902 caregivers through these interventions.They have executed 40 days’worth of community health and outreach programs,supported over 15 ECD centers with classroom equipment, sanitation facilities, nutritional items and trained 75 ECD teachers in psycho-social support. Additionally, they supported 28 parent groups through responsive parenting sessions.These efforts illustrate their commitment to comprehensive early development.
Peter Shikuku, CEO, LRDP, said: “This program exemplifies LRDP’s steadfast dedication to enhancing developmental and educational outcomes for children aged 0-4.Our collective endeavors will undoubtedly unleash children’s full potential through innovation,learning,and shared dedication.We anticipate empowering 1,000 caregivers and150 teachers in responsive and protective care giving,impacting over 5,000 children. Additionally, we will strive to strengthen our collaboration with Homabay,Migori,and Kisii county governments and university partners to advance responsive and protective caregiving interventions utilising the nurturing care framework.”
Toto Care, pioneered byTaraji Afrika,provides affordable childcare in Nairobi,Kiambu,and Kitui counties,
aiding families’ workforce integration through a pay-per-use system.As a single-location pilot, it’s set to expand from Kangemi estate in Nairobi,guided by community needs and data.The”Center of Excellence”not only exemplifies cost-effective care but also trains women to operate Toto Care affiliates, creating a supportive network.Since its inception in August2023,TotoCare has enrolled15 children,with 30 families expressing interest.There’s also a cohort of 6 affiliates-in-training to launchToto Care centres within their neighbourhoods. Leveraging Taraji Afrika’s extensive experience from five campuses serving over 700 learners,TotoCare is poised to grow as a trusted,economical childcare solution, contributing to child development,female economic empowerment and community progress.
Prisca Muyodi, Founder and Director, TotoCare, said: “In collaboration with GSF, our goal is to catalyse positive change by empowering women in informal settlements to establish thriving, inclusive, and cost-effective childcare centers.Through this programme,we aim to build the capacity to test the use of our EdTech capabilities to scale the social franchise model, build the capacity of 500 mamaprenuers and support 200 of these to launch their child care microbusiness in turn impacting about 5650 children.We will also work with county governments of Kisumu, Nakuru, Kitui and Nairobi to influence policy and create environments conducive to the scale and sustainability of childcare microbusinesses.”
GSF is a catalytic community of non-state organisations, an innovation accelerator, and a partnership builder, working to systemically improve education for underserved children in low- and middle-income countries.We do this through:
creating learning opportunities for our global interconnected community,
testing promising approaches from within the community and diffusing evidence,partnering strategically to shape policy and scale evidenced solutions.
Our vision is that all children can realise their potential through safeaccess to quality education.