BY Business a.m.
African childcare initiative Kidogo has been named among top 10 finalists of ($602,000) CHF 600,000 Klaus J Jacobs Best Practice Prize 2022 for advancing education.
The Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes, awarded every other year, recognise non-profits, businesses, and social ventures bringing forth innovative solutions to some of education’s biggest challenges.
Kidogo, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, offers an effective action to tackle the childcare crisis in Kenya. It was set up to tackle Kenya’s childcare crisis, which has a lifelong impact on children’s physical and mental health, educational performance in school and subsequent employment prospects.
Kidogo provides practical help to mothers living in Kenya’s informal settlements (where over 60 percent of the urban population lives) who face the difficult decision of where to leave their children aged up to five years when they go out to work. They often leave their children in the hands of young siblings pulled out of school, or that of an informal daycare that is often unlicensed and unsanitary with untrained caregivers. This does more harm than good, subjecting children to poor nutrition and hygiene, neglect and even abuse, which reduces their lifelong developmental potential during their most important early years.
Kidogo solves this problem by using an innovative social franchising approach to identify, train and support female entrepreneurs, known as ‘Mamapreneurs’, to grow their own early childhood education micro-businesses. Kidogo’s network of Mamapreneurs provides quality childcare and early childhood services in their local communities for an affordable fee, and each daycare is profitable and self-sustaining.
Over eight years, Kidogo has become the largest childcare network in Kenya with 538 franchised Kidogo Mamapreneurs serving around 11,000 children.
“We’re honored to be selected as a Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes 2022 top 10 finalist,” Sabrina Habib, CEO and co-Founder of Kidogo, said
“Being part of this community helps bring visibility to the 350 million children worldwide who lack access to quality, affordable childcare,” Habib said.
She said if selected, the award would support Kidogo’s replication and scale-up through partnerships, enable its advocacy work to continue, and impact the children, parents, and Mamapreneurs in Kidogo’s network.
The Jacobs Foundation, organisers of the award, said the three recipients of this year’s Best Practice Prizes will be announced at a ceremony in Zurich on 30 September, 2022.
“For the first time, the 10 finalists will convene for a co-creation event, taking place on 1 October, 2022. They will exchange knowledge and ideas on advancing learning, and will have the opportunity to partner with other shortlisted applicants to develop proposals for new projects. Two concepts will receive follow-on funding of up to CHF 150,000 ($156,000) each,” the foundation said on its website.