Childcare Social Franchising

About the Project

This project is one of the 2022 WISE Awards winners. 


Context and Issue 

In Kenya’s informal settlements where over 60% of the urban population lives, mothers make a difficult decision about where to leave their children (0-5 years) when they go to work. The decision: pull older siblings (usually adolescent girls) out of school and have them look after younger siblings, or leave the younger child in an informal daycare where an untrained caregiver provides basic supervision. These unlicensed and unsanitary centers do more harm than good, subjecting children to poor nutrition / hygiene, neglect and even abuse, that reduces their lifelong developmental potential during their most important early years. 

Globally, 350 million children find themselves in this situation – it’s a childcare crisis. Kidogo exists to solve this problem.

Solution and Impact

Kidogo uses an innovative social franchising approach to identify, train and support female entrepreneurs (Mamapreneurs) to start or grow their own early childhood education micro-businesses. Kidogo’s growing network of Mamapreneurs provide quality childcare & early childhood services in their local communities for an affordable fee. This enables children to receive quality early childhood education during their essential first 5 years of life when 90% of brain development occurs. 

Over 8 years Kidogo has become the largest childcare network  in Kenya with +750 Franchised Kidogo Mamapreneurs serving 16,000 children – each direct impact on a child has an indirect multiplier effect of 3 (improved household impact on mothers and older siblings). Kidogo’s holistic approach, which includes nutrition interventions, has led to a 32% reduction in wasting and 23% reduction in stunting in one year. 

Future Developments 

We have ambitious scaling plans: 100,000 Kidogo Kids across East Africa by 2030. To accomplish this, we are collaborating with civil society organizations who can replicate our model and building key partnerships with the government.

May 19, 2022 (last update 09-26-2022)