Kidogo Early Childhood Centres

Leveraging female entrepreneurship for affordable quality childcare in Nairobi’s slums
2015 SEED Gender Equality Award Winner Biodiversity Nairobi, Kenya

Kidogo is building a network of corporate-owned and franchised early childhood centres in the informal settlements (slums) of Nairobi with all the building blocks young children need to thrive including trained staff, a holistic curriculum, health & nutrition programs and child-friendly spaces that serve local communities and families.

Soon to be rolled out is a ‘business in a box’ micro-franchising initiative that will enable local mothers as “mamapreneurs” to establish new, or formalise their existing, childcare centres with quality service to create a stable income.

By combining early childhood care and education with income generation for women, the enterprise is helping break the intergenerational cycle of poverty in local communities. Children gain access to early childhood learning, unlocking their potential in adulthood, while care giving mothers and siblings can return to work and school.

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

The enterprise is helping break the intergenerational cycle of poverty in local communities. Children gain access to early childhood learning, while caregiving mothers and siblings can return to work and school.
  • Providing more children with access to early childhood learning, thereby improving their school readiness.
  • Enabling mothers and care-giving siblings to work and attend school.
  • Helping to improve childrens’ health and nutrition through a robust feeding program and early detection of key health issues.
  • Training teaching staff to reuse items such as bottle caps and containers to create educational learning materials.
  • Educating children on the environment and sustainability.
  • Reducing air pollution and greenhouse gases by using clean cook stoves, natural lighting, and solar lanterns in all centres and franchises.
  • Supporting “mamapreneurs” to start or grow their own micro business using the micro-franchising model.
  • Improving the economic potential of the community by teaching business and financial literacy skills.
  • Improving income generation and encouraging savings through teacher and caregiver self-help groups.


This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

The Institute for Human Development at Aga Khan University provides expertise in Monitoring & Evaluation, assessing the pilot program impact on child and family development.

International Child Resource Institute (ICRI) Africa provides technical expertise and guidance to the enterprise on local context, training, and curriculum development. ICRI also contributes financially.

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