Kidogo was founded in 2014 to solve a massive problem in Kenya’s informal settlements: the lack of quality, affordable Early Childhood Care & Education. Since that time, we have established 2 high-quality ECD Hubs serving some 150 children daily, and piloted our Mamapreneur social-franchising program with 5 Spokes in Kangemi serving an additional 125 children. Broadly speaking, we’ve considered this period our “Proof of Concept” phase, a time for piloting, testing, and refining our approach to see what’s working.

But our dreams have always been much bigger.

As Kidogo’s founders, we never intended to build an organization that would serve ~300 children and be content. We’ve always wanted to build an impactful, financially sustainable, and scalable movement that would impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of children and their families across East Africa. As we look to the future, Kidogo is embarking on an ambitious period of growth to validate our Hub & Spoke model and transition to scale. Between late 2017-2020, we are aiming to grow our footprint in Nairobi and into other urban centres in East Africa leveraging our growing team & partners. Even more, we hope to continue our local & global advocacy efforts to put Early Childhood Development on the agenda for policy makers.

To help us reach these ambitious goals, we are very proud to announce four new strategic partnerships that collectively will contribute nearly $1M USD to drive Kidogo’s growth & learning over the next 3 years:

HitlonThe Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Committed to improving the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people throughout the world, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation will support Kidogo’s efforts to replicate our social franchise daycare model in urban informal settlements under the new Young Children Affected by HIV and AIDS Strategy. The Hilton Foundation already supports ECD services for over 300,000 children in East & Southern Africa, and will provide Kidogo a robust network of researchers, practitioners, and child advocates that will strengthen our ability to affect massive change in the region. For more information, check out this note from the Foundation’s President and CEO Peter Laugharn on why they are prioritizing investments in young children globally.

The Kays Foundation

A family foundation with roots in Kenya, The Kays Foundation will provide catalytic unrestricted funding for Kidogo & other ECD stakeholders in the region to effect systems level change in Kenya. In addition to supporting Kidogo’s efforts to scale-up our hub & spoke model, the funding will also allow us to explore new innovations & engage in strategic advocacy efforts.

UntitledJasmine Social Investments

Founded by Sam Morgan, the entrepreneur behind TradeMe (New Zealand’s largest online auction site), Jasmine Social Investments engages in high-impact philanthropy supporting innovative Social Entrepreneurs around the globe. The Foundation’s unrestricted & long-term funding is results-oriented ensuring that Kidogo will leverage data to drive our impact, scalability & sustainability over the coming years. Check out Jasmine Social Investments’ growing portfolio here.

BvLFBernard van Leer Foundation

A private foundation focused on developing and sharing knowledge about what works in early childhood development, the Bernard van Leer Foundation has invested over half a billion dollars in ECD over the last 50 years. Through the new Urban95 Challenge which promotes the well-being of young children in cities, Kidogo was selected out of 151 projects in 41 countries to expand our social-franchising program in Kibera and improve quality & affordability of childcare services. Find out more about the Kibera expansion project and Urban95 Challenge here.


With the support of these new partners, and the numerous partners who helped carry Kidogo through our start-up and proof-of-concept phase, we are more optimistic than ever before about our role in creating a world where all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.