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Impact at Scale Labs - Early Years in Kenya

Impact at Scale Labs - Early Years in Kenya

Impact at Scale Labs - Early Years in Kenya seeks to identify and support locally led and scalable programmes for children aged 0-6 years in Kenya.

The Impact at Scale Labs programme offers:

  • Intensive support: The GSF team and network works with organisations to build and implement their scale strategy.   
  • Funding: up to £75,000 towards making the organisation’s scaling action plan a reality.  
  • Extended duration with no “cliff-edge”: Our intensive support lasts up to 18 months, after which organisations continue to engage and learn as part of the GSF community.  
  • A focus on evidence: We measure and share evidence about each solution’s impact and about the scaling process. 
  • Relationships for scale: We support organisations to embed solutions in the broader system by fostering strong relationships with policy stakeholders in Kenya. 

Who we will work with for this programme

This year the Labs will focus on supporting promising, locally led organisations
working to improve development and learning outcomes for children aged 0-6 years in Kenya. We are looking to partner with childcare and early childhood education and development (ECED) organisations in Kenya who have a bold and definitive vision for scale and are looking to build demonstrable models that can be replicated nationally and regionally.

Supporting organisations working in Kenya provides an opportunity for deep-rooted and systematic change. As the childcare and ECED sector continues to dynamically evolve in Kenya, with new programmes and policies, strategic plans, and sectoral frameworks underway, the Labs are a pathway to establish catalytic partnerships between the government and non-state sector for service delivery at scale, as well as inform decision making at the national and local levels through evidence and learnings.

At the end of the programme, participating organisations will achieve the following:

Solid foundation for scale including a tested and evidence-driven strategy, appropriate business models, and leadership capacity building for sustainability. 

Evidence about their programme for early years and a strong monitoring and evaluation (M&E) mechanism which will guide evidence-based decision making and lesson sharing. 

Network to support their evidence and scaling journey and one that will continue to grow with their membership at GSF. We work closely with each organisation to build vital relationships with government representatives, private sector implementers, and funders. The network also includes experts in learning, innovation, and scale.

Participating governments, scale partners and the wider GSF network will achieve:

Strengthened partnerships with the non-state sector to improve delivery of childcare and ECED provisioning through tested models.

Lessons and actionable evidence on best practices (i) to improve childcare and ECED in their context, and (ii) on policies and partnership modalities that are more conducive to scale up of childcare and ECED provisioning.

Strengthened ecosystem of practitioners and entrepreneurs in their communities through in-depth mentorship, coaching support and networking opportunities provided.

Introducing the four finalist organisations selected for Impact at Scale Labs - Early Years in Kenya.

Education Empowerment for Rural and Urban Slums Initiative (EERUI)

Dedicated to transforming educational outcomes, Education Empowement for Rural and Urban Slums based in Eldoret is a pillar for underserved Kenyan children, delivering quality education through robust technical support, influential policy advocacy, and dynamic community programs. Their "1st 1000 DAYS CAMPAIGN" is a testament to their impact, educating over 300 caregivers in high-risk slums over a span of 2 years on nurturing child development and combating the adverse effects of violence and malnutrition. This initiative has notably improved child health, school attendance, and living conditions. Their systematic tracking ensures sustained progress as children move to partner schools which includes Merrylane Schools and other ECED centres. The results are evident at Merrylane schools, where program participants notably outshine their peers in essential literacy and numeracy skills.

Jackfruit Finance

Jackfruit Finance, founded in 2021, is revolutionizing 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’ve 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.

Lake Region Development Programme

Lake Region Development Program (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 emphasizes nutrition, disease prevention, and caregiver education. To expand their impact, they're seeking to scale up these interventions by developing infrastructure, enriching educational resources, and fortifying teacher capacity. In the last three years, they have impacted 6,267 children and 3,902 caregivers through these interventions. They've executed 40 days’ worth of community health and outreach programs, supported over 15 ECED centres with classroom equipment, sanitation facilities, nutritional items and trained 75 ECED teachers in psycho-social support. Additionally, they supported 28 parent groups through responsive parenting sessions. These efforts illustrate their commitment to comprehensive early development. 


TotoCare, pioneered by Taraji 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. This "Centre of Excellence" not only exemplifies cost-effective care but also trains women to operate TotoCare affiliates, creating a supportive network. Since its inception in August 2023, TotoCare has enrolled 15 children, with 30 families expressing interest. There’s also a cohort of 6 affiliates-in-training to launch TotoCare 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.

Residential 4-day offsite in Nairobi

Each organisation benefited from the support of a dedicated GSF coach, engagement with sector leaders who were invited to present and participate in panel discussions on various topics, and a networking event to build relationships with GSF members, funders, and development partners. 

  • Each organisation was able to refine their 5-year programme vision, build up a version of their programme’s ‘Problem tree’ and Theory of Change, and identify key milestones to achieve their vision for scale which fed into their 18-month action plan.
  • Sector leaders and experts participated to share their practical experiences and advice on topics such as childcare and ECED programming, monitoring, evaluation and learning, approaches for sustainability and partnerships.
  • Organisations benefited from a 1-1 mentorship session with a sector leader. The objective of this individualised and closed-door session was to brainstorm on their specific organisation challenges and learn from organisations and experts who have scaled similar solutions 
  • GSF organised a ‘Networking Cocktail’ which was attended by 40+ GSF members, funders and development partners, government representatives, and other practitioners. 

Each finalist organisation is supported by a diverse panel of experts.

Dale Barnhart

Research Director, Laterite

Damaris K Wambua

ECD Specialist, Childfund

Dr. Esther Gacico

Founder and CEO, Elearning Solutions

George Kogolla

Country Representative, IREX

James Kadede

Partnership and Resource Mobilization specialist, Childfund

Joyce Wesonga

Government Relations Specialist, EIDU

Kiko Muuo

Founder and CEO, Angaza Elimu

Nancy Mwali

Finance Manager, Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa

Nicholas Wechuli

Programme Manager, Safaricom Foundation

Oscar Kadenge

Programme Director, Parenting for Long Life Health

Reza Fazel

Associate Director, Opencap

Sane Mdlalose

General Manager, Adaptostrat Solutions


Discover the seven inspiring organisations that made the shortlist for this year's Impact at Scale Labs - Early Years in Kenya programme