Learning Minds

2022 Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes – Kidogo

Kidogo’s childcare initiative in Kenya recognized among top 10 finalists for CHF 600,000 ($614,000) Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes 2022

  • Kidogo, headquartered in Nairobi, recognized for effective action to tackle the childcare crisis in Kenya
  • Three Best Practice Prize recipients will be awarded CHF 200,000 ($208,000) each and announced on 30 September at a ceremony taking place in Zurich
  • All 10 finalists will convene for a co-creation event on 1 October, and are also eligible for follow-on funding of up to CHF 150,000

Zurich, June 15, 2022: Kidogo has been named a top 10 finalist for the Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes 2022, a set of three awards each worth CHF 200,000 ($208,000) that honor outstanding achievement and practice in advancing quality education.

Kidogo, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, 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.

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. Awarded every other year, the Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes recognize non-profits, businesses, and social ventures that are bringing forth innovative solutions to some of education’s biggest challenges.

Fabio Segura and Simon Sommer, co-CEOs of the Jacobs Foundation, said:

“We want to warmly congratulate Kidogo on becoming a top 10 finalist for the Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes 2022. These prizes were created to showcase the groundbreaking work that businesses, social ventures, and non-profits all around the world are doing to ensure children have access to quality education. There is not a moment to lose. By bringing to light the evidence of what works we can use it to implement solutions that can be tailored to learners’ diverse individual needs.

“In the age of COVID, it is also important to share ideas and evidence of what works on the ground to help shift policy, particularly as education systems adapt to a new and unfamiliar terrain. That is why we are launching this new follow-on collaboration funding of up to CHF 150,000. We look forward to bringing together all 10 Best Practice Prize finalists for our co- creation event, and we can’t wait to see what inspiring concepts they come up with together.”

Sabrina Habib, CEO and co-Founder of Kidogo, said:

“We’re honored to be selected as a Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes 2022 top 10 finalist. Being part of this community helps bring visibility to the 350 million children worldwide who lack access to quality, affordable childcare. If selected, this award would support our replication and scale-up through partnerships, enable our advocacy work to continue, and impact the children, parents, and Mamapreneurs in our network.”


Kidogo provides practical help to mothers living in Kenya’s informal settlements (where over 60% of the urban population lives) who face the difficult decision on 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, that 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. This enables children to receive quality early childhood education during their essential first five years of life, when 90% of brain development occurs.

Over eight years, Kidogo has become the largest childcare network in Kenya with 538 franchised Kidogo Mamapreneurs serving around 11,000 children. Each direct impact on a child has an indirect multiplier effect of three (improved household impact on mothers and older siblings). Kidogo’s holistic approach, including nutrition interventions, has led to a 32% reduction in wasting and 23% reduction in stunting in one year. 80% of children in Kidogo’s centers are developmentally on track and Kidogo has shifted the conversation: parents and early childhood workers now believe children begin learning at birth, not when they enter formal schooling.

If Kidogo is named a recipient of one of the Best Practice Prizes, it plans to invest the winning funds in scaling up to reach 100,000 children across East Africa over the next five years with its mix of organizational/government partnerships and Vocational Training Center Partnerships.

Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes

Applications for the Best Practice Prizes 2022 opened on 6 January and closed on 10 February 2022. Recipients must demonstrate outstanding achievement in advancing learning and education, and embrace variability in learning. Their projects should draw on scientific evidence, use a clear results framework, and must be sustainable, scalable, and financially viable. Finally, they must build on strong leadership and partner networks.

In memory of its founder, the entrepreneur Klaus J. Jacobs, who passed away in 2008, the Jacobs Foundation presents two awards every other year for exceptional achievements in research and practice in the field of child and youth development and learning. The Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize rewards scientific work that is highly relevant to society, and the Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes honor exceptional commitment and innovative solutions of institutions or individuals.