Grow with Educare

Creating access to quality early childhood education, the GROW with Educare Micro Franchise project is helping school owners create sustainable businesses.

Imagine how the future of South Africa would change if the majority of young children had access to quality early childhood education. That’s the vision of the GROW with Educare Micro Franchise Project, which aims to provide excellent quality education to children, while making sure that school owners are able to run sustainable businesses. 

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Access to Early Childhood Development (ECD) education in marginalised communities in South Africa is one of the most critical challenges facing the country’s development. It’s also the reason behind the partnership between MySchool and GROW with Educare Centres.  By using the principles of social enterprise and micro franchising, the goal is to develop a national brand of quality, inspirational, aspirational, fee-paying ECD centres in low-income areas for children between 2-5 years old.

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The GROW with Educare Centres Project (GW-ECD) - a collaboration between The Clothing Bank and GROW Learning Company - plans to upgrade existing privately run, childcare centres in low-income areas.  By building an aspirational brand, school owners will be able to offer a comprehensive quality education facility with standardised education outcomes, through a franchise model that allows owners and employed teachers to earn a decent salary. 

The GROW with Educare Micro Franchise Project is founded on a simple business model that provides school owners with all the resources (curriculum and equipment), intensive training, mentoring and coaching they need to develop owners, teachers, children and parents.  By March 2020, the plan is to establish 65 new schools (76 classrooms) in three regions (Western Cape, Kwa Zulu Natal and Gauteng) which will support 1824 children and create 228 jobs.

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The GROW model is also changing community attitudes towards paying for quality education – where it can take up to two years to build credibility before schools are able to adjust fees to earn decent salaries. With limited support from Government, school owners and teachers often live in dire poverty and it’s why the GROW with Educare Centres model is built on ownership and bridging the earning gap until the franchise grows. 

Rather than being a salaried employee, business owners are encouraged to offer a quality service to ensure that parents continue to want to enrol their children at their centre for a set monthly fee. Franchisees pay an upfront deposit to join the Franchise and continue to pay an ongoing franchise fee to receive mentoring, updates on new equipment and monitoring.  These deposits and ongoing monthly franchise fees will be used to move this model to one which is more self-sustaining over time.