ANC Daycares

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ANC Daycares: Integrated Innovation Project to address Early Childhood Development, by MIST

Maseru, LesothoMississauga (Etobicoke), Canada
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

ANC Daycares will pilot an innovative and simple early childhood development linkage (ECDL) centre at the antenatal clinic of one of the busiest health centres in the city of Maseru. This centre will function as the entry point to a community based ECD centre for children 1-5 years of age.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if intellectually engaging mother-baby pairs could save millions of children?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Lesotho has high perinatal, infant and maternal mortality rates. While strides are being made to improve healthcare facilities and emergency obstetric care, early childhood development lags significantly behind, especially since services and equipment are lacking in many public schools and daycares. Children loiter at busy clinics distracting mothers already tired out from lengthy, compulsory health education sessions.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

ANC Daycares is a project the proposes a unique solution to both delayed developmental milestones and under 5 deaths in Africa. Using innovative approaches locally driven by child educators and child health specialists, we propose a simple approach that provides mothers and children 'graphical' and 'entertaining' health education at busy ANC clinics, occupying the children in intellectual exercises while their mothers are engaged in nurse driven antenatal and postnatal care health education. This will act as an entry point to ANC Daycares Early Childhood Development centres located within the communities. Every child from 0 - 3 (the critical development stage) in targeted health facilities will be engaged.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

It is 6a.m. Mampho (fictional name) looks up from her three hour journey on foot and sighs as the health centre comes into view. The second gruelling exercise begins- controlling her 9 month old baby (Mpho) through a whole day of health education lectures. She sighs as the unsmiling face of the nurse from her last visit pops up. However, she is completely flabbergasted when an elderly village health worker and a teacher lead her to a refurbished ward with lots of toys and playing children enjoying themselves! Her baby is excited to see colorful bricks for the first time and jumps off her back. She cannot believe her luck when she learns she can leave her baby there. The MCH nurse now welcomes her with a smile, handing out colourful cards...

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Sixfold impact: 1. Better Health Services at Maternal and Child Health Clinics 2. Motivated Health Care Workers 3. Increased linkage and collaboration between the health and education sectors 4. Satisfied Parents at Local Health clinics 5. Reduced infant and child deaths through better information retention and active community participation and engagement 6. Increased Child and developmental milestone development Unlike most other ECD projects or centres, ANC Daycares have a strong health + education focus. The maternal focus is on critical health information (including nutrition) that will improve the child's health status, the infant focus is on early intellectual development/ normal developmental milestones. Recruiting mothers and children from health centres ensures early enrolment and early diagnosis of delayed development.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The project will be rolled out in phases, starting with establishment of two collaborating centres: one mini centre in an extremely busy local maternal and child health clinic serving as an entry point to the main centre located in the surrounding community. We will gradually scale up to more clinics and districts with increased success and funding over a three year period. While individual mother-baby pairs are targeted, the approach of recruiting them from the health facility enhances the quality of holistic care and reinforces shared responsibility between the health worker and educator

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The initial pilot will require significant resources for implementation, monitoring and evaluation. With collaboration with relevant stakeholders and government departments, we estimate that proof of concept through measurable outcome indicators will drive acceptance of this child education approach. Healthcare costs are low (less than $2 per consultation) and education is free. Current national policy discussions on ECD need to be enhanced.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Few early childhood education centres exist in the country. Various NGOs have piloted ECD, infant and teen peer groups but in narrowed scopes within their program areas and with very little inter-program collaboration. The innovative approaches in ANC Daycare, consideration of cultural context and establishment of facility-community linkages are new.

Founding Story

Charles has worked extensively in Southern Africa, at policy, strategic and service delivery levels in maternal child health and collaboratively with OVC projects. He has worked in rural hard to reach health facilities in the highlands of Lesotho. Notably, there is little or no access to educative material for infants and children. Schools are very formal with little ECD content. Six years of working at policy and program development and recent project advanced management development has made it clear that very simple approaches could influence high impact positive change. What is required is an understanding stakeholder interests and what the customers need. Many times, these are very simple activities.


MIST will collaborate with a local NGO (still to be identified) and a local Daycare with ECD expertise. MIST strongly believes in using multidisciplinary teams. In this case, expertise from key MIST consultants will be sought to improve the project approach. Implementation will be by local teams comprised of a local NGO, existing community workers, health workers and educators. Project monitoring and evaluation will be conducted by MIST.
About You
Mercyflow Innovative Systems and Technologies
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name

Mercyflow Innovative Systems and Technologies

How long has your organization been operating?

Organization Country

, ON, Mississauga (Etobicoke)

Country where this project is creating social impact

, MS, Maseru

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Businesses, Other.



Primary Target Age Group

0 - 1.5, 1.5 - 3.

Your role in Education

Parent, Teacher, Other.

Please specify which of the following best applies:

I am applying on behalf of a particular program or initiative.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with (if applicable)


Intervention Focus


Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Creating Peer Support Networks for All Stakeholders in Education: Creating peer-to-peer learning and support for teachers, parents, expecting mothers and more that enables them to transform learning.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Lack of structures to facilitate meaningful community ownership in learning process: It is challenging to ensure parents and the broader community are involved as full co-owners in the learning process.

What key learning outcomes does your work seek to improve?
Secondary Form
PROGRAM DESIGN CLARITY: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Please succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details
INSPIRATION: What do you consider the most important trends or evidence that inspire you to believe the world is ready to Re-imagine Learning? Please elaborate.
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?
SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.
MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?
FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?
PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.
COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.
VISION: If you had unlimited funding, and you could fast forward 15 years to when your program has been able to achieve wild success - what will it have achieved?
IMPACT - KEY METRICS: Please list the key data points that you would cite as evidence that you are able to achieve lasting learning outcomes. Please also share one data point for which you most hope to see better results over time
IMPACT - REPORTING SAMPLE: Please attach any examples of your impact reporting. [optional]:
RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE: Please link or attach any research or evidence resource you are open to sharing more widely [optional]. Building research and evidence is a key aim of this initiative, and the resources you share may be chosen for listing in the Center for Education Innovations library:
SOURCE: If applicable - who created the research or evidence you are choosing to share? :
IMPACT - REACH: How many people did your project directly engage in programmatic activities in the last year?

STUDY: Has an external evaluation or study been conducted of your organization?

Other (please specify)
Number of Employees:

Number of Volunteers:

APPROACHES: Given the complexity of play, it is not surprising that there have been numerous research attempts to categorize the different types and approaches! Please indicate which of the following your project focuses on.

Other (please specify)
AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.