Innovation Challenges and

Opportunity Hub.

Recent Funding Opportunity (now closed): Call for innovative ventures that support preschool teachers to boost language and literacy development for 4 to 6 year olds

This was a call for bold solutions that aim to improve preschool teachers’ support of early literacy development for 4-6 year olds in South Africa’s impoverished communities.

Social entrepreneurs with a proven track record of implementation within any sector were invited to respond to this call and apply for funding for their product, service or venture. 

Selected applicants will be supported to pitch their solutions to the Innovation Edge Investment Committee in September 2022. Successful social entrepreneurs will join the Innovation Edge Investee Community and receive fit-for-purpose (amount and financial instrument) funding, customised venture building support and connections to social capital.

South Africa’s biggest measure of early childhood, the Thrive by Five Index, released in April 2022, found that almost half (49%) of 4-5 year olds from the poorest households did not meet the Emergent Literacy and Language standards for their age.  

These children are more likely to struggle to learn to read and write when they start school, which will not only affect their education outcomes across all subjects but also influence their likelihood of completing secondary schooling and going on to do meaningful work. The problem extends beyond formal education – language is also a fundamental part of social interaction, and therefore of socioemotional wellbeing. 

In order to improve the early literacy and language skills of South African preschoolers, we need to find effective and creative ways of training, supporting and providing resources to their teachers.  

Imagine if preschool teachers in South Africa’s low-income communities were supported and equipped to enable language and literacy development in ways that are appropriate for young children.   

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ECD Resources

Access the latest reports and insights from the early childhood sector.

Download the 2020 South African Child Gauge here.

Read the 2019 South African Early Childhood Review here.