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early education through financial inclusion

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There’s an early education crisis in urban slums around the world. Parents need a safe space for their young children while they work and those children need active engagement to nurture their growing minds. They currently have no options and what’s worse, none of the existing solutions even make any sense. Large classrooms, long commutes, government support, one-size-fits-all curriculums; impossible or irrelevant in the urban slum context. To address this problem we had to forget everything we had ever learned about schools and think differently.

We realized that a successful solution had to be by the community, in the community, for the community and to be truly sustainable had to operate without requiring constant subsidies and injections of capital. So we developed what we call the IMPCT Playcare. A Playcare is a small play-based daycare franchise, owned and operated by a local entrepreneur, which includes a purpose-built classroom. training to deliver a play-based Montessori curriculum, and ongoing support. Each one provides 20 nearby families affordable and accessible early education opportunities for their children.

Sounds great, right? There’s more. Have you ever heard of the term financial inclusion? If you had a great business idea one of the first things you’d do is look for investors. But what about people in urban slums, who’s investing in them? Starting soon the answer will be YOU. will let you make direct and personal investment in the people, projects, and places you care about. You get constant updates and actually receive a small return for helping make them a reality. This is radical financial inclusion; this is a better way to do good.

Interested? Let our entrepreneurs know you’re with them by pledging your support now and we’ll let you know when they’re open for investment.

Sopheap Suy, 28

Por, Siem Riep, Cambodia

At Suy’s village, most parents leave early morning on long commutes to go work in the city. Some of these parents leave their children with her and she takes care of them in a wooden shack without walls. On regular days, Suy looks after 7 kids. On rainy days she has much less children, as parents prefer taking their children along with them to work. Leaving them with Suy would mean exposing them to the wind and rain and possibly catch a cold.

Suy’s babysitting service is affordable for local parents who are also grateful for having a place where their children socialize and are never bored. One parent told us she loved how her girl, who is 4 years old, told stories about the games she played at Suy’s. The games are usually simple yet creative inventions by Suy and the children learn to use sticks to create figures and areas for jumping competitions.

The playfulness Suy employs while caring for children matches with the IMPCT Playcare approach. Despite being only 28, she has taken care of children for over 4 years and the community has great trust in her. With an improved facility and the Playcare training, she will honor that trust and provide quality early learning opportunities to children of the Por village.

Alma, 34

La Cuchilla, San Salvador, El Salvador

Alma is very special to us as she’s one of the very first mothers we ever interviewed. Her history working in a formal government daycare and later in her own informal daycare was a major source of inspiration for the IMPCT Playcares program.

We met Alma on our very first trip to comunidad La Cuchilla in San Salvador. La Cuchilla, named after its knife-like shape, is a small informal settlement right in the heart of San Salvador’s modern district. The hard-working residents of La Cuchilla used to farm the surrounding lands until the city started expanding around them. They’re now surrounded on all sides by luxury with a complete lack of services appropriate for their meager incomes.

Alma is 34 years old, married, and has two young daughters. Her family’s sole source of income is her husband, who performs irregular work as a construction worker in the surrounding community. Having her own Playcare is Alma’s dream job, as it would allow her to take care of her children while at work and provide an income that would help lift the family out of poverty.

Taking care of children has been a lifelong passion for Alma. She’s an ideal candidate to run an IMPCT Playcare and we couldn’t think of a more deserving community than La Cuchilla.

Kumu, 36

Hsinchu, Taiwan

Kumu is part of the Atayal, a tribe of Taiwanese aborigines in Northern Taiwan that is known for being good weavers. Kumu herself uses her free time to weave patterned dresses for girls in the community.

She is well known for her patient, optimistic and energetic personality. All character traits that help her successfully run her daycare business, where she takes care of 6 children ages 2 to 5. She insists in speaking the Atayal dialog to the children, which is something mothers appreciate as it is part of their cultural identity. Thanks to word of mouth, more mothers have approached Kumu, wanting to leave their children with her. Unfortunately, due to the lack of space and resources, Kumu has no choice but to use the abandoned hen house and cannot take care of more children.

Kumu is excited about being able to run her own IMPCT Playcare. After receiving the proper training and by turning the hen house into a safe, healthy space for children, she will be able to provide them with the foundation to become future Atayal leaders.

Gladys, 38

Los Pinos, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

The story of Gladys is not unlike that of many strong, Honduran women. Six years ago her husband, Amado, migrated to the U.S. For several months, he sent remittances that allowed her to take care of the household, their two children and even make house improvements. Eventually, Amado started a new family in the U.S. and Gladys had to fend for herself.

She began taking care of two children from the neighbors. It was a task that didn’t provide much income, but it made sense for her as she had to stay home and provide food and care of her own children, who were 2 and 4 years old at the time.

Today, her children attend primary school, but she still stays home and keeps between 6 and 8 children per day while their parents go to work. She operates with the same love and dedication she did when she cared for her own. With that same spirit, Gladys aspires to run an IMPCT Playcare. She will have a safe space for 15 children to play and learn.

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