Funding to aid preschool literacy in poor areas

Funding is being made available to entrepreneurs to help teachers improve preschool literacy in poor communities.

Nearly half of all four- to five-year-olds from poor households are not meeting the literacy and language standards for their age, according to a recent study of South Africa’s early childhood conducted by Thrive by Five Index.

To help turn this around, Innovation Edge, an investment initiative focused on the early childhood development (ECD) sector, is making funding available to entrepreneurs who have ideas about how they can help preschool teachers improve the literacy of young children in poor communities.

“These children are more likely to struggle to learn to read and write when they start school. This 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,” says Nonku Nyathi, from Innovation Edge.

“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.”

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday June 15. For more information, go to