Earlybird Educare@Work is an Innovation Edge start-up that is launching South Africa’s first high-quality, socially-inclusive onsite educare.

Why Earlybird?

Earlybird educare lays the foundation for later-life success and wellbeing. During the first six years of a child’s life, genetics and experiences interact to shape the architecture of their developing brain. By providing cognitive stimulation, nutrition, and socio-emotional support during this initial phase of life, Earlybird gives each child the brightest possible future.

Earlybird’s workplace-based educare helps businesses attract and retain valuable talent. Leading employers worldwide – including Google, Intel, MasterCard, Patagonia, Starbucks, Old Mutual, Johnson & Johnson, and JP Morgan – have already realised these benefits by including high-quality early childhood development (ECD) services as part of their employee wellness offerings.

Earlybird educare promotes social inclusion by encouraging children of different backgrounds to understand their sense of responsibility towards one another and the world they live in. These efforts extend to our language acquisition strategies, which stress the importance of mother tongue emergent literacy exposure. By respecting and celebrating our different cultures, Earlybird builds a better tomorrow for South Africa.

ECD Model

Hands-on learning that meets each child at their level.

Young children learn best by doing! With this in mind, Earlybird uses a play-based approach that includes free-choice and small-group games and activities that carefully map to “learning trajectories.” These evidence-based learning trajectories facilitate stepwise progress toward school-readiness. By providing children constant opportunities to plan, play, reflect, and share, Earlybird classrooms foster an environment of meaningful engagement, curiosity, and inclusivity.

Teacher training and ongoing support

Each Earlybird educare centre is staffed with committed, caring, and qualified teachers. This begins with a comprehensive teacher recruitment process that flows into training on how to engage children in “serve-and-return” interactions. Once a teacher reaches the classroom, they receive ongoing support in the form of tablet-based “Interaction & Activity” guides as well as roaming instructional coaches. This layered approach empowers our teachers to make educational, social, and emotional connections with each child.

Assessment of learning and development progress

Early identification of a child’s special needs and support requirements enables Earlybird to intervene early on the child’s behalf. This dramatically improves long term prognosis. In addition to diagnostic screening, a key aspect of Earlybird’s educational offering is our unique approach to formative assessment. Here, our teachers use game-based observations of each child’s developmental progress to truly meet each child at their level.

Two-generation approach

Earlybird’s comprehensive family engagement programme begins before maternity leave and integrates with existing employee wellness offerings. We recognize that parental wellness is a crucial component of child wellness. Therefore, we work with parents not only to ensure continuity between home and classroom, but to make sure parents do not compromise their own physical and mental health as they focus on the challenges of child-raising.

Admin Model

Administrative Support Systems

Administrative Support Systems

Maximizing the time that our teachers spend meaningfully engaging with children means minimizing the time they spend on administration. Earlybird’s tablet-based systems streamline attendance tracking, procurement, bookkeeping, and reporting to free up teachers’ time for the important stuff.

Economies of Scale

Economies of Scale

By digitizing most of our educational content, Earlybird enjoys network economies of scale. We also geographically cluster our educare centres to bring down the cost of administering key in-person support services, such as: teacher-coaching, observational assessment of children, and psycho-social support for families.

B-BBEE Opportunities

B-BBEE Opportunities

Partnering with Earlybird helps a company improve its B-BBEE Scorecard. As a greater than 51% black-owned, greater than 30% black-women-owned company, Earlybird stands to impact a range of Scorecard Elements, including: Preferential Procurement, Enterprise and Supplier Development, and Socio-Economic Development.

Our Partners

Earlybird partners with a broad array of ECD innovators, both within the Innovation Edge network and beyond:

Contact Us

Get in touch with us below, or send an email to info@earlybirdeducare.co.za and we’ll write back


Bandwidth Barn
Village 1 South
Cape Town


+27 76 836 2639