Five years ago, SmartStart was established with the vision of ensuring that every child has the foundations in place to succeed at school and beyond. We have sought to implement a systems solution to the challenge of delivering quality and affordable early learning opportunities at scale.

Throughout this period, our burning question has been – can a national ECD delivery platform ensure the type of quality at programme level that will shift outcomes for children? Today, we are delighted to share with you an external evaluation of the SmartStart programme which suggests that the answer to this question is, Yes!

The independent team of researchers assessed 199 children attending 69 SmartStart programmes, using the Early Learning Outcomes Measure (ELOM) tool, and tracked their progress eight months later. The evaluation found that across SmartStart programmes, children improved their performance in all ELOM domains, over and above the expected age progress. For the entire sample, the proportion of children who were Achieving the Standard for ELOM Total score, increased from 32% of children at baseline, to 62% of children at endline.


For a full technical report on the evaluation click here