Early Childhood Development

Dost Education

Tech-driven, peer-led support for parents to turn their homes into early learning environments

Team Lead

Sindhuja Jeyabal

Solution Pitch

The Problem

All parents are motivated to give their children the best education. But for low-income, low-literacy parents, finding the resources to support early childhood development can be difficult. In India alone, there are more than 100 million low-literate moms of preschoolers who did not go to school themselves, but are eager to break their kids out of the cycle of illiteracy. 

The Solution

That's where Dost comes in. Dost is a parental support program that provides tips, activities, and encouragement to parents as they guide their child's development. Parents sign up easily by dialing a number, and start receiving daily, one-minute audio messages directly on their phones. These messages remind them of simple activities to do with their children to support their development, such as talking, singing, and playing.

In addition to these audio messages, moms can speak directly with a Dost coach—another parent who listens empathetically and offers guidance. Dost uses AI to personalize content recommendations and intelligently match the right coach to the right parent as fast as possible. 

Market Opportunity

At least 40 percent of primary school children worldwide can't read, write, or do basic math, which translates to an annual loss of $1.19 trillion to the global economy. In rural India, poorer children who are first-generation learners take until the age of 11 to reach the same milestones as their peers from educated families, resulting in a loss of $54 billion annually for India’s GDP. Dost’s affordable early childhood education support program’s total addressable market size is the 100 million low-literate mothers of children under the age of five in India.

Partnership Goals

Dost currently seeks:

  • Expertise and advice to improve monitoring and evaluation processes;
  • Strategic advice to triple the program’s reach in the next year;
  • New evidence-based digital content for early childhood education; and
  • Technical expertise to build a personalized recommendation engine for parents.

Organization Highlights

Some of Dost’s notable achievements include:

  • Winning a NextBillion Edtech Prize at Dubai’s Global Education and Skills Forum;
  • Media coverage in Forbes; and
  • Reaching an exciting milestone: through the Dost program, three out of four children showed signs of improved self-regulation.

Existing Partnerships

Dost Education currently partners with: 

  • Atma Education, Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis, and Vroom for early childhood development content; 
  • India School Leadership Institute, which introduces Dost to new communities;
  • C3: Collaborate to Create Change, which supports 10 government schools to improve home learning environments in Uttar Pradesh; and
  • IndusAction, which refers trained mothers to the peer-to-peer learning network.

Stats

In the past two and a half years, Dost's team has reached 45,000 families

Dost is expanding its learning network of moms to reach 1 million families by 2021.

Solver Team

Organization Type:
Nonprofit

Headquarters:
Delhi, India

Stage:
Pilot

Working in:
India

Employees:
6

Solution Team:

Learning

Preparing Parents for Early Learning

Solver Dost Education received the $20,000 Dubai Cares Early Childhood Development Prize from Member Dubai Cares in 2019 to enable parents to turn their homes into early learning environments.

Learning

Preparing Parents for Early Learning

Solver Dost Education, which enables parents to turn their homes into early learning environments, received a $10,000 grant from Solve in 2019 for being selected as an Early Childhood Development Solver.

Learning

Preparing Parents for Early Learning

Solver Dost Education received $10,000 in Covid-19 emergency grant funding from Member Morgridge Family Foundation in 2020 to enable parents to turn their homes into early learning environments.

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