Collaborating for Impact: GROW and Oystar Join Forces to Further Empower the South African Early Childhood Development Sector With Digital Technology  


South Africa, May 2023 

Grow ECD is excited to announce our partnership with Oystar Africa, a tech and innovation company specialising in education. The Grow ECD digital platform (a mobile-first one-stop-shop for the early childhood development sector) is powered by Oystar’s technology.  

This partnership aims to make Early Childhood Development (ECD) technology more accessible, relevant and impactful for ECD centres and to the entire preschool education sector. Together, Grow ECD and Oystar will leverage each other’s strengths to create improved digital tools that empower ECD centre owners, teachers, parents, and organisations.

The Grow ECD platform is now “powered by Oystar”

The Grow ECD technology platform and app currently provides over 5 000 early-learning businesses, customers and stakeholders with access to a complete suite of administration and assessment tools, management systems, resources, curriculum, training and reporting. It is designed to be data-light, mobile-first and affordable, catering to the needs of ECD centre owners and stakeholders. The platform is helping the sector make more data-driven decisions while empowering (mostly women) to run better, more sustainable preschools in developing communities at scale. Oystar powers the platform and – thanks to their support – ensures that the platform is free, stable, and scalable.  

"This is a truly unique mobile-enabled management and support platform for ECD centre owners in South Africa. Our partnership with Oystar is helping us to provide this amazing technology for free and at scale to a sector that has traditionally been informal and had no access to world-class management solutions. Oystar will help the technology to evolve and improve so that it can become an independent solution to serve the entire ECD sector,"

Collaborating for impact at scale

"We have big ambitions for education in South Africa, but we have to start at the beginning – early learning education. Oystar considers the entire early learning ecosystem and its stakeholders and requirements, and we aim to solve the disconnects using next-generation technology solutions, developing tools especially for this sector. We also know that technology becomes even more effective when it is supported by an implementation partner with deep knowledge and in-person reach within the user community. That's why Oystar is collaborating with Grow ECDs, a support organisation experienced in professionalising early learning."

This partnership has a grand and impactful vision for the future. Together we aim to empower 10 000 ECD centres in South Africa within the next 3 years (reaching 20 000 teachers, and 400 000 children), as well as expand the technology in 3 additional African countries. The technology will include new and improved features including next-generation financial services for the ECD sector.  

Interested in partnering with Oystar and Grow ECD?

Grow with Educare Centres | Early Childhood Development | South Africa

Grow ECD is a non-profit organisation committed to improving early learning by empowering ECD centre owners, teachers, parents, and support organisations. Grow ECD believes that every child deserves 5-star quality early education if we want to break the cycle of poverty and inequality in South Africa. Grow ECD’s holistic model makes running a 5-star, professional, sustainable ECD business a possibility for all by equipping & connecting ECD businesses with the skills, support & resources they need. Their unique technology platform is completely free and is designed for African by Africans.

As part of NEXT176 – Old Mutual’s New Growth and Innovation (NGI) office – Oystar Africa is dedicated to providing access to quality education throughout South Africa, starting from the vital Early Childhood Development stage. Oystar is committed to finding new ways to support ECD centres across South Africa in becoming self-sustaining small businesses. The team develops and supports next generation digital tools to support owners, teachers and parents and to fortify ECD communities.