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Global Chief Executive Officer – NurtureFirst

East Africa or India

Company Description

NurtureFirst works to create a world where all children through the first three years of their lives have the care they need to thrive, families have access to affordable, quality childcare options that enable them to work, and child care providers are adequately compensated and supported for their work. To achieve that vision, their mission is to build responsive, coherent, and financially sustainable systems that support home-based child care providers to deliver high-quality childcare. NurtureFirst is working globally to provide funding and mobilize and advocate for policies and practices that most effectively support the needs of home-based child care providers. They work directly with Providers to support them to be recognized for their work and elevate their voices to organize and shape the systems around them so they can best serve children. In addition to their global work, NurtureFirst collaborates with community-based organizations and government representatives at national and sub-national level to launch systems-wide learning interventions to support local providers, as well as generate new knowledge to share globally. They are currently implementing learning interventions in Murang’a, Kisumu, and Mombasa Counties in Kenya.

NurtureFirst, formerly known as the Home Based Child Care (HBCC) Initiative first launched in the wake of a 2020 global study by Spring Impact about the need for greater support for home-based care providers. Subsequently, the Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN) and several funders set the foundation for NurtureFirst in 2021. In 2022, the Global Development Incubator (GDI) worked with ECDAN and a Funder Steering Committee to design the first phase of NurtureFirst starting in Kenya. They are now seeking an experienced, visionary global CEO for NurtureFirst who can bring the organization to the next level, including finalizing their learning interventions and scale strategy in Kenya, launching their Global Learning Community, building the organization into its own independent entity, and launching new NurtureFirst collaborations in other countries.

For at least the first 6-12 months, the NurtureFirst’s Global CEO will be housed at the Global Development Incubator (GDI). GDI partners with social entrepreneurs and subject matter experts to build startups and collaboratives that address some of the world’s toughest development challenges. GDI plays a mix of strategist and implementer roles to spin out new organizations over 24-36 months. They have teams in Hong Kong, Nairobi, Mumbai, and the United States.

Job Description

As the Global CEO of NurtureFirst, the successful candidate will play a pivotal role in the next phase of the organization’s growth. You will be responsible for leading a high performing primarily Kenya-based team to complete learning interventions in three counties in Kenya and an associated national scale strategy, finalizing and launching our global strategy- including a new global learning community and refining the criteria for the next countries that NurtureFirst will partner in to support home-based child care providers. You will work hand-in-hand with GDI to build the operational foundations to launch NurtureFirst as an independent entity, including finalizing the organizational structure and hiring a full-time team, setting up legal entities, and building critical relationships with funders and partners, globally, and locally. You are motivated to work in partnership with senior government leaders to prioritize policies and practices that support home-based child care providers, in collaboration with local community-based organizations to extend their services to home-based child care providers, and with networks of providers to hear their stories, understand their needs and preferences and engage in mutual learning.


Executive and Team Leadership

  • Represent NurtureFirst in global, regional, and relevant national forums
  • Develop a global organizational structure for NurtureFirst and recruit and hire the team
  • Provide strategic, inspirational leadership for the NurtureFirst global team members the Kenya-based team, and other country-based teams as we add additional geographies
  • Maintain strong relationships with the NurtureFirst Steering Committee, keeping them appraised of critical developments and seeking their input and approval on important strategic decisions

Strategy Development

  • In collaboration with GDI, refine the global strategy for NurtureFirst, including the operating model for how NurtureFirst partners with local organizations and how it chooses to pilot and fund new efforts
  • Refine the strategy for and kickoff the Global Learning Community to share learning and actionable best practices from the organic local networks and organizations working in the space
  • Refine the criteria for new geographies that NurtureFirst will enter to launch systems-change efforts in partnership with Community-Based Organizations and government stakeholders
  • Develop the systems-change strategies, including overseeing local teams to map the ecosystem, identify key partners, design learning interventions and monitor evaluation, and learn from them to support home-based care provision at scale nationally and globally

Partner Engagement

  • Build and maintain strong partnerships with key government stakeholders at national and sub-national level in all geographies in which NurtureFirst engages to forge optimized public policies and practices and recognize home-based care provision as a public service
  • Forge effective funding and mutual learning / capacity-building partnerships with stakeholders in community-based organizations to educate them about home-based care provision, recognize and support the work of home-based care providers and advocate for change at the local level
  • Identify supportive corporate partnerships for home-based care providers, including those that could offer in-kind support, training, and potential funding for home-based care provision.

Resource Mobilisation

  • Identify new funders and funding sources for NurtureFirst in its next phase of growth
  • Develop a strategy to maintain existing funders and keep them engaged in NurtureFirst’s work
  • Communicate with poise and confidence about NurtureFirst’s impact and build its brand globally and locally

Kenya Program Oversight

  • In collaboration with the current Kenya NurtureFirst team, extrapolate actionable lessons learned from monitoring and evaluating the learning interventions that can be shared locally, nationally and
  • Define the Kenya scale strategy, including whether to increase the size and scale of interventions in existing Counties, whether to prioritize new Counties, and what to prioritize at the national level
  • Determine the appropriate medium and long-term Kenya strategy, including the eventual handover plan from NurtureFirst to local community-based organizations


  • Mission alignment with NurtureFirst, including professional and/or lived experience that signifies commitment to support to create high-quality nurturing care spaces for young children
  • Strong executive leadership skills and at least 5 years experience in Executive Director or equivalent roles leading growing teams of professionals, including inspiring and managing team members effectively
  • Experience developing nonprofit / mission-driven strategies, particularly at the systems level
  • Cultural sensitivity to mutual learning with local community-based organizations across international settings
  • Experience working across diverse settings globally, particularly in Kenya and India
  • Subject knowledge of caregiving and/or early childhood sectors preferred; relevant adjacent
    knowledge areas include but are not limited to women’s economic empowerment, nutrition, early childhood development, child health and child protection
  • Fundraising experience and interest, including identifying potential donors and communicating about mission-driven work passionately and effectively to raise resources
  • Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Development, Education, Social Sciences, or a related field (Master’s degree preferred)
  • Experience from and living in East African and Southeast Asian geographies preferred
  • Start-up experience in nonprofit environments is preferred

How to Apply

Shortlist is NurtureFirst’s exclusive recruitment partner for this role. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is closed, though early applications are strongly encouraged.
To apply, ask a question, or refer someone in your immediate network, please write to the shortlist team with your CV or LinkedIn profile using the following contacts:

Ankita Guhathakurta- Associate Partner:

Wanjiru Akinyi- Senior Talent Consultant:


Global Development Incubator is an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace.