In cooperatively breeding species, individuals help to raise young that are not their own. However, the type of help provided and the ways that this affects offspring development and survival are manifold. In this thesis I investigate how non-breeding helpers contribute to rearing offspring in the cooperatively breeding pied babbler, a highly social, gregarious bird from the Kalahari Desert. In this species, reproduction is monopolised by the dominant breeding pair in each group. The remaining subordinate groups members do not breed and, instead, help the dominants to produce young. Subordinates help by feeding young and also by protecting them from predators. There is also evidence that adults teach offspring to associate specific vocalisations with food delivery. Since offspring respond to food calls by approaching adults, adults can use the calls to move offspring around the territory, or away from predators. I also document the conflicts of interest that are rife in systems where reproduction is inequitably shared - and describe how subordinates maximise their chances of attaining the coveted breeding position later in life.