bannerFranchisee Stories

From Kindergarten Teacher to Business Owner: Katie Young is More Than Ready to Open Her Own Celebree School Location

The longtime employee, who currently works as a school director for one of the brand’s locations, is slated to open her first franchise in 2022.

One of the greatest indicators of a franchise brand’s success is when an employee opts to invest in the brand and become a franchisee. Such is the case with new Celebree School franchisee Katie Young. After seven years of working for the Maryland-based brand, which provides infant and toddler care, preschool, before- and after-school programs and a summer camp, Young has opted to open a franchise in Middle River, Maryland. 

She cited the brand’s forward-thinking approach to early childcare and education as a major reason to franchise. 

“I feel like Celebree School is always one step ahead,” Young said. “When I attended the annual Maryland State Childcare Association’s Conference by the Sea, industry professionals were talking about implementing best practices that we were already familiar with. I knew that, as a franchisee, I would never be behind because Celebree School is truly filled with industry thought leaders.” 

Young also cited a strong family feel as another reason to franchise with Celebree School.

“As a longtime employee, I never felt like I was a number,” she said. “Everyone always knew my name, even when I first started. I need that kind of recognition and appreciation to be successful.” 

Celebree School was founded in 1994 with a mission to Grow People Big and Small™. Today, the early childhood education and enrichment franchise has 40 locations either open or under development in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia with aggressive plans for continued growth. Celebree School operates on three key principles — educate, nurture and protect — and the brand seeks franchisees in the eastern U.S. who want to bring nurturing and professional childcare to their communities. 

Young’s first role with Celebree School was as the Kindergarten Readiness Teacher at the brand’s Laurel Bush location in Bel Air, Maryland. She later became the assistant director of the Fallston, Maryland location. A year and a half later, she was promoted to director of the Fallston location, the role she holds today. She knew early on in her journey with Celebree School that she wanted to own a location and was awarded her franchise license in late 2019. 

Today, Young is continuing in her director role as she actively scouts locations for her Celebree School. Her franchise is slated to open in 2022 in the community of Middle River, Maryland, which is located in Baltimore County. 

She is excited to continue providing families with peace of mind as they juggle the responsibilities of family and work, especially during COVID-19. 

“I’m hoping we can be the go-to resource for parents when they feel safe and comfortable again to send their children back to childcare,” she said. 

Young is also glad she’ll have the solid support of the Celebree School leadership team as she transitions into business ownership. 

“I can run a school, but I am so green when it comes to opening new locations,” she said. “The leadership team has been a great partner throughout the franchising process and has patiently answered my many questions.”

Young lauded the brand for the way it develops professionals and provides every employee with a chance to move up the ladder. Indeed, this is a major component of the Celebree School culture, as the brand operates on three key business pillars: Talent, Brand and Operations. 

“Franchising is a major financial investment, but Celebree School also invests so much in its people,” Young said. “I have always felt like they’ve been helping me to grow and learn so I can be the best owner possible. And the entire team is just so much fun to work with. We all really just have a lot of fun together.” 

The Celebree School leadership team is proud of Young’s decision to franchise with the brand and believes her extensive experience will be a huge asset as she transitions to the franchisee life. Her ability to run a franchise speaks to the brand’s mission to Grow People Big and Small™

“Katie has been an integral member of the Celebree School family for many years, and the leadership team is thrilled to see her enter a new chapter of her professional life,” CEO Richard Huffman said. “As someone who has a genuine passion for working with children and a deep understanding of her community, she is exactly the kind of person who fits our ideal franchisee profile.” 

The initial investment for a Celebree School franchise ranges from $634,000 to $1,390,000. The franchise fee is $75,000. To learn more about franchising with Celebree, visit