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Franchise Deep Dive: The Goddard School Franchise Costs, Fees, Profit and Data

The early childhood education franchise requires a significantly higher investment cost than many competitors. Is it worth it?

LAST UPDATED: January 25, 2023



REPORTED COST TO GET IN: $818,300 to $1,090,100

REPORTED ROI (Item 19): $1,798,771 (Average Annual Gross Revenue in 2021)

The Goddard School is a leading franchise in the early childhood education industry. The school's philosophy is based on the belief that children learn best through play, and that they should be provided with a nurturing and stimulating environment in which to grow and develop.

How Many The Goddard School Locations Are There?

The Goddard School was founded in 1983 by Lois Goddard Haines in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Haines opened an early childhood education center to enrich the lives of children and their families, who required childcare. She developed a program that incorporated a variety of teaching methods and progressive ideologies from all areas of child psychology and neurology to create a warm, yet individualized experience to meet each child’s needs. 

Over the next few years, Haines successfully ran The Goddard School. In 1988, she sold the company to Anthony A. Martino, founder of the AAMCO Transmissions and MAACO Auto Painting and Bodyworks franchises. Martino established a franchising system under the name Carousel Systems, Inc. This name, as well as Goddard School’s logo, is based on the carousel horse that Haines installed at the entrance of the original school.

The Goddard School continued to expand around the United States. By the end of the 1990s, the company grew to 100 locations. In 2002, the Goddard School was sold to Wind River Holdings, LP.

Twenty years later, The Goddard School was sold to Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm. The Goddard School now has over 590 locations in 35 states, and it continues to be a leader in the early childhood education industry, recently ranked No. 60 on the 2023 Franchise 500 Rank by Entrepreneur. 

What Is The Goddard School Business Model?

As a franchisee, you don't need a childcare or education background and won't necessarily have to teach. Each school is licensed as a childcare facility, and staff members are trained in early childhood education and development. However, you will have to be on-site to fulfill administrative roles. An education director will focus on the children, The Goddard School pricing and curriculum. 

The Goddard School also offers a flexible business model that allows for different ownership options, such as single-unit ownership, multi-unit ownership and area developer agreements. This allows individuals with different levels of experience and resources to become franchisees.

How Much Can The Goddard Schools Franchise Owners Make?

According to Item 19 of the brand’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), the following is a report of 532 mature The Goddard Schools. Open over 18 months as of December 31, 2021 and referred to as “Mature Schools,” the below stats include the actual gross revenue, payroll, occupancy (representing rent plus property tax expense) and miscellaneous operating expenses prepared on a cash basis.

  • Gross Revenue: $1,798,771 (100.0%)
  • Payroll: $680,493 (37.8%)
  • Occupancy: $267,854 (14.9%)
  • Miscellaneous Items: $476,582 (26.5%)
  • Total Expenses: $1,424,929 (79.2%)
  • Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA): $373,842 (20.8%)
  • 2021 Median Gross Revenue: $1,669,054
  • 2021 Highest Gross Revenue: $6,257,269
  • 2021 Lowest Gross Revenue: $213,171

How Much Does It Cost To Open The Goddard School?

According to Item 7 of the company’s 2022 FDD, if you lease the school and the landlord constructs the improvements, the total investment required to open The Goddard School ranges from $818,300 to $1,090,100.

  • Initial License Fee: $135,000
  • Initial Training and Assistance Fee; Satellite Location Assistance Fee: $35,000
  • Initial Marketing Fee: $50,000 to $71,500
  • Site Development Assistance Fee: $35,000
  • Background Check (estimate is for up to four individuals): $3,000 to $5,500
  • Convention Deposit: $1,000
  • Lease Deposit: $19,000 to $100,000
  • Three Months’ Rent: $55,000 to $85,000
  • Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment: $282,000 to $340,000
  • Marketing Materials, Stationery, Forms and Curricular Resources: $19,000 to $31,500
  • Signs: $12,000
  • Computer System, IT Security, Network Equipment/Wireless Access Point Devices, Telephone System, Interactive Flat Panel, and Digital Signage Package: $26,000 to $35,000
  • Security System: $12,000
  • Miscellaneous Opening Costs: $85,000 to $100,000
  • Accreditation: $1,000
  • Additional Funds—3 Months: $48,300 to $90,600

What Is the Franchise Fee for The Goddard School?

The initial franchise fee for The Goddard School, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2022 FDD, is $135,000.

  • Royalty Fee: 7% Gross Receipts
  • Marketing Fund/Marketing Fee: 4% of Gross Receipts, Including the Gross Receipts Derived From Any Satellite Location or Annex, per Month

Who Is the Leadership of The Goddard School?

What Helpful Articles Can I Read to Learn More About The Goddard School?

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