The over $40 billion child care industry is booming, and after 20 years since the opening of its first center in New Jersey, Lightbridge Academy, which serves children from six weeks of age through Kindergarten, has also grown. With more than 100 centers currently open or in development, it is a lucrative opportunity for prospective franchisees in the Mid-Atlantic.
1. The company is capitalizing on its Mid-Atlantic success and brand recognition, eying further area expansion.
As Lightbridge Academy continues to grow in the Mid-Atlantic, it is opening new markets and opportunities for like-minded franchisees to create caring and nurturing environments where children, parents and staff come together to learn. In 2018, the company is focusing development efforts in states near its corporate offices in Iselin, New Jersey, looking to add locations with franchise partners in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
“Expanding throughout the Mid-Atlantic is a natural progression for us,” said Mark Mele, Senior Vice President of Franchise Development for Lightbridge Academy. “When we started franchising in New Jersey, we were able to quickly develop in that market, and it makes sense for us to grow into contiguous states.”
Lightbridge Academy franchisees Raj and Veenu Parkash have watched the educational child care brand grow in the Mid-Atlantic since they opened their first center in 2004 in New Jersey. After experiencing tremendous success with their first location, they opened a second in 2012 and recently broke ground on a third center expected to open in early 2018.
“With hard work, the return on this investment is wonderful,” Veenu Parkash said. “If you love children and want to impact your community in a meaningful way, this is an opportunity you should pursue.”
2. The Mid-Atlantic has the highest household income per capita in the United States.
Child care in the United States is an investment in your child’s future. According to the Care Index, the cost of infant care per year is higher than the cost of college tuition in many states. Boasting the highest household income per capita, the Mid-Atlantic is an affluent region where residents not only desire, but can also afford to pay for a high quality of care and education for their children. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, three of the top 10 states in the country with the highest median household incomes are in the Mid-Atlantic with Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia boasting median household incomes over $66,000.
3. In many Mid-Atlantic households, both parents work.
When both parents are employed, they often need help caring for their children because they are unable to stay home with them during the day. In the Mid-Atlantic, both parents work in more than 67 percent of households, which is higher than the national average, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Additionally, there is a lower percentage of stay at home mothers in the Mid-Atlantic than in the rest of the country.
“Lightbridge Academy is The Solution for Working Parents®,” Mele said. “In the Mid-Atlantic, there are many markets meeting our demographic profile especially dual income working parents that need the services we offer.”
Before Raj and Veenu opened their first Lightbridge Academy, they were running a garment company. On their way to work every morning, the couple dropped their daughter off at Lightbridge Academy. As working parents, they appreciated the high quality child care services Lightbridge Academy provided.
“My daughter had a wonderful experience there,” Veenu Prakash said. “My husband and I always thought it was a warm, welcoming place with high values and a priority on meeting the needs of the our family.”
4. Mid-Atlantic residents value education.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Mid-Atlantic has some of the highest levels of educational attainment in the United States, with more people 25 and older who have bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, professional and doctoral degrees than other areas of the U.S. In a region that prioritizes education, many parents will seek quality child care and early education services for their children.
“There is clear demand in the Mid-Atlantic for the solutions Lightbridge Academy offers,” Mele said. “We believe that child care needs to care for parents too. These markets have a demand for child care programs that go beyond offering a high quality of education and care for children. Parents need more support and options.”
5. Lightbridge Academy helps Mid-Atlantic franchisees find the best real estate for their centers.
For franchisees, finding the ideal site for their locations is a critical decision and can play a vital role in the success of a business. Lightbridge Academy’s network of real estate brokers works with franchisees in Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia to help them choose an optimal location for their centers.
“It’s important that each center ramps up at a strong pace, so we vet the location to ensure franchisees have prime locations,” Mele said. “At the end of the day, Lightbridge Academy’s corporate team depends on the franchisee being successful in order for them to ultimately succeed. We are committed to helping them achieve that goal.”
To determine the best site for each franchisee, the Lightbridge Academy development team runs each site through a customized site analysis program. It helps to assess the viability looking at variables such as buying habits, household income, traffic, commuting patterns and employment centers. That’s the first step in the process to determine if a market is viable. After the site is selected, Lightbridge Academy guides its Mid-Atlantic franchisees through the development process including permitting, municipal approval, and construction.
To learn more about franchise opportunities with Lightbridge Academy, visit LightbridgeAcademyFranchise.com.