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How Lightbridge Academy Continues to Lead Innovation in the Child Care Segment

A focus on safety, technology and curriculum has made the child care franchise a standout in the childcare segment for more than 20 years.

In the 23 years since the opening of the first Lightbridge Academy center, the child care franchise has grown to more than 100 units throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, establishing an outsized share of the $40 billion child care industry, which is growing by nearly 10 percent year over year and was ranked by FranData as the second-fastest-growing sector in franchising.

Lightbridge Academy is hardly the only player in the ever-expanding child care industry. So, how did the franchise become recognized as the leading brand for innovation in its segment? By ensuring that it was unmatched in three key areas.

Safety and Security

Lightbridge Academy has always placed a premium on safety and security. In response to a survey of over 7,000 parents executed during COVID-19, results showed that the greatest concern was for their child’s health and safety. Lightbridge was poised to quickly address their elevated concerns with the roll-out of the Lightbridge Promise - the Gold Standard in the child care industry for cleanliness, security and peace of mind. 

The pledge holds Lightbridge Academy to the highest standard with enhanced protocols to ensure the health and safety of children and staff members at its child care locations. This includes staying up-to-date with the latest health and safety guidelines provided by resources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state licensing regulations. All Lightbridge Academy centers also follow specific brand guidelines for cleaning and sanitizing classrooms and frequently touched surfaces and toys throughout the day and in the evening.  By region, different levels of health-focused protocols have been implemented including limited center visitors, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), external drop-off and pick-up procedure and a strict screening process.

A first in the child care industry, all Lightbridge Academy’s system-wide have invested in an advanced air purification and filtration system. Committed to offering the healthiest learning environment, this solution continuously works throughout the center to continuously purify the air and visible surfaces. This system design is similar to what is used in hospitals and other sensitive environments to create a “clean” room. The technology continuously distributes ionized hydrogen peroxide molecules through the HVAC system, breaking down all air contaminants such as viruses, bacteria and mold spores and proven efficacy of 99.9% against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, commonly known as COVID-19.

Technology is used to enhance security while also increasing communication and transparency into center operation. The ParentView® internet monitoring system and parent eCommunication app provide parents with peace of mind that comes from knowing their children are thriving and in good hands.

“Safety is our number-one priority,” said Joanne Sofia, Chief Operations Officer. “We can provide the world’s best educational services, but it doesn’t matter if parents aren’t 100-percent certain that their children are in a safe and healthy environment. We’ve gone above and beyond to provide the transparency to create the security needed to remove any doubt. Most child care providers aren’t willing to do that but we are. While no one is perfect, we need to be accountable and partnering with parents helps to ensure that occurs.”


Most brands in the child care industry offer just that: child care. Lightbridge Academy has won over families in each of its markets by offering a comprehensive education curriculum for children at all stages of development. The Lightbridge curriculum was inspired by the greatest minds in childhood education, including Fredrich Fröbel, Howard Gardner, Loris Malaguzzi, Maria Montessori and Jean Piaget, and every program was developed by expert educators with the express intention of stimulating childrens’ minds in a way that encourages holistic development.

“Young minds have an amazing capacity to learn and grow, and at an early age need to be fed, encouraged and challenged at every opportunity,” Sofia said. “If all you are offering is a watchful eye and some entertainment, then you are wasting some of the most valuable time in a child’s life. The curriculum we’ve put together is so much more than just academics; it’s a comprehensive and vibrant learning experience that accommodates all types of learners at all different stages.”


As Innovators in Educational Child Care, Lightbridge has historically been a forward-thinking company. The brand has invested in a robust suite of state-of-the-art technology systems, to enhance security, communication and education programs  including a coded entry system, internet monitoring, silent alarms in addition to interactive classroom learning tools.

Lightbridge Academy’s curriculum is complemented by cutting-edge technology used to enhance learning and provide students with access to the hands-on tools. Closely guided access to key technologies develop student skills and confidence to learn and create in a digital world. 

“It is so important to know and respect the power of technology in the classroom and to harness it effectively,” Sofia said. “We’ve worked with experts to ensure that we are fully leveraging technology. Lightbridge Academy provides students with an early “leg-up” through the implementation of a STREAM curriculum that many would not experience until much later in their life.”

The thread connecting all of these priorities is a stalwart determination to provide a one-of-a-kind educational experience for the children in their care and the families who cherish them.

“Quality educational child care is unfortunately hard to come by, and we know just how desperate many parents are for a comprehensive solution,” Sofia said. “Many parents would be thrilled just to have a safe place to drop off their children while they work, but that’s the bare minimum, and for us, it’s not nearly enough. As busy working parents, they need our support and for their children, these early years are developmentally the most important. We are committed to enriching every moment.”

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.