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How Lightbridge Academy’s ChildCare Education Institute Partnership Will Support Franchisees

By providing career advancement opportunities for its employees and a higher-quality education for its students, Lightbridge makes it easier for franchisees to run their businesses and retain employees.

By Paul Mueller1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSORED 9:09AM 09/06/22

Lightbridge Academy®, the nation’s leading early education and child care franchise, has partnered with the ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI) to provide career development resources for teachers in its centers. CCEI is an online childcare training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education of its workforce, offering over 150 courses for childcare professionals. The goal of the partnership is to empower Lightbridge teachers and employees to grow professionally and advance their careers, while also equipping them to provide higher-quality education to students – all of which presents a variety of benefits to franchise owners themselves.

“We want to support franchise owners in being able to offer these tools in their centers,” says Bada Hong, Lightbridge’s vice president of customer experience. “I think it's a great partnership with a lot of potential to support career development and career growth, which in turn supports our franchise owners in running their businesses.”

With more than 130 centers open or under development across the United States, Lightbridge has roughly 1,700 employees, most of whom are teachers. With access to CCEI’s courses, the avenues for professional growth within the Lightbridge ecosystem are vast, and the benefits ladder directly up to franchise owners in a variety of ways.

Finding (and Keeping) the Right People

According to a survey conducted by the National Education Association, in the wake of the pandemic and facing increasing burnout, 55% of educators indicate that they plan to leave the profession earlier than planned. Combined with the fact that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 567,000 fewer educators in America’s public schools than there were before the pandemic, this presents an alarming challenge for anyone employing teachers.

Lightbridge is giving these teachers a lifeline. Those who are burned out or uncertain about their futures in education now have a place where they can continue to make a positive impact on the lives of children while simultaneously advancing their careers within the Lightbridge ecosystem.

“We want to elevate our teachers,” says Jennifer Romanoff, Lightbridge’s vice president of curriculum and professional development. “We want to empower them. We want them to move up. These trainings will also allow us to give them some pretty specific career paths that they can follow to elevate themselves within our company.”

Dana Mazur, who started at Lightbridge as a teacher and has now moved up to center director, says that the breadth of courses that CCEI offers and that Lightbridge teachers will now have access to is a benefit that educators want and need.

“I love the fact that they even offer director classes, because there are so many teachers inside the classroom that are ready for the next step,” says Mazur. “I'm somebody who likes to promote from within. So if you're working hard to obtain a new goal or new position, it's platforms like CCEI that make the difference. I really feel like being able to provide those resources for teachers is something that they are excited about.”

With the professional development possible through CCEI courses added to the career paths already available at Lightbridge, franchise owners are now uniquely positioned to recruit top teachers and retain them long term.

Promoting from Within, and Knowing Who’s Ready

Mazur is not the only one at Lightbridge who prefers to promote from within. The brand makes it a point to always look internally first when filling open roles. With the new CCEI courses available to employees, franchise owners can have a better pulse on who is both willing and ready to move into a particular role when it becomes available.

“There are various types of growth that can exist within a single franchise center,” Hong says. “There's your traditional assistant teacher, your lead teachers, your mentors, administrative positions – movement within the franchise ecosystem is definitely possible. But I think the CCEI program can help people be more prepared for some of these moves because the skill set you need to be a teacher is different from the skill set you need to be an administrator. And for the franchise owner, it'll be an easier decision to make as to who's ready.” 

Lightbridge prides itself on investing in people. With the tools provided by the brand – and now through the CCEI partnership – franchise owners have the ability to see a return on that investment by way of seamless transitions from hiring qualified internal candidates.

“It’s important to make sure you have the right people in all roles,” says Hong. “CCEI can help bridge the gaps and assure the franchise owner that the individual they’re considering for a particular role has a leg up on the competitors.”

Happy Teachers Make for Happy Students, Happy Parents and Happy Franchise Owners

Lightbridge operates under a set of core values along with its Circle of Care® philosophy, in which it aims to maintain a focus on each segment of its ecosystem – the children, parents, franchise owners, community and its employees – to make sure it delivers an unmatched experience. The teachers are at the center of this.

“Happy teachers make happy children, happy children make happy parents, and happy parents stay – and they refer others,” Romanoff says. “This makes happy owners, and happy owners can then give back to everyone within the Circle of Care, including the community.”

Regardless of industry, happy employees make it easier for an owner to run their business. Lightbridge’s partnership with CCEI provides its educators and employees with growth benefits beyond what they’ll find elsewhere, and everyone in the Lightbridge ecosystem will benefit, including the franchisees.

Start-up costs for a Lightbridge Academy® franchise range from $621,233 to $5,088,750, depending on real estate investments. For more information about owning a Lightbridge Academy® franchise, visit or call 732-980-1900, ext. 199.

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