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Lightbridge Academy Acquires Ivy Montessori in Irving, TX as Part of Growth Strategy

This acquisition marks a significant milestone for the brand as it pushes forward with its ambitious expansion plans.

Lightbridge Academy®, the early education and child care franchise, recently acquired Ivy Montessori School in Irving, Texas, as part of a broader strategy to expand its national reach through the acquisition of existing schools

“This is one of the biggest centers in our portfolio, so we are very excited," said Craig Murray, the chief development officer of Lightbridge Academy. “It is now fully integrated and operational under the Lightbridge Academy banner, and has already garnered praise among staff, teachers, and families alike in the community.”

In terms of Lightbridge’s larger expansion strategy, Murray likens it to a "three-legged stool" where organic growth (through corporate-owned schools), new franchise sales (a franchise-owned approach), and the acquisition of existing centers form the foundation.

This strategy is especially pertinent as the landscape of the early education sector evolves, with many centers looking for exit strategies due to changing demographics and economic pressures. 

Center owners can feel confident that Lightbridge Academy is dedicated to upholding the highest standards in child care, with a philosophy that prioritizes family values and creates an environment where parents, children, and staff members come together as a family with the community and franchise owners to create a trusted Circle of Care. This approach, coupled with innovative programs like ParentView® Internet Monitoring and The Lightbridge Promise for health and safety, sets Lightbridge Academy apart in the early education space.

“At Lightbridge Academy, we understand that every owner has their own unique reasons for considering expansion or a transition,” said Lightbridge Academy CEO Gigi Schweikert. “Whether you’re looking to enjoy retirement or make a bigger impact, we’re here to help you achieve your goals while also upholding the shared vision of excellence in early education and child care.”

Lightbridge Academy is eyeing between six and 10 school acquisitions in the next year, a move that Murray believes will complement both corporate and franchise locations. 

"This is set to be a very strategic portion of our growth strategy moving forward,” said Murray. “We have the ability to integrate our much-needed child care services into these communities without the need for new construction or starting from scratch.” 

Moreover, this strategy provides a new avenue for franchisees looking for growth opportunities. While the Ivy Montessori School acquisition will be company-owned, Murray mentioned that there are already two units under consideration by a franchisee, underscoring the brand's commitment to supporting its franchisees through diverse strategies.

Having solidified its presence on the East Coast, the brand has set its sights on entering new markets such as Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, and Ohio. 

And to streamline the expansion process and reduce the time frame for opening child care centers, Lightbridge Academy is proactively leasing real estate sites at the corporate level before franchise owners are signed. This strategy allows the brand to leverage its development partnerships to secure real estate in new markets, while also looking for franchise partners to eventually take over the business.

As Lightbridge Academy continues to expand, the brand remains focused on providing high-quality child care services and creating opportunities for franchisees in new and existing markets. With a strong foundation and a clear vision for the future, Lightbridge Academy is poised for continued success in the early education sector.

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