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Lightbridge Academy Experiences Strong Momentum at the Start of 2020

From expansion into major markets to ranking on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list, the early education and child care franchise celebrates 2019 success with a focus on strong franchise development in 2020.

Lightbridge Academy was founded in 1997 with the goal of being The Solution for Working Parents® and providing a high level of care for all those within its signature Circle of Care. Today, the early education and child care franchise has a footprint of over 100 centers either open, under construction or in development in markets across the U.S. Lightbridge Academy is continuing to meet major milestones that cement it as a brand to watch, and 2019 was an especially fruitful year of success for the franchise. 

“Lightbridge Academy enjoyed many successes in 2019 that will help us continue to put our brand on the map in 2020,” President and COO Gigi Schweikert said. “From industry recognition to accreditation and more, 2019 was definitely the year of Lightbridge Academy. Our concept has caught fire in every market we have entered, which has paved the way for serious brand growth.” 

In terms of industry recognition, Lightbridge Academy made Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list in 2019 and again more recently in 2020. More than 1,100 franchise brands applied to make the list in 2019, and Lightbridge Academy nabbed the No. 182 spot. The brand also made the Franchise Times Top 200+ list both years.

Lightbridge Academy saw marked success on the education front in 2019. For one, the brand’s corporate-owned center in Iselin, New Jersey was accredited by the National Accreditation Commission (NAC). The NAC is part of the Association for Early Learning Leaders, an organization committed to excellence in early childhood care and education. Lightbridge Academy will continue to work with the NAC to secure accreditation for all of its centers. 

Lightbridge Academy also boosted its longtime sign language program, Signing Sprouts, by introducing a library of new video modules. The modules are intended to provide at-home support for parents empowering them to strengthen their infants, toddlers and preschoolers knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL). The enrichment program is included in Lightbridge Academy’s educational curriculum and is recognized for improving communication and lowering child frustration. 

The brand has also focused on its charitable efforts through the Lightbridge Foundation: In 2019, granted 20 wishes to families in need by raising $20,000 and raised nearly $40,000. That money was coupled with reserved funds for a total of $68,000 earmarked for its philanthropic efforts including scholarships and grants. 

In terms of franchise development, Lightbridge Academy signed franchise deals for inaugural centers in Florida, Maryland and North Carolina. The brand will focus on continued expansion in all three states. 

“Florida, particularly from West Palm Beach down through Miami, possess markets that are really a close match to our brand profile,” Chief Development Officer Mark Mele said. “Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville align with our market analysis as areas that contain similar profiles of families needing and desiring the high care, high quality educational services that we offer. With dual income working families being the norm in these areas, we were excited by the opportunities for multi-unit growth in the state, and we’ll continue to market to prospective franchisees in those areas.” 

Lightbridge Academy also achieved another major milestone in 2019 by signing a deal for its first New York City center. Veteran Lightbridge Academy franchisee Mihir Daiya, who owns and operates a center in the brand’s home state of New Jersey, and his business partner Vinay Bhimjiani will open a center in Manhattan’s Midtown West neighborhood in 2020. Additional franchisees have also signed on to open three centers in Brooklyn.

“It just seems like it’s off to the races as these centers open,” Mele said. “With this robust economy, it’s just going to get better and better each year. We have aggressive goals for 2020 with lease signings and sales and I don’t see it slowing down any time soon.” 

With significant industry recognition, a pathway to systemwide accreditation and an emerging presence in major markets, Lightbridge Academy is set to continue dominating the early education and child care space in 2020. 

About Lightbridge Academy

Established in 1997, Lightbridge Academy provides early education and child care to children ages six weeks through kindergarten, as well as special programming for children up to 10 years old during school holidays, breaks and summer camp. The company franchised in 2011 in an effort to expand their distinctive concept throughout the Northeast; it currently has over 100 child care centers either open, under construction or in development throughout Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Guy and Julia Falzarano founded the company based on core values and a Circle of Care philosophy that places equal importance on the needs of children, their families, teachers, center owners, and the community. In 2019 and 2020, Lightbridge Academy was ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500, and it was featured on the Franchise Times Top 200+ in 2018 and 2019.  To learn more about Lightbridge Academy, prospective families and franchisees are encouraged to visit or call (732) 980-1900 x 199.

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