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Lightbridge Academy® Eyes Richmond, Virginia as an Ideal City in its Mid-Atlantic Expansion

With an influx of families moving to the area bringing an ever-increasing number of children into Richmond, Virginia’s capital city is an ideal territory for the fast-growing early education and child care franchise.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
SPONSOREDUpdated 1:13PM 02/03/22

Leading early education and child care franchise Lightbridge Academy has identified Richmond, Virginia as its next market targeted for expansion across the Mid-Atlantic. Currently, Richmond has one Lightbridge Academy under construction, but the market has potential to hold up to four more locations within its territory. 

After kicking off franchising in 2011, Lightbridge Academy has leveraged the brand’s overall nearly 25 years of experience to build a child care center like no other. Now, 11 years since the launch of franchising with more than 60 open locations and more than 60 additional franchises either sold or in development across the U.S., Lightbridge Academy is working to expand its presence in Virginia, specifically eyeing the Richmond area for immediate growth. 

With a 12.8% population increase from 2010 to 2020, Richmond is growing at a faster rate than the U.S. population as a whole. It’s currently the third-largest metropolitan area in Virginia, with median household income growing at nearly 5% from the previous year. With that level of population growth and with nearly 18% of the population under age 18, Richmond is experiencing a heightened demand for educational resources. 

“Richmond is a perfect area for Lightbridge Academy’s expansion in the state of Virginia,” said Lightbridge Academy CEO Gigi Schweikert. “Families in the Richmond area need our services. As The Solution for Working Parents®,  Lightbridge Academy offers support for busy parents while also delivering nurturing child care with a solid educational curriculum to all students, including the thousands of new children coming into the market.”

Lightbridge Academy provides families with industry-leading programs like ParentView® Internet Monitoring, a parent eCommunication app, extended hours and state-of-the-art security systems. Last year, the company also introduced The Lightbridge Promise®, which is the Gold Standard in health and safety for child care, including an enhanced air purification and filtration system along with heightened cleaning and sanitation processes.

Virginia Beach couple Neil and Jane Yaeger opened the first Lightbridge Academy in Virginia in 2018, helping the brand hit a milestone of exceeding 100 franchisee signings. Now, as Lightbridge Academy looks to Richmond to expand its presence in Virginia and the surrounding Washington, D.C., area, the team has identified several additional markets in the state that offer a similar demographic to other territories in the Mid-Atlantic, where the brand has already seen great success. 

“Our goal is to have more than 150 centers open by 2026,” said Lightbridge Academy founder Guy Falzarano. “We will open new territories to achieve our accelerated growth plan as we work to close out our core markets across the Mid-Atlantic region. I am heartened by the fact that every time we open a new center, we help people fulfill their dreams of becoming a business owner, offer jobs to those living in that community and, most importantly, support working parents by providing their children with the highest level of care and quality early education programs.”

Lightbridge Academy will continue its search for qualified franchise prospects who want to make a difference in their communities in Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Chesterfield County, Henrico County and in Norfolk and Chesapeake. The Washington, D.C. border of Virginia further provides a marketplace in need of the services Lightbridge Academy offers working parents, along with the opportunity to claim its stake as a leader in the education sector in the area.

Lightbridge Academy seeks to bring franchise candidates into its system whose personal values align well with the brand. With plans to add 19 additional units throughout Washington, D.C. and Virginia over the next several years, the company is one step closer to crossing its goal of 150 centers open in the next five years.

Start-up costs for a Lightbridge Academy® franchise range from $581,233 to $784,150. The franchise fee is $40,000. For more information about owning a Lightbridge Academy® franchise, visit or call 732-980-1900 x199.

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