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Lightbridge Academy franchisee helps grow the brand’s presence in Pennsylvania as he expands with second location

Leading early education and child care franchise offers scalable opportunity for franchise owners

By Nick Powills1851 Franchise Publisher
SPONSORED 2:14PM 12/13/17

It’s been six years since Lightbridge Academy first franchised. During this time, they have continued to prove the franchise model a success by developing each franchisee, franchise unit economics and offering the ability to scale their business by opening new centers. One franchisee recently received the Founder’s Award as a standout franchisee exemplifying the Lightbridge Academy core values. He has found his current child care center to be both rewarding personally as well as beneficial to the families he serves in his community. This success has propelled him forward and prepared him to open a second location next year.

Steve DiNunzio signed on for his first Lightbridge Academy franchise in Bethlehem Township, Pennsylvania in 2014, and the center opened its doors in August 2015. With experience in banking and finance, DiNunzio became interested in business ownership through franchising and began researching different brands and industries to identify the best fit.

“I wanted to invest in a brand that set its franchise owners up for success. I was also interested in an opportunity that would allow me to spend time with my family and to keep living the same lifestyle,” said DiNunzio. “Once I met the franchise company team and learned about the opportunity in greater detail, I was convinced that Lightbridge Academy could increase the quality of my life”. 

Steve’s first location quickly grew in enrollment as the families in the community embraced the high quality of care, proprietary curriculum and Circle of Care philosophy, which placed equal focus on everyone in the child’s life. After two successful years in Bethlehem Township, DiNunzio signed to bring another location to nearby Allentown.

“I signed my first franchise agreement with the intent to expand with the brand once I could see how everything worked out,” said DiNunzio. “That thought became a reality when I saw the speed at which my business was growing, leading me to sign on for another center.”

The Lightbridge franchise system has seen very strong growth throughout the region and securing a prime territory was a priority. DiNunzio had already built a strong reputation, loyal client base and staff to serve as a foundation for growth. He chose Allentown due to the similar demographics and lifestyles of the families in the area. With construction beginning in early 2018, he is preparing to enroll students for the fall of 2018.

The brand is seeking to fill voids in the Pennsylvania market for high quality early childhood education programs as the brand continues to grow their presence. They have set their sights on growing throughout the Philadelphia market and adding up to 12 locations throughout the state over the next several years. Lightbridge is specifically targeting Chester, Montgomery, Bucks and Delaware counties as well as the city of Pittsburgh for expansion.

"We've already seen great success in the New Jersey and New York area which shares similar demographics to the areas we are focuses on developing in Pennsylvania," said Mark Mele, Lightbridge Academy’s Senior Vice President of Franchise Development. "We've already gotten our feet wet in the state and are opening three new locations within the next year with others in development. Lightbridge is well-poised to really grow a strong presence across the state."

Lightbridge Academy is excited to continue growing with existing franchisees in the system while also bringing on new franchisees. The company is projecting 10 locations in the state by 2020.

To read more about franchising opportunities with Lightbridge Academy, visit

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