Lightbridge Academy, The Solution for Working Parents®, differentiates itself from other child care franchises in the segment with its Circle of Care philosophy, extending its support from the child to the parents and then throughout the local community. One way the brand accomplishes this is through its Corporate Advantage Program.
Through the program, Lightbridge Academy partners with area businesses and corporations meeting its program requirements to provide a discount to their employees. The benefit of this program is threefold: employers are able to offer a valuable child care benefit; their employees receive a discount to a high quality early education program for their children; and Lightbridge Academy franchisees are able to build enrollment and support the needs of dual-income working families.
“The Corporate Advantage Program provides value to parents, employers and franchisees,” said Martha Echevarria, enrollment manager at Lightbridge Franchise Company. “The program is extremely well received by parents, not only because of the savings, which can be over $1,000 per year, but also because of additional services such as back-up care, preferred status on waiting lists and most importantly, the peace of mind necessary for them focus on their busy day at work. Employers understand that productivity depends on their employees having reliable child care and franchisees are able to serve more dual income families - a key demographic for us.”
Former center director Kim Cafferata, now franchise business coach at Lightbridge Franchise Company, has experienced the Corporate Advantage Program from the center level and through her relationships with the franchisees she supports in building their businesses.
“Another benefit of the Corporate Advantage Program is the targeted manner in which our franchisees are able to spread the word about Lightbridge Academy to employees working in businesses in our community. Word-of-mouth influences a parent’s decision and they often look for a referral from someone they trust,” said Cafferata. “It is helpful to answer many preliminary questions at company benefits fairs and helps to build trust with many first time or expecting parents.”
Started in 2009, the Lightbridge Academy Corporate Advantage Program is available at no cost to qualified companies meeting their criteria which includes having 50 or more employees in proximity to their centers and willing to share information about Lightbridge Academy. In exchange, participating companies enjoy being an employer of choice and offer the many benefits associated with a child care program.
“The Corporate Advantage Program is just one example of how Lightbridge Academy’s approach encompasses all those within our Circle of Care,” said Brenda Febbo, chief marketing officer of Lightbridge Franchise Company. “Lightbridge Academy offers solutions for the working parent and this program is a perfect example of one of the many ways we support them. Participating companies understand these types of benefits enable their employees to be more productive, less stressed, and in turn, develop a strong loyalty to their company. It clearly benefits the employee and the employer, and most importantly, the child receives a one-of-a-kind educational experience.
Currently, the 90+ unit franchise system attributes 28 percent of the company’s enrollment to the Corporate Advantage Program.
“One major advantage for Lightbridge Academy franchisees is that our marketing team manages the outreach to companies in the area,” said Echevarria. “In addition to franchisees forwarding requests, we have established relationships with large companies, which have branches across the country. When opening centers in new markets, the local branches of these companies help to provide an enrollment base before franchisees even open the doors to their center. We provide all the information necessary for their Human Resources departments to establish this child care benefit.”
In addition to the outreach done by the Lightbridge marketing team, parents looking to enroll their children help bring on companies to the program, as well.
“Prospective families looking to enroll often need assistance getting this program set up with their employer,” said Echevarria. “They’ll inquire about a discount, find out the program exists, and then ask us to reach out to their human resources department. It’s a win-win for everyone. We provide a valuable benefit to a company that enables their employees to save thousands of dollars a year while receiving quality child care and Lightbridge franchisees receive the enrollment necessary to build healthy businesses.”
Cafferata adds, “Parents seek referrals from someone they trust. They don’t know the schools or centers in the area and their employer can support them by providing some options. Plus, the program gives companies a competitive advantage and provides reliable care so their employee is more productive and able to focus on their work because they know their child is in good hands.”
As the cost of child care continues to rise, programs like the Corporate Advantage Program help bridge the gap for parents looking for a quality early education program that they can afford. It often gives them the boost needed to make this important decision.
“Lightbridge offers a quality early childhood program for the children and, in some cases, a gap may exist from a cost standpoint. For some, this savings can make all the difference,” said Echevarria.
The Corporate Advantage Program is just one of many that set Lightbridge Academy apart from other centers in the segment. The fast-growing franchise brand is primed for a record-setting year of growth, with plans to expand in Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. For more information about Lightbridge Academy franchise opportunities, please visit http://lightbridgeacademyfranchise.com/.