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Why I Bought: A Need for Quality Daycare Prompted Bhautik Patel To Purchase a Lightbridge Academy Franchise

Patel opened his first Lightbridge Academy in 2017 and is getting prepared to open his second location.

If anyone knows how tough it can be to find quality child care, it’s Lightbridge Academy franchisee Bhautik Patel. Unimpressed with the local child care options for his daughter, Patel took an exceptionally proactive approach to this problem by opening a Lightbridge Academy early education and child care center in 2017 in Sayreville, New Jersey.

He and his wife had already been considering franchise opportunities when they decided to expand their search to include the early childhood education and child care space. 

“We decided on Lightbridge Academy for a variety of reasons,” Patel said. “We like that Lightbridge Academy is a smaller, values-driven company and it had prime territories available.”

The franchise company was smaller in size compared to some competitors and felt more connected to their franchise base, where franchisees could easily reach the CEO. Patel noted that many larger franchise systems did not have locations in central New Jersey, so the opportunity to dominate the area was a possibility. 

“The Circle of Care was really what helped me solidify my decision,” Patel said. “It gave me a level of comfort with them and the sense that CEO Guy Falzarano was committed to the franchisee’s success and was not just in it to make money for himself. He truly cares about the franchisees.” 

Patel, an IT professional who still retains his corporate job, is now gearing up to open his second center with the early education and child care franchise. For this second location, Patel will serve as co-partner with his friend, Premal Dhebariya. Their franchise will be located in Somerset, New Jersey, where Patel lives with his wife and two children, and will primarily serve the communities of Somerset and Franklin Park. The Somerset center opened in late September 2020 and is expected to have 36 employees once it’s fully operational. 

“I have lived in Somerset for the past seven years and it is a wonderful place to raise a family,” Patel said. “Our decision to open a second location was because of our positive experience and the continued high demand for child care. I’m familiar with the neighborhood and knew it would be a perfect spot for a Lightbridge Academy franchise.” 

Patel is excited to continue his Lightbridge Academy franchise success with Dhebariya. 

“We’ve been friends ever since college,” Patel said. “We said, ‘I’ll run one center and you’ll run one center,’ and that’s where we kicked it off.” 

The Lightbridge Academy executive team is celebrating Patel’s successes and his expansion with the brand in his own town. 

“Bhautik has already created a solid reputation in his area and Premal will be an excellent partner for the Somerset center,” said President and Chief Operating Officer Gigi Schweikert. “Not only are they savvy business professionals, but they are also parents themselves who care and understand the importance of the educational and child care services they are providing. We are confident they will bring the Lightbridge Academy Circle of Care philosophy to the Somerset area and do so exceptionally well.” 

Patel and Dhebariya are also starting to scout the Philadelphia area, where Dhebariya lives with his wife and two children, for another Lightbridge Academy center. In the meantime, they’ve gotten a headstart in terms of hiring and marketing their Somerset center. 

“We are off to a great start enrolling our center in Somerset and are excited to celebrate our upcoming ribbon-cutting,” Patel said. “We want to raise awareness about the high quality of child care educational program and services that Lightbridge Academy offers and tour families through our state-of-the-art center.”

The startup costs for a Lightbridge Academy franchise range from $549,228 to $737,635. The franchise fee is $40,000. To learn more about franchising with Lightbridge Academy, visit

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