bannerFranchisor Stories

Why New Markets Are at the Heart of Lightbridge Academy's Expansion Plans

Targeting growth in new states like Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, and Ohio, Lightbridge Academy offers franchisees the opportunity to carve out a niche in their local community.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 3:15PM 02/14/24

Lightbridge Academy, a frontrunner in early education and child care, is making significant strides in its expansion plan for 2024, focusing on new states like Connecticut, Arizona, and Colorado. This targeted growth underscores the brand's commitment to extending its reach and impact, building upon its legacy of trust and quality in early childhood education.

Since its inception, Lightbridge Academy has concentrated on solidifying its presence on the East Coast, starting from New Jersey and gradually growing contiguously to adjoining states like Pennsylvania and New York. 

“This strategy has enabled us to ensure that as we grew, we remained operationally strong,” said Senior Vice President of Franchise Sales Jim DiRugeris. “We wanted to build close to home and with the infrastructure in place to make sure that we were providing the necessary support to our existing franchise owners before expanding further from the home base. Now that we have tested and proven our systems, we’re more than ready for that expansion, and so are our franchisees.”

Last year, for example, the Lightbridge Academy brand announced plans for its first locations in states like TexasOhio and Florida

“It is a very unique and exciting challenge to bring a brand like Lightbridge Academy to a new market for the first time,” said Becky Grovenstein, a multi-unit Lightbridge Academy owner who was the first to be awarded franchise centers in North Carolina. “No one has heard of you before, and with that comes uncertainty in the community, but it also brings curiosity. Who is this new brand, and what are they all about? We were very committed to taking that challenge and teaching people about the Lightbridge brand because we knew they would fall in love with it. Why? It is all about the people… the teachers, the owners, the home office. That is what makes a child care provider stand out. We were excited to teach families about the core values and the philosophy behind Lightbridge Academy.” 

Now, recognizing the growing demand for quality child care services in areas experiencing a surge in young families, Lightbridge Academy is strategically turning its sights to other untapped states, like Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, and Ohio. 

For prospective franchisees, bringing Lightbridge Academy to a new market offers an exciting opportunity to fill a massive need. At the heart of Lightbridge Academy's ethos is the Circle of Care philosophy, which integrates the needs of children, families, teachers, center owners and the community. This holistic approach, coupled with innovative programs like ParentView® Internet Monitoring and The Lightbridge Promise® for health and safety, sets the brand apart and is a key driver in its expansion strategy.

And to streamline the expansion process and reduce the time frame for opening child care centers, Lightbridge Academy is proactively leasing real estate sites at the corporate level before franchise owners are signed. This strategy allows the brand to leverage its development partnerships to secure real estate in new markets, while also looking for franchise partners to eventually take over the business.

"Our real estate team is seasoned and well-established, with efficient processes enabling us to open centers more rapidly,” said Chief Development Officer Craig Murray. “The resources we've added to our arsenal over the past year are unmatched in the industry. Plus, as we expand into new states, our national portfolio not only adds credibility but also empowers us to negotiate more favorable rates and rents for construction and property resales."

With its eyes set on new markets, Lightbridge Academy is poised to continue its growth trajectory. The brand's established model and its enthusiastic reception in new markets indicate a promising future, offering valuable services and creating opportunities in these regions.

The initial investment required to start a Lightbridge Academy ranges from $2,611,900- $5,202,500. To find out more information on costs to buy this franchise, visit:

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