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The Top 10 Emerging Early Education and Child Care Franchises Ready to Take Over the Industry

Childcare is a billion-dollar industry worth investing in.

All over the country, great education opportunities are needed. There are several education franchises out there that you can invest in, but not all education brands are created equal. These are the top 10 early education and childcare franchises.

Primrose Schools 

Primrose Schools was founded in 1982 by Paul and Macy Erwin. Current CEO Jo Kirchner joined the brand in 1987 as a marketing consultant. When the Erwins decided to franchise the brand Kirchner did the research and came up with the plan. The brand now has over 450 schools all over the United States. 

Primrose schools is set apart from all the rest because it started as a half-day early education model. 

“We started as a half-day early education model, not in the childcare business,” said Kirchner. “We are early educators that deliver childcare services. And then we developed our own proprietary curriculum about 10 years ago, which blends the two leading philosophies of children learning through play and children learning through teacher guidance.”

“We’re innovators and on the leading edge of innovation in early education. In the midst of the pandemic, we launched a full scholarship child care center in Orlando in partnership with a hospital.”  

The initial investment cost for Primrose schools is $651,900–$8,454,000. You can learn more about Primroses’ franchise opportunities here. 

Lightbridge Academy*

Lightbridge Academy was founded in 1997 by Guy Falzarano and his wife Julia to be the solution for working parents. 

"My wife Julia and I are parents of three sons and eight grandchildren,” said Falzarano. “We know first-hand the struggles of the working parent, which is why we made it our mission to provide the kind of support, education and care that cannot be found anywhere else in the child care industry. Through the years, countless working parents have included us as part of their extended family, relying on us to help them meet the challenges of balancing work and parenting.

Lightbridge Academy values innovation and the use of technology in early childhood education to enhance communication and security. Lightbridge Academy has over 140 locations across the United States, and the initial investment cost is $621,233–$824,150 for a leased center and $2,611,900–$5,088,750 for a purchased one. To invest in Lightbridge, learn more here. 

Neighborhood Kids 

Neighborhood Kids was acquired by Frank and Olivia Toral in 2019. The couple had a passion for education and faith. The first Neighborhood Kids school started in 1978 and was known then as The Little Place. When the Torals took over the school, there was already a fierce following of parents and families who were loyal to the Neighborhood Kids brand and knew what kind of quality education was offered. 

“What differentiates these schools is that we provide families with a safe and happy learning environment together with a foundation of faith for our little ones,” the Torals said.

In 2022, the brand had four campuses, and a fifth was in the works. To invest in Neighborhood Kids, visit the website. 

Kids R Kids Learning Academy 

Kids R Kids Learning Academy was founded by Janice and Pat Vinson. The idea started with Pat and his mother June in their home. The pair renovated their home into a day nursery, which was not popular at the time. The nursery was called Kiddie City. Shortly after opening, Janice began working at the nursery. Janice and Pat eventually got married and continued to run the school, opening the first Kids R Kids in 1985. The first franchise was sold in 1988, and now there are over 170 franchised locations. 

According to FranchiseHelp, the initial investment for a Kids R Kids is $4,441,300–$5,672,500. To franchise with Kids R Kids, click here.

Genius Kids 

Genius Kids provides childcare for kids from infants to school-aged. It is a family-owned business that has been operating collaboratively for 20 years, and an innovative environment that allows kids to work and learn at their own pace. The Genius Kids brand was founded by Rennu Dhillon and has over 30 locations around the Bay Area. 

The initial investment cost for a Genius Kids location is $239,900 to $619,500, according to SmallBizTrends. To learn more about franchising Genius Kids, visit the website

Goddard School

The Goddard School was founded in 1983 by Lois Goddard Haines. Haines wanted to better the lives of children and families that needed childcare. Goddard School serves over 75,000 children with 600-plus locations in 37 states and Washington D.C. 

Goddard Schools have a Fun Learning Experience (F.L.E.X.) Program that helps kids discover their interests in a safe environment. Investment costs for Goddard School are $818,300–$1,090,100. Learn more about potential franchising opportunities here. 

Kiddie Academy

Co-Founder Pauline Miller started the first Kiddie Academy in Baltimore County, Maryland. The building had enough space for 84 children. The first franchise location opened in 1992. In  2022, Kiddie Academy opened its 300th location. 

Kiddie Academy franchisees are given freedom and flexibility to work with their schedules and lifestyle. To purchase a Kiddie Academy, you need $250,000 in liquid capital if you’re leasing, or $600,000–$750,000 if purchasing a building. Start franchising a Kiddie Academy here. 

Ducklings Early Learning Center

Ducklings Early Learning Center’s philosophy is allowing kids to be kids. The center was founded by Jody Thompson in 1994. The business did not start franchising until 2016 and only has 12 locations currently. Ducklings provides franchisees with a proven business model, flexibility and franchisee support. 

The franchise fee for Duckling Early Learning Center is $75,000, and the initial investment is $756,400–$1,719,500. To learn more about Ducklings, click here. 

Adventure Kids Playcare

Adventure Kids Playcare was founded in 2004 and has been franchising since 2006. The brand provides franchisees with comprehensive training, which includes 40 hours of on-site training and education courses. Dana Oliver founded the franchise because she was a single mother who struggled to find adequate child care that was clean and safe. Adventure Kids takes children as young as six weeks to as old as 12 years. The brand is open six to seven days a week with extended hours on weeknights and weekends. 

There are currently 16 Adventure Kids Playcare locations. The total investment is $350,000–$589,000. To franchise an Adventure Kids Playcare, click here.

Children’s Lighthouse

Children’s Lighthouse was started in 1997 and began franchising in 1999. Since starting franchising, the childcare brand has grown to over 40 locations, much of that growth happening in 2020. There are also 20 franchise locations in development, The brand was founded by Pat and Mike Brown. The Browns started Children’s Lighthouse because as fathers they wanted a childcare center that was more than just playtime. Children’s Lighthouse was one of the first early childhood centers to promote character values like passion, integrity and excellence as a cornerstone in its curriculum. 

The franchise fee for Children’s Lighthouse is $75,000. For the initial investment costs, you’ll have to request a copy of the Franchise Disclosure Document. Learn more about Children’s Lighthouse here. 

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