In 1988, entrepreneur Tony Martino established The Goddard School preschool franchise to deliver a high-quality, play-based learning program to families across the United States.
Thirty years ago, the play-based learning concept was ahead of its time. Martino predicted that the needs of American families would change, so he took the opportunity to improve early childhood education and designed a franchise business model. The franchise started with two locations and quickly flourished. Today, the system has more than three decades of franchising experience and 500 locations nationwide.
“Tony had a vision that drove him to franchise The Goddard School more than thirty years ago, and the passion and dedication of the franchisees throughout the system and their drive to provide the best early education and childcare have made that vision a reality,” said Joe Schumacher, CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of The Goddard School. “As the system looks ahead, providing a high-quality early childhood education to families in areas that demand it the most will never change.”
Over the years, the franchise has focused on placing locations in residential communities; near business areas, offices or corporate campuses; in retail locations; and within walking distances of elementary schools and single-family homes.
To adapt to millennial parents’ lifestyles, GSI is opening preschools in and near “live, work, play” areas.
“Millennial parents understand that a high-quality early childhood education gives their children a head start on becoming school ready, career ready and life ready,” Schumacher said. “They are attracted to individualized learning, want to see more technology incorporated appropriately in the classroom and want their own children to establish imperative building blocks for life skills they value.”
As the system continues to grow, more Goddard School preschools will begin to open near major employers and in modern, mixed-use developments.
The soon-to-open Goddard School in Washington, D.C. is located across from a $2.5 billion mixed-use waterfront neighborhood known as The Wharf, which is a part of a major metro renewal project in the southwest part of Washington, D.C. The new preschool will serve young families who live, work, shop and dine in this bustling, highly coveted area.
Taylor Pope, a third-generation Goddard School franchisee, is the on-site owner at this School. He’s partnering with his grandfather and his mother, who own two Goddard Schools in Virginia, to bring the newest Goddard School to the growing Southwest Waterfront neighborhood.
Goddard Schools are also beginning to open near major employers to provide the convenience that busy young parents demand.
A marquee Goddard School in a live, work, play development is the Grandview Yard location in Columbus, Ohio. The 7,700-square-foot preschool, which sits by Nationwide’s corporate campus near a variety of restaurants and shops that cater to downtown workers and city residents, will open in the coming months.
Expanding into areas like the D.C. Wharf area and Nationwide’s corporate campus, with the backing of a strong, reputable brand like Goddard, will help the system grow, Schumacher said.
Research shows that Goddard franchisees tend to be familiar with the brand and its reputation before they franchise with Goddard.
In fact, several parents of Goddard School students have opened their own locations to provide their communities with the same high-quality early childhood education that their children received. Many franchisees who want to expand choose to bring in business partners, such as family members or Goddard School directors to open new Schools.
To establish a legacy, franchisees have handed down and expanded their Schools within their families, Schumacher said.
Schumacher also said that it’s just as important to look to millennials like Taylor Pope to franchise. Millennials bring fresh perspectives and insights that will help GSI grow and evolve and will make The Goddard School preschool concept more appealing to the largest generation in the market.
“Early childhood education is in high demand,” Schumacher said. “Parents have to work, and they need care for their children. It’s a big market with nearly 15 million children under the age of six who require childcare.”
A major factor in Goddard’s successful growth and longevity is the company’s dual-management approach, which requires every School to be led by an on-site owner who runs the business and an education director who implements the education program. Franchisees can focus on the business while the education director helps the faculty prepare the children for success in school and life.
Franchisee satisfaction and the support GSI provides also make Goddard stand out as an early childhood education franchise.
Goddard stands out from the competition due to the comprehensive support the franchisor provides its franchisees, the company’s dual-management approach and its Educational Advisory Board, a knowledgeable group of outside educators, researchers and experts that help shape Goddard’s play-based curriculum by putting research into action.
“Parents trust our dedicated franchisees to care for their children and provide an environment where they can help children grow to their full potential,” Schumacher said. “It’s important for a franchisor to provide franchisees with the tools they need to succeed in running their businesses because they’re providing high-quality education to tens of thousands of children nationwide.”
GSI participates in a yearly franchisee satisfaction survey with Franchise Business Review (FBR), a third-party market research firm that provides rankings for franchise companies based solely on actual franchisee satisfaction and performance. Of the 25,000 surveys performed by FBR last year, Goddard ranked first in the early childhood education category, marking another year at or near the top of the industry.
“The Goddard School’s continued growth proves that parents are always interested in high-quality early childhood education for their children and that they trust Goddard to provide it,” Schumacher said.
The franchise system provides a proven business model, operational tools and high-quality support to its franchisees and is eager to partner with entrepreneurs who are passionate about running their own business while helping to shape tomorrow’s leaders.
Begin your journey. Visit www.goddardschoolfranchise.com.