After more than a year of planning, training and building, Franchise Owners Zahra Isani and Saniya Dahla opened the 450th Primrose School, Primrose School of Arlington in Arlington, Virginia. Sisters Saniya and Zahra celebrated the occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony alongside Primrose Schools CEO Jo Kirchner. The school opening was even more momentous on the heels of the pandemic, as the economy continues to rebound and the critical importance of the childcare industry is even more apparent.
For Saniya and Zahra, the drive to open a Primrose school was not only entrepreneurial but also personal. Saniya is a young mother and Zahra hopes to start a family of her own – and they both understand how critical high-quality early education and care are to working families and a thriving economy. The sisters recognized the growing demand for quality early education in Arlington and the D.C. market at large, and left behind careers in investment banking and the food and beverage industry to seek a more fulfilling and meaningful career path when they saw the opportunity.
“My sister and I both share a passion for providing working parents with quality childcare solutions because of the personal challenges I have experienced trying to find early education and care options for my own child,” said Saniya Dhala, Primrose School of Arlington Franchise Owner. “We are excited to provide the educational experience and nurturing environment these working parents seek, while pursuing a career filled with purpose in helping shape the lives of children and families.”
Primrose schools are independently owned and operated by Franchise Owners who are provided with a turnkey business model and approach to early education, including its proprietary Balanced Learning®curriculum. For Saniya and Zahra, the draw to opening a Primrose school was three-fold: the proven franchising model that has seen success for nearly 40 years, the unmatched dedication to the success of each Franchise Owner and, more personally, a bond with the Balanced Learning approach. They have both seen how the approach sets up a lifelong love of learning, and they are passionate about the character development lessons that differentiate the Primrose curriculum from others.
They’re not alone in their reasoning or in their decision to move forward with Primrose. In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Primrose Schools opened 28 new schools across the country, with more aggressive growth goals set nationwide in 2021. Across the Washington metropolitan area, five new Primrose schools will join 11 existing locations – a 60 percent increase in the D.C. metropolitan market. The busy year of expansion and growth are just one indication of the increased demand for quality early education programs that provide parents with peace of mind about returning to work. As the lines between home and work environments remain blurred with continued remote working options, residents and working parents specifically want a community where they can have it all. The high-quality early learning and care Primrose Schools provides is a key component to a thriving “Live, Work, Play, Learn” community like Arlington.
“When we launched our first franchise in 1990, we had the vision to bring a premier early learning experience to children across America. What I could not have imagined is that we’d be celebrating the opening of our 450th school as we continue to navigate a global pandemic,” said Jo Kirchner, CEO of Primrose Schools. “After the year we have been through, milestones seem to mean more. The incredible importance of what we do has become apparent to everyone, and we’re more energized than ever to prepare our next generation of leaders.”
While the journey to opening Primrose School of Arlington may have been disrupted due to the unforeseen twists and turns COVID caused all types of businesses, the team was able to put that behind them and celebrate their official launch. That day, the community came out to support these new business owners, and together, along with children who attend the school, they planted a tree as a symbol of the roots they are growing in the Arlington community.