If you love young children and are looking for a profitable business model, a childcare business might be right for you. The demand is significant: The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for safe, quality childcare, hastening what some experts refer to as a childcare crisis. You can serve individual families and support your community by filling the gap in the market.

A childcare franchise simplifies the process of setting up your own childcare center. Discover the benefits of a franchise and get a list of the best daycare franchise opportunities below.

Why Start a Childcare Franchise?

If you love working with kids, a childcare business is a no-brainer. There are also financial rewards: The average preschool or daycare center director earns $49,160 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Plus, as mentioned, the demand for childcare is already significant — and set to grow. By 2022, the childcare industry is expected to be valued at $520.4 billion.

Starting a franchise is very similar to setting up your own business. However, franchising alleviates many of the typical challenges new business owners must overcome. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Initial assistance: Starting a childcare center requires attention to many details, like constructing a safe space, investing in toys and educational materials, setting up meal prep, and implementing stringent hygiene and sanitation measures. A franchise can provide general guidelines to help you through the process.
  • Marketing and branding: Many franchises already have name recognition, minimizing the need for marketing. They will allow you to use their name, logo, and other brand elements for free and may even provide you with ready-made marketing materials.
  • Legal advice: Opening a daycare or childcare business requires a license. Your state or local government will want to confirm that your childcare center is safe, serving nutritious meals, and appropriately staffed (e.g., you may need to run background checks on employees). A franchise can advise on the requirements and help you prepare.

In exchange for the benefits of franchising, you pay an initial franchise fee. This gives you the right to use the given childcare institution's name, branding materials, educational materials, and more. You may also have to pay an ongoing royalty fee to the franchise (most likely annually) to retain these rights going forward.

12 Childcare Franchise Opportunities

There are many childcare franchise opportunities available. This list covers twelve franchise options worth checking out.

1. Primrose Schools

Primrose Schools have consistently ranked high on the "best franchise to buy" lists. They offer a trusted business model backed by more than 35 years of experience and are known for the great support they provide franchisors. Competitive advantages include education accreditation, an exclusive curriculum, and a premium value. The initial franchise fee ranges from $50,000 to $80,000. Find out more.

2. KidsPark

KidsPark has over 20 childcare franchises operating across eight states and are set on growth — making this a great opportunity. They have also won awards for their franchising model and are known for their hands-on support for franchisors, helping with everything from choosing locations to providing ongoing coaching. They estimate an initial investment of $261,250 and $449,500 (varying according to franchise location, size, etc.), including the franchise fee. Find out more.

3. The Goddard School

The Goddard School has been in business since 1983, making it a long-standing institution. Today, there are more than 400 Goddard franchises spanning 36 states. They require a minimum investment of $697,100- to $863,600 and a license fee of $135,000. However, they also boast high rates of return. The average school earns $413,625 EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization). Find out more.

4. All About Kids

All About Kids Childcare has been in business since 2008 and is an established childcare franchise operator that boasts consistent growth. All About Kids Childcare stand out because they are a LEED-certified green operator. In addition, their facilities have unique traits like ductless rooms designed to reduce viruses and bacteria. They also claim to have relatively low franchising and royalty fees, although these aren't readily available. Find out more.

5. Creative World School

Creative World School Franchise relies on Cognia accredited learning curriculum, encouraging kids to engage in critical thinking and problem-solving actively. They offer significant support and claim that no Creative World School franchisee has defaulted on a loan — and no school owner has ever failed. What's more, they are notable for their tiered royalty program. You only pay royalties once you've enrolled 75 kids. Franchise fees are reported to be about $75,000. Find out more.

6. KLA Schools

KLA Schools is another award-winning franchise that is steadily gaining ground. They focus on discovery learning as a means of early childhood education. An initial franchise fee starts at about $78,500. They are known for their stringent vetting process when selecting franchisors, including a preliminary application, business development call, and a visit to their Miami headquarters for a discovery day. Find out more.

7. Lightbridge Academy

Lightbridge Academy was founded by a couple over 20 years ago and maintains its commitment to family values, creating a supportive community for franchise owners. They reportedly require an initial franchise fee of $40,000 in addition to $200,000 in liquid assets. Their support team helps at every step of childcare center setup, from choosing a location to implementing the curriculum. Find out more.

8. The Learning Experience Academy of Early Education

The Learning Experience claims to be the fastest-growing daycare franchise in the United States. They focus on strategic locations and have a list of areas looking for franchisees on their website. Founded in 1979, they have a proven track record of success. To take advantage of the opportunities they offer, you will reportedly have to pay an initial franchise fee of some $60,000. Find out more.

9. Rock and Roll Daycare

If you're looking for a unique approach to childcare, Rock and Roll Daycare has you covered. They boast an award-winning music curriculum designed to encourage active learning. In addition, they provide extensive support for franchise owners, helping with everything from site selection to staff training. They require a net worth of at least $100,000 and a minimum credit score of 680 to invest in a single unit. Find out more.

10. Adventure Kids Playcare

Adventure Kids Playcare offers a unique approach to daycare with its "on-demand" drop-in model. Their "entertainment centers'' cater to kids aged six weeks to 12 years. They are also known for their extended hours (staying open as late as midnight during the week), which cater to the needs of busy working parents. They levy a $29,500 franchise fee and estimate an upfront cash investment of $80,000 to $100,000. Find out more.

11. Discovery Point

Discovery Point child development centers offer a turnkey franchise solution. They provide everything you need to get started, from site selection to training. They are distinct for their focus on community integration, encouraging franchisors to personalize their centers to their community's needs. They also claim to have one of the lowest franchise fees in the industry (an estimated $60,000). Find out more.

12. Kiddie Academy

Kiddie Academy offers franchise opportunities nationwide and has more than 40 years of experience to support your success as a franchisor. They boast a strong brand, recognized for their top-quality educational programs and excellent business record. They require you to have liquid capital of $250,000 to lease a franchise and a credit score of at least 650. Find out more.

How to Choose the Right Childcare Franchise for You

The above list isn't exhaustive, and there are many other day care and childcare franchise opportunities available. How can you know which one is right for you? Consider these points when making your final choice:

  • Investment requirement: How much money will you have to pay (franchise fee, royalties, etc.)? Are there financing options?
  • Curriculum approach: Is the curriculum style aligned with your values and something you feel you can comfortably offer? For example, Rock and Roll Daycare is a distinct learning center that you may or may not enjoy.
  • Community need: Is there a need for a specific type of childcare facility in your community? For example, The Learning Experience Academy specifies areas seeking franchisors.
  • Franchisor support: How much support will you get from the franchise mother company? How much support do you need?
  • Reputation: Always do thorough research into a franchise business' reputation. Ask for concrete figures on earnings capacity and similar stats before jumping in.

With these considerations in mind, you can start researching child care services to see which opportunities best fit your needs and abilities.

Manage Your Small Business Finances With Skynova

Whichever type of childcare business you set up, you will want to keep tight control over your franchise's finances. Skynova's accounting software can help you out. You can track expenses, invoices, and more in one convenient platform. With Skynova simplifying your accounting, you'll have more time to focus on making your day care franchise a success.

Notice to the Reader

The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines and may not apply to your specific situation. Childcare franchise opportunities vary depending on details like location, size, etc. Further, when setting up any kind of bookkeeping or accounting system, consult an accounting professional to ensure it's in line with best practice accounting standards.