10 Daycare Franchise Opportunities

daycare franchise

If you’re passionate about early education, a daycare franchise may be the perfect business for you. These proven models can help you start your own child care center quickly and enjoy added business resources. Here’s a guide for interested entrepreneurs.

What is a Daycare Franchise?

A daycare franchise is a childcare business that uses a franchising model to gain additional locations. Franchisees purchase the right to use the brand name and business resources, and the brand helps them get started and remain successful.

Daycare Franchises


The Childcare and Early Childhood Education Industry in 2022

The childcare industry is experiencing a lot of demand in 2022, with many people looking for childcare centers to look after their kids while they work. In fact, the U.S. daycare industry is currently estimated to be worth more than $60 billion. And the industry has grown steadily in recent years. There are various models available, and some centers work with specific ages or parenting philosophies. So there are options for various entrepreneurs.



Why You Should Consider a Child Care Franchise

If you’re looking to start your own business in 2022, here’s why you should consider childcare franchises:

  • Work with kids: If you love kids, a daycare franchise lets you spend time with them on a daily basis.
  • Shape the next generation: It also gives you purpose, as you can teach important lessons to your students.
  • Get up and running quickly: A franchise model gives you the resources you need to start your business quickly, which can help with current childcare shortages.
  • Access a proven business model: Going forward, they also provide resources to help you reach parents and maintain quality childcare services.
  • Enjoy a resilient industry: Child care is always in demand, even through recessions and uncertainty. So you can feel fairly confident in your business choice going forward.

Daycare Franchises

Criteria for Choosing the Best Daycare Franchise Opportunities: Our Methodology

Choosing the right daycare franchise opportunity is a significant decision for entrepreneurs looking to enter the childcare industry. The demand for quality childcare services is on the rise, making this a promising venture. However, the selection process requires careful consideration of various factors. We’ve compiled a comprehensive set of criteria, each ranked by importance, to guide you in evaluating and choosing the best daycare franchise opportunity. Whether you’re an experienced business owner or new to entrepreneurship, these criteria will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your goals and values in providing exceptional childcare services.

  1. Franchise Reputation (5/5): The reputation of the daycare franchise is crucial. Look for franchises with a strong track record of providing quality childcare services.
  2. Location Strategy (5/5): Consider the location of the daycare center. Analyze market demographics and identify areas with high demand for childcare services and a growing population of working parents.
  3. Licensing and Compliance (4/5): Ensure that the daycare franchise complies with all necessary licensing, safety, and health regulations in your area. Compliance is essential for the safety and well-being of the children.
  4. Training and Support (4/5): Evaluate the level of training and ongoing support provided by the franchisor. Comprehensive training programs and ongoing assistance are crucial in the childcare industry.
  5. Curriculum and Educational Programs (4/5): Examine the curriculum and educational programs offered by the daycare franchise. A strong educational foundation can attract parents looking for quality early childhood education.
  6. Staffing and Qualifications (4/5): Assess the franchise’s hiring and staffing practices. Qualified and experienced caregivers are essential for providing a safe and nurturing environment for children.
  7. Safety and Security (4/5): Prioritize safety and security measures within the daycare facility. This includes secure access, surveillance, and emergency protocols.
  8. Parental Involvement (3/5): Consider the level of parental involvement encouraged by the franchise. Collaborative relationships with parents can enhance the overall childcare experience.
  9. Fees and Financials (3/5): Review the initial franchise fees, ongoing royalties, and financial requirements. Ensure that the financial aspects align with your budget and business plan.
  10. Flexibility of Operating Hours (3/5): Evaluate the flexibility of operating hours. Some franchises offer extended hours to accommodate working parents’ schedules.
  11. Marketing and Branding (3/5): Research the franchise’s marketing and branding efforts. A strong brand presence can help attract more parents to your daycare center.
  12. Customer Reviews and Feedback (3/5): Check customer reviews and feedback about the franchise. Positive reviews indicate parent satisfaction and trust in the franchise.
CriteriaDescriptionInsightsImportance (Scale: 1-5)
Franchise ReputationEvaluate the reputation of the daycare franchise. Look for a brand with a strong track record in childcare services.A franchise with a stellar reputation can attract trust from parents and ensure a consistent quality of care.5
Location StrategyAnalyze the franchise's location strategy. Ensure it aligns with areas of high demand for daycare services.The right location can significantly impact the success of your daycare business by attracting more clients.5
Licensing and ComplianceVerify that the daycare franchise complies with all necessary licensing and health regulations in your area.Ensuring compliance is crucial to avoid legal issues and provide a safe and secure environment for children.4
Training and SupportConsider the level of training and ongoing support provided by the franchisor. Robust training can lead to better operations.Adequate training and support are essential for the smooth management of a daycare facility, especially for new franchisees.4
Initial Investment CostsAssess the upfront costs, including franchise fees, equipment, and real estate expenses. Ensure they align with your budget.Understanding the financial requirements is crucial to prevent unexpected financial strain on your business.4
Curriculum and ProgramsReview the curriculum and educational programs offered by the franchise. A strong educational foundation is vital.A well-designed curriculum can set your daycare apart and contribute to children's development, attracting more parents.3
Staffing and Employee TrainingExamine the franchise's approach to staffing and employee training. Well-trained staff is essential for quality care.Invest in proper training to maintain a qualified and dedicated team, ensuring the safety and well-being of children.3
Marketing and BrandingResearch the franchise's marketing and branding efforts. A strong brand presence can attract more clients.Effective marketing can help you reach a wider audience and establish your daycare as a trusted choice in the community.3
Parent Feedback and ReviewsCheck for parent reviews and feedback about the franchise. Positive reviews indicate customer satisfaction and trust.Feedback from parents can provide valuable insights into the quality of care and reputation of the daycare franchise.2
Flexibility of Operating HoursConsider the flexibility of operating hours. Align them with the needs of working parents to attract a broader clientele.Offering extended or flexible operating hours can cater to the diverse schedules of parents, increasing enrollment.2

Daycare Franchises

Top Daycare Franchises

There are tons of franchise opportunities for nearly every learning style and budget. If you’re interested in daycare or early childhood education franchises, consider these top opportunities.

1. Creative World School

Creative World School works with infants up to preschool-aged children. They work with fun and passionate franchisees, with one of their requirements being that all franchisees must have a favorite dinosaur. As the name suggests, schools focus on fostering fun and creative thinking. So the opportunity is ideal for those looking to make learning fun and enjoy a unique environment on a daily basis. Initial site development costs start at around $450,000.

2. Learning Experience Academy

The Learning Experience Academy is one of the fastest-growing early childhood education franchises in the U.S., with more than 450 locations currently operating or in development. The company culture is known for innovation, collaboration, and community involvement. Franchisees and team members take a fun approach to learning, with lots of play opportunities for kids of all ages. The company also works with many multi-unit owners, so the opportunity is ideal for those looking to expand or scale through the years. The initial investment ranges from $550,000 to $750,000.

3. Kids R Kids Learning Academy

Kids R Kids has franchised preschools for more than three decades. So they offer a proven process and extensive support. The company actually started as a single-location family business and has since grown to include more than 170 schools around the country. Schools take a project-based approach to learning and focus on the STEAM curriculum. This is a franchise opportunity for experienced businesspeople. The initial costs range from $4.6 million to $5.8 million.

4. Adventure Kids Playcare

Adventure Kids Playcare offers drop-in child care centers for parents needing flexibility. Franchisees still manage a consistent curriculum and normal marketing operations. However, these businesses serve working parents with kids of various ages, from six weeks to 12 years. So this is an ideal opportunity for those who want an ever-changing working environment. Additionally, these locations tend to have longer hours than traditional daycare centers. So there may be additional staffing needs, but there’s also even more opportunity for increasing revenue. Initial costs range from $350,000 to $589,000.

5. Lightbridge Academy

Lightbridge Academy currently has about 150 locations in operation or development. And there are tons of available territories across the country. Lightbridge Academy locations are built around family values and collaboration. So this opportunity is ideal for those who enjoy working closely with kids and their parents to help each child thrive in the way that best suits their needs. Initial costs range from $621,000 to more than $5 million, depending on if you lease or purchase a location.

Daycare Franchises

6. Genius Kids

Genius Kids provides a creative and innovative environment for kids to learn at their own pace. They provide programs for a huge array of kids, from infants to after-school programs for school-aged children. Some even offer summer programs and camps with an educational approach. Costs range from $239,900 to $619,500, with an initial franchise fee of about $50,000.

7. Goddard School

Goddard School offers a child care center and early education programs with high standards and community connections. The company has more than 30 years of experience and strong brand recognition in markets across the country. Franchisees typically invest about $698,300 to $873,600.

8. Kiddie Academy

Kiddie Academy offers educational child care services that provide freedom and flexibility to franchise owners. There are several available territories across the country. A prospective franchisee must have at least $250,000 in liquid capital to lease or at least $600,000 if purchasing a location.

More Great Childcare Franchises

And those aren’t the only child care business opportunities available. Here are a few more early education franchises to consider.

9. SeekingSitters

SeekingSitters is a licensing opportunity for those looking to run a flexible childcare franchise from home. Basically, you provide help connecting busy families to local babysitters and nannies. The business vets candidates and supports parents as they seek these important services. There are $3,000 licensing fees, $499 for brand use and software, and additional costs for marketing and payment processing.

10. KLA Schools

KLA Schools offer high-quality child care and early childhood development services to busy families. There are a variety of school models available. And many offer multiple services under one roof. For example, some centers focus on preschool programs with a specific curriculum like hands-on science, while others also provide early child care that simply makes sure young kids’ basic needs are met. These child care franchises cost between $1,121,000 and $5,804,750 to get started.

How to Choose the Best Franchise to Set Up Your Daycare Business Venture

Once you’ve decided that the childcare business is for you, it’s time to narrow down the top franchise opportunities. If you’re ready to find the child care programs that you can build a successful business around, here are some important steps to take.

Make a List of Must-Haves

First, determine what features are most important to your life as a business owner. Are you most passionate about early childhood education, or offering infant child care to busy parents? What type of support is most important to you? And what learning style is most in line with your values? The child care industry offers various types of early learning centers, so figure out which services best suit your style.

Determine Your Budget

All franchises have initial startup costs. And many have an ongoing royalty fee or marketing costs. Calculate your liquid assets and net worth to narrow down the opportunities within your budget. Then calculate what you can afford to spend on an ongoing basis. Additionally, look into the potential earnings to make sure that your financial calculations are sustainable going forward.



Analyze Your Local Market

What school care centers are already available in your local area, and what are the gaps that need to be filled? For example, there may already be plenty of preschools with professional educators and curriculum-based teaching styles. But there may be a lack of support for the younger age group of infants and toddlers. So you could start a franchise location giving parents safe care options for their younger kids.

Research Your Top Options

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few choices, request a franchise disclosure document to dig into the financials and services provided. You can also contact franchise representatives directly to ask questions and learn more about the process.



How Much Does It Cost to Open a Daycare Franchise?

Daycare franchise cost estimates vary widely by location, size, and whether you’re leasing or buying a location. Most opportunities on the list above range from about $300,000 to $5 million, with an average cost of around $500,000. The initial franchise fee usually falls between $30,000 and $50,000, and many charge about a 5 percent royalty fee.

Is a Child Care Franchise Profitable?

Child care franchises can be quite profitable. However, startup costs can be up to $1 million or more for certain franchise opportunities. Once you factor in these expenses, many daycare owners can expect annual profits between $30,000 and $40,000. However, these may be higher in upscale areas with lots of dual-income households or in locations with lower startup costs.


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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.