2016 Child Care Franchising Trends
We recently addressed the power of the child care profession and the fulfillment it can offer a family-minded entrepreneur. The for-profit childcare industry accounts for $18 billion per year (source). The continued success of the Kiddie Academy franchise over the past 35 years is evidence that parents are looking for earlier opportunities to give their children an academic and intellectual edge. More than 15,000 families nationwide selected Kiddie Academy to care and educate their children last year, and that number grows with every open academy.
Child care is a growing field and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the industry will have some of the fastest employment growth through 2020, employing an estimated 3.5 million people industry-wide.
Here are some of the new and developing trends to expect in the industry of child care franchising in 2016, straight from Kiddie Academy’s VP of Franchise Development, Greg White:
- The rise of Millennial Franchisees. We have experienced the impact of Millennials (ages 18-34) across several different industries and businesses, and will see more Millennial entrepreneurs interested in child care franchising as well. A majority of Kiddie Academy franchisees are parents who are looking to fill a need in their community for high-quality child care, and civic-minded millennial parents are looking for entrepreneurial opportunities with businesses that also help their community.
- Business models concentrating on exposing children to new learning experiences and activities. Whether it’s Kindermusik, a sports practice or language immersion, child care businesses that provide an environment of rich learning experiences and outside exposure to art, music, sports, etc. will fill a need for busy parents looking to give their kids a leg up in the decade-long race to college. Parents want to know that their children are being cared for responsibly, but also that their children’s character is being nurtured, and that their child care experience offers compelling educational value.
- Greater STEM enrichment. Making Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fun for kids, will be a developing driver of business in 2016. With the rise of millennial parents, a child care customer base is now extremely tech-savvy and look for technology utilization in child care centers. Most new Kiddie Academies are completely outfitted with 21st century preschool technology classrooms complete with interactive white boards, touch play tables that record child interactions, tablets and computers. Some also have tools like child-friendly microscopes to get kids excited about science.
- Expansion to newer, inaugural markets and territories. It’s estimated that 11 million children under the age of 5 spend at least 35 hours per week in child care, and there is a growing recognition that early childhood education is immensely important and provides lifelong benefits (source). In an effort to make high-quality child care more accessible across the United States, we expect to see child care franchising expand into new markets they’ve never been in before. Kiddie Academy is expected to expand in two new-to-Kiddie Academy states in 2016 including Georgia and Tennessee. We also expect to see greater discount incentives for entrepreneurs or multi-unit franchisees interested in either expanding in a new market or fill a new market need.
- An increase in multi-unit franchising. Of the 20 new locations Kiddie Academy opened last year, 25 percent were with existing franchisees. More than 17 percent of Kiddie Academy’s system-wide growth was with existing franchisees: a powerful statement about the strength of the child care franchising business and the excitement of franchisees about growing it further. We will see these numbers grow in 2016 as we expect to open an additional 30 new Academies, bringing the network’s total number of academies to more than 175 across the U.S.
For members of the media interested in speaking with Greg White, VP of Franchise Development
about any of these forecasted trends in child care franchising, please call 410-515-0788.