Largest Growth Year in Company History
A Record-Breaking Year
Baltimore-based Kiddie Academy®, a nationally recognized provider of comprehensive educational child care programs, celebrates the conclusion of its most expansive year in company history. Founded in 1981 with a single location in Baltimore County, the rapidly expanding family-owned business grew to 246 locations across 29 states, including the District of Columbia, with a total of 35 Academies opened, 81 franchise agreements signed, and achieved over $350M in total systemwide revenue in 2019.
To further prepare for its continued growth, Kiddie Academy formally announced a series of leadership promotions, including Greg Helwig to Chief Executive Officer (formally president), Nicole Salla to Chief Marketing Officer (formally VP of marketing) and Richard Peterson to Chief Academic Officer (formally VP of education). According to Helwig, the recent promotions complement the overall success of the company as well as create more opportunities for staff to ascend. “Increasing the number of employees, along with promotions from within, is a direct result of Kiddie Academy’s growth as an entire system across the country,” notes Helwig. Additionally, Josh Frick was elevated to President of Kiddie Academy (formally chief development officer), Jeff Brazier to Chief Development Officer (formally VP of franchise development) and Casey Miller to Executive Vice President (formally director of franchise development).
“Starting our family business in 1981 with one location in Baltimore County, MD, and a vision to support educational child care, it is humbling to see how we have positively shaped thousands of children’s lives over the last nearly 40 years,” said Michael J. Miller, Executive Chairman of Kiddie Academy. “Aside from the families and communities we’re a part of, what keeps Kiddie Academy thriving is our people. And I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the next generation of company leaders that will continue to innovate and evolve the Kiddie Academy Brand.”
A Bright Future
Miller also notes a robust pipeline that Kiddie Academy expects to open an additional 35 franchised locations across the country by the end of 2020, bringing its total Academy locations to 280, and systemwide sales increasing by 21 percent to $440M. With nearly 60 percent of the Kiddie Academy system being multi-unit owners, he anticipates an increase in internal growth as additional multi-unit franchise owners sign on. The company also anticipates 16 percent corporate employment growth in 2020, with 16 new hires anticipated. It has also added multiple remote employees in Illinois, Minnesota, California, Texas and New Jersey over the last year and plans to continue to expand upon its national, corporate presence in the years to come.
“Multi-unit franchise development has been an instrumental part of our growth strategy,” adds Helwig. “It’s one of our biggest internal mechanisms for determining how happy our franchisees are and how the brand is performing. If franchisees are fulfilled, making connections in their community and hitting or exceeding their financial goals, they are much more likely to open a second, third or fourth location.”
Additionally, last year Kiddie Academy celebrated 17 straight years on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list, four years as one of Franchise Gator’s Top 100 Franchises and three years of inclusion on Franchise Times’ Fast & Serious list. The company was also ranked number seven on Forbes’ list of Best Franchises to Buy. Rankings are based on franchise systems’ fiscal strength, stability and development, further solidifying Kiddie Academy’s reputation as an industry leader in both franchising and educational childcare.