500th Goddard School celebrated in Bala Cynwyd

Goddard Schools have opened in neighborhoods and cities throughout the nation, becoming an essential part of hundreds of communities in 37 states.

The Goddard School, a nationally recognized early childhood education franchise, started its 30-plus-year franchising journey in the Philadelphia market in 1988 with one location.

Goddard Systems, Inc., the franchisor of The Goddard School, is looking back on more than 30 years of success in early childhood education franchising as it proudly announces the opening of the 500th location in Bala Cynwyd.

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Goddard Schools have opened in neighborhoods and cities throughout the nation, becoming an essential part of hundreds of communities in 37 states. In every location, children begin learning the skills and gaining the knowledge that will take them successfully through school and life.

The franchisees of Bala Cynwyd, Jodi and Bill Straub, were introduced to The Goddard School’s mission and values through Jodi’s brother and sister-in-law, David and Amber O’Brien, who became franchisees many years ago. After seeing how the O’Briens’ five Schools benefited children, Jodi and Bill decided to grow with the brand. As they open this milestone location, they know they can rely on the strong support of their family, their friends and a proven franchise system.

“We are opening the newest Goddard School in a building that has been providing memories for nearly 50 years and feel so privileged to teach and inspire the youth of the local community in this historic schoolhouse,” said Jodi Straub.

The building that houses the preschool was once the Saint Matthias Parish School, a significant community landmark, which was built in 1970. The long-dormant classrooms will once again thrive as an early childhood education provider to give generations of children a place to learn and play.

“The sounds of children will soon fill these reimagined, modern classrooms,” Jodi said.

The interior of the building underwent significant renovations to rejuvenate classroom spaces, hallways and stairways to prepare the space for a fresh start in early childhood education. The brick building is now home to classrooms for a variety of age groups, an indoor gymnasium, new lighting and plumbing fixtures, the most state-of-the-art technology and the highest-grade security systems. On the outside are age-appropriate playgrounds and a turf field for soccer games and other outdoor activities.

“Five hundred locations is a big number, and it’s a great milestone for any franchise system, but for us, it’s remarkable when you consider the investment of time and resources, the attention to detail and the emotional commitment that goes into the success of every Goddard School,” said Joe Schumacher, CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc. “Every Goddard School that opens creates opportunities for the communities they serve, for the families they support and for the children they care for.”

Whether Goddard Schools are opening in brand-new developments or in retrofitted buildings, their mission is to provide lasting benefits to the local children and enhance the lives of every family that walks through the preschool’s doors.

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