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FDD Talk 2015: The Goddard School Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Estimated Costs, and Other Important Stuff You Need to Know)

by Franchise Chatter on December 4, 2015

in Child-Related Franchises, Childcare Franchise, Education Franchise, FDD Talk 2017: Children's Franchises, Franchise Earnings



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Goddard School Exterior Photo by sqwynch

In this FDD Talk 2015 post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the Goddard School franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Goddard School franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD
  • Section III – Presentation and analysis of the Goddard School’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2015 FDD, including information on the:
  • 2014 average gross sales, payroll, occupancy costs, miscellaneous expenses, total expenses, and EBITDA for the 392 Goddard Schools that had been open and operating for over 18 months as of December 31, 2014
  • 2014 average gross sales, payroll, occupancy costs, miscellaneous expenses, total expenses, and EBITDA for the 392 Goddard Schools that had been open and operating for over 18 months as of December 31, 2014, grouped by occupancy level (less than 70%, 70% to 80%, 80% to 90%, 90% to 100%, and greater than 100%)
  • actual average monthly EBITDA and actual average EBITDA for the first full year of operations for all 23 Goddard Schools that had their first full month of operation in 2013

Section I – Background Information

The Goddard School Staying on Top While Stressing Fun in Learning

Goddard Systems Inc., the franchisor of The Goddard School, is ranked No. 105 on Entrepreneur’s 2015 Franchise 500 list and has been the top-ranked child-care franchise on that list since 2002. Its proprietary learning system focuses on the value of children learning while having fun.

QA Program Often Stricter Than State Standards

The Goddard School is known for its Goddard School Quality Assurance program, which measures each location against internal standards and is often stricter than the states in which the schools are located. The program involves unannounced visits and guidance in improving quality. The internal Goddard Systems University provides teachers with ongoing training.

GSI, headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, has more than 400 locations within the U.S. Franchises are all licensed child-care facilities; each has an owner on site, an educational director, and faculty members who are trained in early childhood education or childhood development.



The company started as the Goddard Early Learning Center in 1986 in Malvern, Pennsylvania. In 1988, Anthony A. Martino, who founded the AAMCO Transmission and MAACO Auto Painting and Bodyworks franchises, launched Carousel Systems through which to offer franchises. The first Goddard Early Learning Center franchise opened in 1990 in Marshalltown, Pennsylvania. In 1993, Goddard Early Learning Center was renamed as The Goddard School.

The Goddard School grew to 100 locations in 1999, 200 in 2005, 300 in 2008, and 400 in 2013. American Manufacturing Company acquired Carousel Systems’ assets in 2002 and continued franchising as Goddard Systems.

Learning Program Focuses on Learning Through Play

Facilities serve children from the ages of 6 weeks to 6 years, providing play-based educational activities to help children develop physical, emotional, social, creative and academic skills. Its proprietary FLEX Learning Program incorporates developmental guidelines and provides child-focused lesson plans in a fun, creative atmosphere that includes teachable moments centered on the children.

Company Leadership Has Family Connections

Goddard Systems is headed by CEO Joseph Schumacher, who took over the post in 2009 when his brother, Phil Schumacher, retired. Joseph Schumacher joined his brother at the Goddard Systems in 2007 as chief operating officer after serving as legal counsel for 20 years.

Under the current CEO, the company’s national plan includes adding suburban locations while increasing emphasis on urban locales. Schumacher expects to have 20 new locations through the end of 2015. He said in May 2015 that 150 locations are projected by 2020.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of The Goddard School franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD.

Section III – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2015 FDD) and Analysis



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