Archive for September, 2015

Preschoolers Across The Nation Participate In The 8th Annual Goddard School Preschooler-Approved Toy Test

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – September 28, 2015Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the national franchisor of The Goddard School® preschool system, one of the largest early childhood education organizations in the nation, is searching for the Top 10 Toys for children (infants to six years old) that encourage playful learning. Toy companies around the globe are participating for the chance to be voted #1 in the 8th annual Goddard School Preschooler-Approved Toy Test. Products are put to the test by true toy experts – children!

Every year, select Goddard Schools across the country hold the Preschooler-Approved Toy Test, where manufacturers are invited to submit toys for consideration. All entries are evaluated by The Goddard School Toy Testing Committee, which is comprised of early childhood education experts. This panel of educators evaluates entries based on various criteria including encouraging interactive, child-initiated play, inspiring creativity and collaboration, and supporting skill development and playful learning.

Toys scoring highest on the evaluation will be sent to 49 participating Goddard Schools nationwide to be tested by children from September 28 through October 2. The children will cast their votes for the Top 10 Preschooler-Approved Toys, and the toys will then be put to public vote on The Goddard School website from November 2 to November 13. GSI will purchase and donate 100 of the toy receiving the most votes to Toys for Tots, a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve that distributes holiday gifts to less fortunate children in the community.

“Our annual Toy Test is a powerful example of our education philosophy, which is centered on playful learning,” says GSI’s Vice President of Education, Dr. Craig Bach. “It also exemplifies ongoing efforts at The Goddard School to identify high-quality educational resources in collaboration with teachers and children.”

Bach continues, “Through the Toy Test, we provide children with an interactive and playful learning experience as they work together to evaluate a range of toys. In the process, the children continue to develop problem solving skills, the ability to collaborate with others, self-confidence, creativity and other valuable tools that will help them be successful in school and in life.” Past Preschooler-Approved Toy Test winners include brands such as K’NEX, Fat Brain Toys, Lakeshore Learning Materials, Green Toys and Learning Resources. For more information on The Goddard School and the Preschooler-Approved Toy Test, please visit

About The Goddard School®

Learning for fun. Learning for life.® The Goddard School celebrates more than 25 years of using the most current, academically endorsed methods to ensure that children from six weeks to six years old have fun while learning the skills they need for long-term success in school and in life. Talented teachers collaborate with parents to nurture children into respectful, confident and joyful learners. The Goddard School’s AdvancED and Middle States-accredited F.L.EX.® Learning Program (Fun Learning Experience) reaches more than 45,000 students in more than 400 Goddard Schools in 35 states. The Goddard School’s comprehensive play-based curriculum, developed with early childhood education experts, provides the best childhood preparation for social and academic success. To learn more about The Goddard School, please visit


I speak with many prospective Goddard School franchisees from a wide variety of professional backgrounds. Two of their common concerns are not knowing where in a preferred market a School will be located and not knowing how Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI) will assist them in finding that location. Many people are uncomfortable with commercial real estate due to their limited experience in residential real estate and the more complex set of regulations in commercial real estate. Selecting a suitable site is both an art and a science.

The Science
Step one is to use a specialized database of commercial real estate properties (we currently use CoStar, which is like Zillow for commercial real estate) to identify available land or existing buildings with a preferred square footage, the right amount of parking spaces, etc. The system will then find locations that are available for either lease or purchase. We also add all existing Goddard School locations to ensure that we don’t build Schools too close together. We can generate a rough list with broker contacts, the amount of time properties have been on the market, five-year market trends, etc. While this information is valuable at a high level, further investigation is required.

GSI’s real estate team then transfers these locations to SIMMS (Strategic Integrated Mapping and Modeling System), a customized program designed to incorporate more than 26 years of statistical data strategically. Analytics, the preferred method for evaluating potential locations, considers general information such as the population and market growth rate. However, to understand whether a proposed Goddard School location will provide an opportunity for success, it is crucial to take a deeper look and get into industry-specific and Goddard School-specific factors. SIMMS takes the science of site selection to the next level by providing a customized view of the market by identifying anomalies and measuring the proposed location against existing Goddard Schools throughout the country with similar characteristics. Once this step is complete, we can consider a clean list of locations.

The Art
Equipped with reliable data, the GSI team travels to the market and assesses the land, buildings and community. This provides us with the opportunity to identify critical Goddard School-specific details, such as the ingress and egress, the traffic patterns and the synergy of neighboring businesses. While we are in town, we scout the market to see where growth is happening and gather knowledge from local real estate brokers and the franchisee. We also visit the local municipality office, which provides us with an opportunity to speak with officials who know about future developments, such as residential communities and schools. The art of site selection continues as we collaborate with you to review and rank opportunities and formulate a plan to engage with the owners and landlords on one or more locations.

Site selection is an ever-evolving and complex process. GSI uses cutting-edge tools and the most current data to make it as straightforward as possible for franchisees.

Entrepreneur ranked The Goddard School #105 in its 2015 Franchise 500® and tops in the childcare industry in this list of franchise opportunities suited to those with a passion for people.  The list is based on objective, quantifiable criteria, including system size, growth and financial strength and stability. The Goddard School was ranked #113 in 2014. Read the full story here.

Premier Preschool Now Open For Enrollment To The City Community

UPPER SAINT CLAIR, Pa. (September 10, 2015)Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the franchisor of The Goddard School® preschool system, announces its newest School in Upper Saint Clair, PA  is enrolling. Located at 655 Painters Run Road, Upper Saint Clair, PA 15228, the new School is owned and operated by franchisees, Bob and Lori Santo.

Bob and Lori are no strangers to The Goddard School. The couple’s combined experience in the business and sales industries has allowed them to successfully own and operate their first Goddard School location in Peters Township, PA. Bob and Lori’s active involvement in the community as well as their extensive background in the corporate world make them a perfect fit to bring The Goddard School’s unique learning system to children and families in the Upper Saint Clair area.

The Goddard School preschool system prides itself on its unique dual-management system, a distinguisher in the early childhood education industry. Franchise owners are onsite at each location and work alongside an educational director, whose main focus is to communicate and work with teachers, as well as to implement The Goddard School curriculum. This dual-management system ensures a hands-on, community-focused approach when it comes to early childhood education. With each school opening, The Goddard School also has a local economic impact, creating an average of 20 to 25 jobs within the community.

The Goddard School’s play-based approach, called Fun, Learning Experience (or F.L.EX.®), is grounded in research on how children learn best: children experience the deepest, most genuine learning when they are having fun. At The Goddard School, the focus is on building each child’s emotional, academic, social, creative and physical skills to provide a well-rounded experience and ensure each one becomes confident, joyful and fully prepared in school and in life. The Goddard School’s proprietary F.L.EX. curriculum has earned AdvancED and Middle States Corporate Accreditation by demonstrating excellence in early childhood education.

“With more than 25 years of experience in early childhood education, The Goddard School’s unique dual-management system creates lasting community bonds as owners are on-site at the Schools to provide support to the communities they serve,” said Joe Schumacher, Chief Executive Officer of Goddard Systems, Inc. “One area that truly sets us apart from other childcare systems is our philosophy based on learning through play, designed to teach and reinforce 21st century skills, including social behaviors such as communication, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration. This philosophy fosters a lifelong love of learning and creates meaningful connections at an early age.”

Jobs relating to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) are currently the fastest growing segment of the U.S. economy, and a focus on developing 21st century skills such as creativity and innovation as well as the abilities to collaborate, communicate and think critically, is expected to increase over time. By introducing 21st century skill concepts early on, children develop a strong foundation and a passion for STEAM at the very beginning of their education.

The Goddard School offers a unique play-based curriculum for the most interactive and innovative learning experience,” said franchisee, Lori Santo. “With the success of our first Goddard School in Peters Township, we wanted to emulate its success and bring this one-of-a-kind curriculum to the families of Upper Saint Clair.”

Long recognized as the industry leader, The Goddard School preschool system has been consistently listed in Entrepreneur magazine’s “Franchise 500” ranking as the number one childcare franchise for 14 consecutive years (January 2015).

The Goddard School in Upper Saint Clair, PA is located at 655 Painters Run Road, Upper Saint Clair, PA 15228. To reach this location, please call (412) 564-3600 or email  For general information and franchising opportunities, please visit