How to Open a Daycare with Celebree School


The scales have already been tipped. The teeter totter has landed on one side. The camel’s back has been broken. Things have changed. Since the middle of the 20th century, the American nuclear family has undergone a drastic transformation. What used to dominate our culture’s norms (principally, a male breadwinner and a female homemaker) has quickly evolved. In the first quarter of the 21st century, the vast majority of two-parent families are not single-income. Both parents are working, and both are spending large swaths of time outside of the home. This has created an immediate need for quality daycare. Crunching the numbers, the last 50 years has seen daycare attendance increase substantially. From one out of five US children in the 1970s to two out of three children today. For parents looking to tap into their entrepreneurial side, they may be questioning how to open a daycare. Our blog will dive into the details of it. 

Why Start?

The cultural and economic changes are probably why you want to focus your entrepreneurial efforts in the childcare industry. But, moving past the monetary incentives, we know that no one enters this industry without it being a true calling. An aspiration. A sincere desire to improve the world. The decision to enter child care and open your own daycare is the beginning of a great journey. A journey that firmly establishes you as an optimist. Each childcare professional believes in the hope daycare can provide. That a quality daycare can help accelerate a child’s development. That it can help level the playing field for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. That it can free parents to engage completely and productively in your community. They can become a boon for women in particular as we chip away at gender inequality.

So you made the decision, but what’s next? At Celebree School, our franchising opportunity allows you to embrace your entrepreneurial spirit. Do this while having the structure of an established brand and corporate system. It is the best of both worlds. You will be in charge of your own facility (hiring staff, creating a culture, becoming a leader in your community). This benefit is there for you while enjoying the support of a proven model. Below we have outlined the steps of how to open a daycare. 

Step 1: Initiating the Inquiry Process

Knowing how to open a daycare is a very specific skill set. The first step in opening a Celebree School franchise is a straightforward yet pivotal process that lays the foundation for your journey as a potential franchisee. At Celebree, we pride ourselves on our meticulous and process-driven approach. This approach ensures a seamless and rewarding experience for our future partners.

Inquiry Form

To embark on this exciting venture, you simply need to fill out the inquiry form. This form is accessible via a prominent link labeled “Inquire Today.” (Look for the green button, strategically positioned at the top of every single page on our website).

The inquiry form captures essential information required to evaluate your eligibility and compatibility as a Celebree School franchisee. The initial section seeks standard details such as your first and last name, along with contact information.

However, two crucial questions occupy the spotlight at the bottom of the form, capturing vital aspects that influence the course of your franchising journey. The first, “How much liquid capital do you have to invest?”. It is essential to acknowledge that a minimum of $250,000 in liquid capital is the entry point to join the Celebree family as a franchisee. 

Territory Preference

The second crucial inquiry revolves around territory preferences. Celebree School currently operates in twenty-four territories across the eastern half of the United States, progressively expanding westward. Among these territories, only three have reached optimal capacity, earning the “sold out” status. These exclusive territories are Oklahoma, Maryland, and Delaware.

For ambitious entrepreneurs residing in other states east of the Mississippi River, a vast array of opportunities awaits. States like Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Massachusetts represent a fertile ground for immediate expansion.

However, our vision doesn’t halt at the current boundaries. Celebree is poised to extend to new territories in the eastern half of the mainland. States such as Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Kentucky hold the potential to bloom with Celebree’s commitment to excellence in early childhood education. The possibilities are vast. We envision a future where we can extend our services to various regions across the country.

In fact, of the Eastern half of the country, the list of states where Celebree cannot expand is surprisingly short. It encompasses only Michigan and the northeastern tip of the US, including Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. So knowing how to open a daycare in nearly every other corner of the country is very valuable. 

What’s Next?

Once you’ve completed the inquiry form, you have taken the first significant step toward realizing your dream of opening your own daycare. Sit back, relax, and let the Celebree team reach out to you with enthusiasm, expertise, and the shared vision of fostering a brighter future for the next generation. Your journey as a Celebree School franchisee has just begun, and we are eager to join hands with you on this remarkable adventure.

Step 2: Let’s Get to Know Each Other

Now that you have submitted your inquiry form, it is time to enter the next phase of the process: getting to know each other. This step is crucial before proceeding further in the journey of opening a daycare, as it allows both parties to assess if the fit is correct. Opening a franchise demands a specific type of entrepreneurial spirit, a perfect blend of creative capacity and the ability to thrive within a regulated system. On top of that, knowing how to open a daycare franchise requires even more specific personality traits.

So, what exactly do we mean by that? Let’s delve deeper into it.

First Meeting

Your first meeting with Celebree will be with one of our experienced Sales Directors. Before this meeting, the first thing you need to keep in mind is to relax. This initial discussion is a no-obligation call, more of an informal conversation to gauge mutual interest and suitability. During this conversation, we will address some initial criteria. Do you have the required liquid investment? Yes. Are you in a market where a Celebree School would thrive? Check. From there, we will delve into more nuanced aspects. As mentioned earlier, not every entrepreneur can work effectively within a franchise model.

At Celebree, we pride ourselves on providing our franchisees with the maximum possible flexibility within our established framework. However, it is essential to note that we do have a proven model, tested and refined through our twenty-six corporate locations. Our corporate structure has demonstrated success, setting us apart from many others in the childcare industry who often venture into franchising with insufficient groundwork. With Celebree School, you’ll be stepping into a replicable business model that has been thoroughly vetted. This makes your journey to success more attainable. 

Next Phase

During the subsequent phases, you will gain more insight into the Celebree School franchise model and how to open a daycare. We believe in complete transparency and will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. From financial projections to operational guidelines, you’ll receive comprehensive support in understanding how to run a successful Celebree School franchise.

Do you fit in?

Aside from the business aspects, another critical aspect we’ll be evaluating is your passion for early childhood education. Owning a Celebree School is not just about being an entrepreneur. It is a calling to make a positive impact on the lives of children. Our franchisees are passionate individuals. They nurture, educate, enrich, inspire, challenge, develop, advise, guide, instruct, and mentor. They play a vital role in laying the foundation for lifelong success for the children they serve. While the childcare industry has seen recent growth and attracted various investors, we understand that not everyone with financial means is the right fit for a Celebree School. We seek individuals who view this opportunity as a way to fulfill their passion and contribute to their community, not merely as a chance to grow or diversify their portfolio.

Moreover, we want to ensure that our values align. Celebree School is more than just a business; it is a close-knit community of like-minded individuals who share a common goal. That goal is to provide children with an exceptional educational experience. Our franchisees become part of a supportive network, benefiting from ongoing training, marketing assistance, and continuous updates to adapt to the ever-evolving childcare landscape.

Summary of First Call

This initial call is all about getting questions answered. Our Sales Directors are here to address any questions or concerns you may have. We value open communication and want you to feel confident in your decision to join the Celebree family.

Throughout this initial call, both parties—Celebree School and you—will be assessing the potential for future success. We will ensure that all the necessary criteria are met. Criteria including liquid assets, an appropriate market location, a willingness to implement franchise terms, and a genuine passion for early childhood education. 

Opening a Celebree School franchise is more than simply knowing how to open a daycare or a standard business venture. It is an opportunity to create a lasting impact on the lives of children and their communities. By aligning your entrepreneurial spirit with our proven model and shared passion for early childhood education, you can embark on a fulfilling and rewarding journey as a Celebree School franchisee. So, if you are ready to take the next step in this exciting venture, we are eagerly awaiting your call to proceed on this transformative path together. Let’s embark on this journey towards making a positive difference in the lives of countless young minds.

Step 3: Application

There is more to it than simply knowing how to open a daycare. After this initial call, if our franchise professional believes you meet the personality and financial profiles, we will send you a more comprehensive application. This application will more thoroughly assess your eligibility for franchising with Celebree School and give us a firm foundation in proceeding forward. The application will have a specific due date (this date will be solidified during your initial call), and immediately upon receipt, we will forward the 2023 Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).


The Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) is a legal document provided by franchisors to potential franchisees in the United States. It serves as a comprehensive source of information about the franchise opportunity and is mandated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FDD is designed to offer transparency and protect potential franchisees by providing critical information they need to make an informed decision about investing in a particular franchise.

The Franchise Disclosure Document consists of twenty-three sections, each covering specific aspects of the franchise opportunity. These sections are standardized by the FTC to ensure consistency across different franchises, enabling potential franchisees to compare different opportunities effectively. Here’s an overview of some key sections typically included in the FDD:

The Franchisor’s Background:

This section provides details about the franchisor’s history, executive team, and any predecessors. This gives you insights into the company’s experience and track record.

Litigation History:

Here, any legal actions involving the franchisor or its key personnel are disclosed. This is essential for understanding any potential legal risks associated with the franchise.

Bankruptcy History:

Any bankruptcy filings by the franchisor or its executives are outlined in this section. This will provide transparency about the company’s financial stability.

Initial Franchise Fee:

The FDD specifies the initial franchise fee, which is the upfront payment required to become a franchisee. This gives you a clear understanding of the financial commitment needed to start the franchise.

Other Fees:

This section breaks down ongoing fees, such as royalties, advertising contributions, and other charges. This will allow you to plan your budget accordingly.

Estimated Initial Investment:

A breakdown of the total initial investment needed to establish the franchise is provided, including equipment, real estate, and other expenses. This helps you gauge the total financial investment required.

Training and Assistance:

Information about the training and support provided by the franchisor to help new franchisees get started. This section outlines the resources and support available to ensure your success.


If applicable, the FDD details the geographic territory where the franchisee can operate. Understanding the exclusivity of your territory is crucial for market potential and competition.

Renewal, Termination, and Transfer:

The terms and conditions related to renewing, terminating, or transferring the franchise agreement are outlined, giving you clarity on the long-term commitment.

Financial Performance Representation:

This section, also known as Item 19, provides data on the financial performance of the franchise. 

The Franchise Disclosure Document plays a vital role in the franchising process. This provides potential franchisees with essential information to make well-informed decisions. It is a legally required document designed to promote transparency and protect franchisees from misleading or incomplete information.

Once you have received your FDD, we are ready to embark on the next step. Thoroughly review the document, and if you have any questions or need further clarification, our team is always available to assist you. We understand that this is a significant decision, and we want to ensure you have all the information necessary to move forward and now how to open a daycare with confidence. Our commitment to transparency and support extends throughout the entire process as we work together to build a successful and fulfilling Celebree School franchise and teach you how to open a daycare..

Step 4: Evaluation

The penultimate phase in how to open a daycare is also the one that is the most important: evaluation. We will be assessing your application while you go through the Franchise Disclosure Document. 

Throughout this step, please expect some back and forth calls or emails. That way you get the clearest possible picture of our childcare business, and we can get the clearest possible picture of your suitability.

Item 19

As we further get to know each other, it is important that you stridently focus on the FDD and Item 19 in particular. This section (as mentioned above) outlines the financials of your particular investment. A few points to remember: 

  1. The initial franchise fee is $115,000 which includes a $60,000 initial franchise fee at signing, a $27,500 training assistance fee, and a $27,500 site development fee.
  2. The minimum cash required (as previously mentioned) is $250,000 – although this depends on the market and the territory. Certain areas will require more investment while others will require less. By the time you receive your FDD, you will have a better understanding of your specific arrangement. 
  3. The total project cost range with tenant improvements runs from $818,000 to $1,194,000. This projection does not include real estate acquisition costs or costs related to designing or building the school. 
  4. The total project cost range without tenant improvements runs from $818,000 to $2,594,000 which (again) does not include real estate acquisition costs or costs related to designing and building the school.


While considering whether Celebree Schools is a good fit for you, a good resource will be Director of Franchise Sales, Janet Miller. In her role, Janet is responsible for researching and identifying potential franchisees, maintaining constant communication with them, and providing them with valuable information to assist them in their decision-making process. Janet’s knowledge of franchising is a great asset to prospects who are trying to navigate the complexities of figuring out the steps to business ownership. Buying a franchise is a big decision. Janet understands the emotions that go into this decision and provides insight and guidance, and will walk you step by step through the process.

Another resource will be Vice President of Franchise Sales and Development, Kimberly Wolff. She is responsible for managing the overall Franchise Sales & Development function, guiding potential franchisees through the Sales Journey, and maintaining constant communication with internal and external stakeholders to ensure that franchisee and company needs are met.

Keeping those things in mind, Step Four will end with a confirmation of you as a qualified candidate (if your application goes through). The last phase is the best part! 

Step 5: Discover Celebree School

Once both parties are ready to move forward, the real fun begins. You will be welcomed to join us for Discovery Day where we’ll conduct a behind-the-scenes tour of our flagship location and Center for Excellence in Education (corporate offices and training center) in Lutherville, Maryland. There, you will be introduced to our team, including Founder, President, and CEO Richard O. Huffman. 

He started Celebree in 1994 and grew our brand from single preschool into the company we are today. In his current role, Richie shares his expertise, insights, and leadership with Celebree School franchisees, while continuing to shape Celebree’s short-term and long-term vision. Gracious with his time and knowledge, he will be an invaluable asset to you as you begin your journey in opening a daycare. 

Apart from Richard O. Huffman, you will also meet and get to know others that are pivotal to the daily operations of our company. These people include: 

Chief Financial Officer, Allan J. Greenberg:

Allan works directly with Celebree franchise owners, helping them navigate the entrepreneurial side of franchise ownership. He is there to assist anyone with questions on how to open a daycare or start a franchise. Allan translates his professional experience into guidance and support for Celebree franchisees, and he works closely with new franchise owners, offering one-on-one advice at every stage of business development. Allan’s guidance helps franchisees build an effective business plan, grow their operations sustainably, and fine-tune the Celebree system for their local community.

Chief Talent Officer, Lisa Bricker:

Throughout her years with the company she has carefully documented our talent development efforts, creating a set of tools, processes, and best practices for our company. These resources are easily accessed by new franchise owners, giving them the guidance and support they need to recruit, train, and motivate the best people for their business.

Chief Development Officer, Chris Kelleher:

Chris is responsible for developing the Celebree franchise, offering and giving franchisees the resources they need as business owners. Through Chris’s tireless efforts, our franchisees enjoy one of the most attractive, sustainable, and successful franchise systems in the business.

Vice President of Operations, Allison Tsomos:

Allison is responsible for every aspect of fully functioning schools. She develops strategies that keep Celebree at the forefront of the curriculum, ensuring that every child will be ready for kindergarten. Allison is committed to assisting franchisees in reaching their financial plan. From analyzing lead conversion to customer satisfaction to revenue trends and expense control, Allison will provide guidance and suggestions to optimize the profitability of a Celebree School.

Senior Director of Marketing, Lauren Moran:

As the head of Celebree’s marketing efforts, Lauren works directly with corporate partners, vendors, and the rest of the Celebree team. She also works closely with Celebree franchisees, helping them develop and implement a targeted marketing strategy for their area. 

Director of Education, Kristen Miller:

Kristen works directly with Celebree franchise owners and location managers, helping them achieve above-and-beyond quality standards. Her work includes direct collaboration with owners and managers, ensuring that they have the knowledge and resources to meet Celebree’s rigorous brand standards, as well as federal and state regulations. Kristen is an invaluable resource to new franchise owners during the early stages of business development. Kristen guides franchisees through the Accreditation Process, conducts evaluations to ensure that all locations meet brand standards, and helps franchise owners understand industry grading systems, like Environmental Rating Scales.

Franchise Sales Director, Mike Carahaly:

Mike is a highly dependable and client-focused professional with a strong emphasis on integrity. With valuable corporate experience gained from working with The Hershey Company, a Fortune 500 Company, he brings a deep understanding of consultative selling, corporate communications, and marketing.

After Hershey, he helped different franchisors grow their business through franchise sales efforts. Driven by a passion for helping individuals start their own businesses, Mike takes immense pride in assisting those who provide exceptional care and education to children. His dedication is evident in his work with Celebree School, where he supports aspiring franchisees with the necessary steps and due diligence towards opening their own Celebree School.

Over the course of one to two days, candidates will get to know our founder and each of our franchise leadership team members. They will also have the opportunity to visit some of our franchise schools and learn from franchisees who have been in their shoes. This is when we really come together as a group of people focused on something that’s bigger than all of us. 


The cultural and economic changes of the last fifty years have created the need for daycares in every US community. Right now, there are 12.5 million children in childcare every week, and of those, 60% of parents prefer center-based daycares. With the total childcare industry projected to earn $60.9 billion by the year 2024, any entrepreneur will see the amazing opportunity and potential profit of opening a daycare. This blog was, hopefully, able to give off basics on how to open a daycare.

However, becoming a Celebree School franchisee is not just an economic opportunity. It’s a chance to create a positive impact. More than ever, parents and children need access to quality early education – something entrepreneurs can deliver. For parents, it gives them peace of mind while away at work. For children, it gives them a space to learn, grow, and flourish. And, for the perfect franchisee candidate, a Celebree School location will satisfy both economic goals and a passion for teaching, learning, and becoming a vital part of your community. 

As our company grows into the 21st century – and as we watch entrepreneurs open their own daycares across fifteen states and over thirty markets – we know we are offering a service that acts as a foundation for the next generation. The old cliche is true. It takes a village to raise a child, and with dual income households becoming a necessity across the country, Celebree School will be there to assist parents and to challenge children socially, educationally, and emotionally, fostering their overall growth and development in a supportive environment. At Celebree School, we nurture. We educate, enrich, we inspire we develop we advise, guide, instruct and mentor.

Now that you know how to open a daycare, begin your journey and open a daycare with Celebree School.  

Are you ready
to make a

Families in your community need high quality, dependable childcare that grows people big and small. With Celebree, you can fill that need while building a lasting business.
If you want to make a contribution to your community and you are passionate, ethical, creative, motivated, and collaborative, you may be the ideal fit for Celebree.
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