TOP 10 Children Afterschool Enrichment Franchises
Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Children's franchises that provide services and products to children for parents, are booming. The new day brings challenges to parents that require supplemental education in math, reading, science, dance and art. Specialization in sports for kids and after-school educational pursuits are prevalent across America. Franchises for Kids are front and center to this movement offering kids franchises that focus on child development and child entertainment for all age groups.
Kids make up 25% of the population, and parents these days are more concerned than ever about giving their kids rich experiences at a young age to expand their horizons and give them an academic edge as they continue to grow and develop.
Anything related to STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) is a hot ticket right now as many view STEM-related subjects as the future. But they also have to engage children in a way that is much more fun than school, and the franchises on this list are the ones who have figured that out.
These franchise opportunities have also proven to be largely “recession proof” because parents are always reluctant to give up anything they see as benefiting their children, even when times are tough.
Here are some top picks for children’s enrichment program franchises
Mad Science Group serves up hands-on science activities for children that are equal parts educational and entertaining. All founding brothers Ariel and Ron Shlien had to do was think back to their childhood days and all of the crazy experiments they dreamed up. This is a mobile science demonstration concept that can be delivered in any group setting, including birthday parties, schools, clubs, and so on. Franchising began in 1995, but the number of locations has steadily declined over the last 10 years from 197 in 2007 to the current 141 locations.
Young Rembrandts was started in 1988 by Bette Fetter, a pre-school worker who has three children of her own. When a friend mentioned she couldn’t find art classes for young children, Fetter decided it was time to put her studio art degree to work for her. She began teaching drawing to pre-schoolers and eventually refined and expanded her programs for young children aged 3-5 and kids aged 6-12. The programs are brought into daycare centers, parks, and after-school programs for weekly sessions focused on drawing and cartooning classes along with summer drawing workshops. Franchising began in 1997 and there are currently 105 locations.
Bricks 4 Kidz
Bricks 4 Kidz gets kids playing after school like architects and engineers using LEGO bricks with activities designed by actual engineers and architects. The fun is actually based on a solid STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curriculum to foster development of all kinds of skills. It’s the brainchild of Michelle Cote, who opened the first location in St. Augustine, Florida, in 2008 and started franchising the concept the following year. After growing explosively to 674 locations in 2015, the number of locations has declined slightly to the current total of 631.
Chef It Up! / Chef It Up 2 Go!
In 2003, Lisa Tirone decided to take her love of cooking and her energetic personality and combine them into a business idea – cooking classes and parties for kids. Because two of her own children suffer from life-threatening food allergies, she kept everything peanut-free and tree nut-free from the start, and she is highly tuned in to other food allergies as well. Classes can take place at a Chef It Up! location or on-site with a Chef It Up 2 Go! travel team. Franchising began in 2005 and there are currently 14 locations.
Little Medical School
Little Medical School is a STEM-based program that brings medicine, science, and the importance of health to children aged 4-12 in ways that are entertaining, exciting, and fun. It offers after-school programs, birthday parties, and special events that can be customized, and each curriculum used is aligned with STEM objectives. Hands-on demonstrations, crafts, and games teach children about the world of medicine, how the body works, using medical instruments, and administering first aid. Additional programs include Little Veterinarian School, Little Nursing School, and Little Dental School. Founded in 2010, franchising began in 2014. There are currently 31 locations in the U.S., one in Lebanon, and one in Dubai.
Abrakadoodle is an art enrichment franchise that is all about inspiring and developing creativity in kids. This is a mobile art program that comes to schools, community sites, clubs, summer and holiday camps, parties, and other events to provide immersive sessions that teach kids about art even as they do art. The company’s lesson plans, delivered by well-trained teachers, are specifically designed to exceed national standards for visual arts education. Beginning in 2010, the chain began to grow rapidly outside the U.S., adding more than 300 locations in other countries. The total number of locations stands at 355, only 40 of which are in the U.S.
Bach to Rock
Bach to Rock (B2R) was founded in 2007 with the firm belief that learning music can be as fun as any other play activity, and that individual music lessons should always be supplemented with jam sessions and playing in a group or band because kids do better at music when playing with their peers. Bach to Rock also realized early on that kids learn music faster if you let them play music they like, so the schools use special arrangements of today’s music to teach students any instrument. After opening a half-dozen company-owned locations, franchising began in 2011 and there are now 30 locations in 21 states.
Engineering for Kids
Engineering for Kids was born because Dori Roberts saw the need to fill a gaping hole in the nation’s public schools – exciting STEM education programming that students would find compelling and engaging. She began with an after-school club that was so successful it inspired her to turn it into a business serving students 4-14 years old. She opened the first location in 2009. Franchising began in 2011 after establishing 6 company-owned locations, and now there are 181 locations in 21 countries (106 of those are in the U.S.).
Snapology is the creation of sisters Lisa and Laura Coe, who observed with their own children that kids were meant to learn through play, especially through building blocks and other materials that snap together. Snapology’s enrichment programs for children and youth aged 1-14 use LEGO bricks, K’Nex, and other technologies to keep kids so engaged and excited they don’t even realize they’re learning all kinds of useful STEM/STEAM concepts. Snapology programs are offered year-round in schools, community facilities, homes, and a select number of Discovery Centers. Founded in 2010, franchising began in 2015 and there are already 41 locations.
Hobby Quest was started in 2003 when Boaz Givon revived his childhood passion for building and flying model airplanes and started introducing it to elementary students in New Jersey. His concept includes woodworking skills along with all the math, science, and engineering that goes into making something that can fly. Hobby Quest soon became the hottest after-school enrichment ticket in the state. The company has developed new hands-on, hobby-themed enrichment programs including Making Magic, Fashion Design, and Kids ‘n Cameras. Franchising began in 2012 and there are currently 21 locations.