The Goddard School: National Preschool and Childcare Chain Opens in Hastings and Yorktown

National preschool business enters the Westchester market with the backing of two local entrepreneurs



Two locations of The Goddard School, a national franchise of childcare centers offering daycare, preschool education, after-school, and summer-school programs for children six weeks to six years old, have opened—one in Hastings and the other in Yorktown. With more than 370 locations nationwide, the schools were named by Entrepreneur magazine as the number-one childcare franchise in the United States for the 11th straight year, and late last year the Franchise Research Institute certified Goddard as one of 25 World-Class Franchises.

Jaynne Yu, a former flight attendant, is the onsite owner for the Hastings location. She and her husband invested in Goddard because they wanted to run a business together. April Fatato, the onsite owner of the Yorktown location, invested with her parents after her father saw an ad for Goddard in the New York Times. Each put more than $1 million into opening their respective locations. Goddard Systems, Inc., the corporate franchisor, charges a fee of $135,000, with a total minimum investment of $700,000 to cover start-up costs. A prospective Goddard School owner must have a minimum net worth of $650,000—including $150,000 in liquid assets. Goddard collects a 7 percent ongoing royalty fee from each franchise’s operation. On average, Goddard Schools earn a minimum of $200,000 annually. Like all Goddard franchisees, Yu and Fatato are free to set their own tuition rates; neither would disclose theirs.

The Yorktown Heights school currently has eight employees and 81 students, with a total capacity for 126 students. Fatato insists her school is on track to be at full capacity by September; she claims she is enrolling roughly 15 students a month. The Hastings location currently has 15 employees and has enrolled 87 students, with a total capacity for 143 students. Yu also expects to be at full capacity by September.

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