Jody Thompson, the founder of Ducklings Early Learning Center, continues her legacy by expanding on her educational childcare franchise one school at a time. For more than 25 years, Ducklings has been a leader in early education in Chester County and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
Today, Ducklings has more than 10 Delaware Valley locations with more sites in development. Further, the brand is searching for passionate entrepreneurs to join its franchise operation.
Three Decades of Championing Early Childhood Education
Thompson has spent more than 30 years working with children. Starting her career as a Pa. preschool teacher, she studied child psychology when her three daughters were young.
She later taught a private kindergarten class in a Chicago daycare center. There, she saw the opportunity to improve students’ daily experiences. Thompson then began working with caregivers to create an early education curriculum to incorporate into the daycare program.
After returning to Pa. in the early 1990s, Thompson worked with nonprofits in Del. to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth. She served as director of the Kennett Square YMCA preschool until 1994, when the board announced its intentions to close the program, leaving dozens of families with few options. Upon obtaining a small loan and 2,500 square feet of rented property, Thompson opened the first Ducklings center in 1995, making a difference in the lives of local families.
A Family Affair: Ducklings to Ducks
Thompson’s three daughters eventually joined her at Ducklings, working as afternoon teachers’ aides while in school. Each daughter progressed in her own way to roles of lead teachers, school directors, and eventually operations managers once they were married with families of their own.
Keeping the tradition strong, all of her seven grandchildren have been Ducks as well.
Thompson credits her team with helping to shape the Ducklings brand into a lucrative business that places families first. Many of Ducklings’ teachers have worked at the centers for at least 15 years. During those tenures, they have exemplifying the brand’s core values — collaboration, creation, and celebration — through professional integrity and deep respect for children and families.
Thompson has touched the lives of her employees and students alike. Several of the brand’s directors are now successful business owners, working as Ducklings franchise operators. She has also had many of the hundreds of students who have passed through her program come back and thank her for the educational system she instituted.
Since the first daycare opening, Ducklings has broadened into a lucrative franchise with multiple locations. With several franchise opportunities and corporate run-schools in development, Ducklings is searching for hard-working individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit to lead the charge in improving local early education options. Franchise participants can take advantage of a dependable, recession-proof industry and a work-life balance with no weekend or holiday work schedules.
Ducklings provides franchise owners with continuous hands-on training, resources, and a proven business model to support students and maximize business growth. Franchise owners have full access to branding guidelines, Ducklings’ proprietary Here We Grow Curriculum, streamlined technology systems, and corporate vendor connections.
For more information about working with Ducklings or joining the franchise, call 484.607.8248 or visit its website.