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Wonderschool Raises $25 Million To Tackle Childcare Challenges With Investment From Goldman Sachs As Part Of Its One Million Black Women Initiative

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When the epidemic reveals the critical role that childcare plays in our society – and how punishing its absence is for so many families –Wonder School Raised $ 25 million in the B-Series round to grow and strengthen its platform that enables people to set up child care centers, as well as micro-schools, across the country.

Wonderschool’s news reaches a world that is very much adapted to the challenges of caring for children. People are afraid of everything from a lack of childcare to one-on-one childcare and low-wage workers. Wonderschool’s platform approach suggests that there is a way through the tangle of worries that allows caring entrepreneurs to set up a variety of models for treatment places.

“The plague has not stopped,” said Wonderschool founder and CEO Chris Bennett. “There are new variants, and every time you go out with someone you hear about a random variant created in some part of the world. So parents are increasingly looking for smaller environments. Wonderschool seems increasingly clear. We see great interest from employers in supporting childcare and continue to see interest from governments. “

Think of Wonderschool as AirBnB for launching programs ranging from infant and toddler programs to kindergartens and even micro-schools, which have their own dedicated staff at the company. Wonderschool supports child care and education entrepreneurship around operations, licensing, accounting, marketing and expert and peer support to create curriculum ideas.

The company, which was founded in 2016 and grew rapidly before the epidemic, has found its feet in a world where 51 percent of Americans live in “child care deserts” without a sufficient supply of licensed child care providers.

According to Bennett, revenues have grown nearly seven over the past 18 months.

Wonderschool now supports nearly 1,700 programs.

The platform has been deployed nationwide in New Mexico, Indiana, Nevada and North Carolina – that is, every child-centered and home-based child care program has access to the platform and its services. The deployment helps state policymakers look across a fragmented system of child care providers and develop deeper insights into the gaps in child care in their countries.

States like Nevada are working on these insights by paying Wonderschool to help set up new home care programs in the state, Bennett said.

Government support for center-based programs and home programs is important, Bennett added. Creating funding streams or regulations that do not include home plans, as some cities like New York have done, is a mistake, he said.

“[Ideal are] Means that allow for both center and home, “Bennett said.” We are big supporters of this because the models based on the center have struggled while the home models have not [during the pandemic]. “

For black families, the challenges surrounding child care are often more acute than for others. Black mothers, even pre-epidemic, were more likely, for example, to lack access to affordable, high-quality child care and cope with less flexibility in their work.

“Even before the epidemic, the lack of quality and affordable education for caring for children undermined the careers and economic mobility of many black women, in addition to the development of their children in critical years,” said Margaret Anado, global director of sustainability and influence. For Goldman Sachs Property Management. “Wonderschool harnesses the potential of the technology to provide comprehensive support to home care providers, enabling them to create high quality environments while helping parents in need of childcare solutions with an accessible market.”

What’s more, WonderSchool principals earn an average of $ 78,000 – more than double the median salary of a kindergarten teacher in the United States.

As Bennett told me in an Interview in August 2020, One kindergarten teacher on the Wonderschool platform was able to earn the same salary she earned a year in just a month and a half by opening her own school.

To attract the talent in the teaching profession that children need to develop, it can be a game changer.

Goldman Sachs led the round as part of its One Million Black Women initiative, a $ 10 billion commitment to narrow the gap in opportunities for black women over the next decade. The Citi Impact Fund also joined the round, along with existing investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Uncork Capital, Unusual Ventures, Imaginable Futures and Gaingels.

The son of a Honduran immigrant who grew up in Miami in a large family of 31 first cousins ​​where he was the first to graduate college, Bennett takes the WonderScoll mission seriously. He credits his own success by signing up for a great preschool program.

“It’s something I think about in depth,” he said. “You know, the mission of Wonderschool is to ensure that every child gets access to the education he or she needs to realize his or her potential. So we are very, very committed to every child getting access, especially when I share my story.”

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