The Goddard School: Learning for Life

July 2, 2022

Where you start the journey can make all the difference.

There are 607 Goddard Schools in the United States

Founded in 1983 and opened in September 1984 by Lois Goddard Haines, the Goddard School endeavours to better the lives of children and their families who require childcare.

The Goddard School in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

As the first child care centre to obtain licenses from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Department of Public Welfare, the Goddard School served as a model to raise the standard of care and early childhood education.

With progressive ideologies from all areas of child psychology and neurology, the teachers use a variety of teaching methods that provide each child with unique and individualized attention.

To further enhance the children’s learning experiences, the original Goddard School curriculum included such things as art, theatre and music. The children also had the pleasure of traveling to The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Please Touch Museum, and The Franklin Institute.

Lois Goddard Haines wished to create an indoor play environment for the children that would be as much fun and provide as much exercise as the outdoor playground and so, with influence from friends Peter Bergson and Susan Shilcock, she did just that.

The school served children from two years and seven months through Kindergarten with a student-to-teacher ratio of 3:1.

The Goddard School was sold to Joseph Scandone, et al., in 1988.

In 1988, Anthony A. Martino established Carousel Systems, Inc. to offer Goddard Early Learning Center childcare and preschool franchises. Goddard Early Learning Centers became The Goddard School in 1993. In 1996, Philip Schumacher became president of Carousel Systems.

In 1999, the 100th Goddard School opened in Pickering, Ohio.

The 200th Goddard School opened in Vancouver, Washington in 2005.

In 2007, Joe Schumacher, who had represented the company as outside counsel for 20 years, joined GSI as the chief operating officer. The following year, the 300th Goddard School opened in Centennial, Colorado. In 2010, Joe Schumacher became president and CEO and the 400th Goddard School opened in Highland Heights, Ohio.

The Goddard School celebrated 25 years of learning through play by raising more than $188,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities in one month.

In June 2019, the 500th Goddard School opened in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania and in September of the same year, Dennis R. Maple became president and CEO, and Joe Schumacher became chairman of GSI’s board of directors.

In January 2016, for the fifteenth consecutive year, Entrepreneur magazine named GSI the number one child care franchise in the United States and one of the Top 200 Franchise Systems (in worldwide sales) by Franchise Times for the tenth consecutive year (October 2016).


The Goddard School business model is franchises, with each franchisee receiving rigorous training at the GSI corporate office in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, before opening their schools. GSI provides franchisees with ongoing support in real estate, site development, operations, IT, marketing, advertising, quality assurance and training.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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