The Rainbow Academy, with one location on Island Road in Mahwah and nine others throughout New Jersey, is looking to expand. The family-owned business, which achieved the “franchise” status in late February, has set a big goal for itself.
“We want to open another 100 academies in the next six years,” said Guy Falzarano, the president of Rainbow Academy.
The expansion, according to Falzarano, will focus mainly on locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut, and will eventually expand into Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. The plan includes two nearby academies, one in Westwood and one in Fair Lawn, which Falzarano says should be done by the end of this year.
“I am excited to have more Rainbow Academy locations near our facility, Kim Cafferata, director of the Mahwah location.
“Not just for the shared resources, but because it will be nice to have a sense of community, with friends and neighbors nearby who are working under the same umbrella we are.”
Mahwah’s Rainbow Academy, which serves children ages six weeks – six years, currently has 105 students enrolled in its child care and early education programs.
“We begin educating our children as soon as they come through the door – at every age. For example, we teach infants sign language. In many cases, they can interpret and start to form signs before they develop verbal communication skills,” Falzarano said.
Sign language, socialization, and music are all parts of the state-recognized “Creative Curriculum,” run in the academy.
This, and the “Parentview,” an online portal through which parents and guardians can sign in to watch their children all day, are the components that Falzarano feels set the Academy apart.
“It is a secure system through which parents can be connected with their kids all day. And, as a nice, unintended consequence of the Parentview, grandparents who live in all different parts of the world can see their grandchildren everyday. We had one grandmother who was a nurse in the marines in Iraq. She saw her grandchildren all the time using the Parentview.”
Falzarano and Cafferata said that moving from a partnership model of business, the model under which the existing centers operated since the company’s foundation in 1997, to a franchise model, will not mean any changes for children currently enrolled in the Mahwah location.
“Most of the owners are actually staying the same,” Falzarano said. “We used to partner with them – they handled day-to-day operations and we did all of the administrative work. Now, we want to expand beyond what a partnership allows, so we are franchising out, many of the locations to the people who were partners before.”
“All of the staff in Mahwah, save possibly one teacher who may become a director at one of our new locations, should stay the same,” Cafferata said.
The family-owned company, which currently employs about 400 people and serves 1800 children, expects to expand both of these numbers.
Information about job opportunities, and for those interested in opening a new franchise location, can be found on the Rainbow Academy’s website.
The Mahwah location offers rolling admission, and is currently taking registrations for its summer camp, which will run from June 20 - September 2.