Lightbridge Academy currently operates 58 locations throughout the U.S., including multiple sites in Manhattan. The Greenpoint location will be the company’s third in Brooklyn, with a Prospect Heights location currently set to open in April and a Downtown Brooklyn location slated for June.
“We are happy to be breaking into the Brooklyn market,” explained David Falzarano, senior vice president of Franchise Development for Lightbridge and son of the company’s founders. “We will hopefully oversee the best child care in town, and we love the fact that families are working on this project together.”
The New Jersey-based company offers state-of-the-art child care centers for ages six weeks to kindergarten, and operates through a franchise model that tasks sponsor families with overseeing the development of each location.
The Greenpoint location is sponsored by Alok Rai, a former finance executive at Morgan Stanley and Bank of America. Rai is also the father of two young children, and has been actively looking for childcare franchise opportunities since 2014.
“It was a perfect match,” Rai explained. “Everyone has been saying ‘thank you, this is what we’ve been missing in Greenpoint.’”
Rai elaborated on his decision to transition from finance to education.
“I come from finance, which is a very aggressive world,” he said. “I oversaw a team of 300, and can bring my leadership skills to education. I run a tight ship and keep the quality high.”
Rai, his wife, and their two kids currently live in New Jersey, but the family plans on moving to Brooklyn to oversee the franchise. He said Lightbridge Academy is a good match for Greenpoint.
“The reason was twofold,” he said. “We choose Lightbridge because the team is community based. Also, the transformation of this area with new residential buildings created a need for child care and education.”
The Greenpoint Lightbridge Academy is currently scheduled to open in the fall. The franchise is located on the ground level of a recently constructed mixed-use facility along the Greenpoint waterfront.
During Monday’s event, a mother who lives in one of the apartments above the new location expressed her excitement about new childcare opportunities in the area.
“I wish it would open next month,” she said. “I could just bring my kids downstairs. That would be great.”