Market Overview

Bright Horizons Launches Free College Tuition Program for Early Educators


Program is first-of-its-kind effort to professionalize the field and
support education careers

Bright Horizons® (NYSE:BFAM) today launched a program that
will provide free college tuition for all full-time employees in the
company's early education centers and preschools. The program is the
first of its kind in the education field and will allow employees to
earn an associate and bachelor's degree in early childhood education for
free. Bright Horizons employees taking advantage of the program will not
have to pay for any expenses out of pocket, including tuition, fees and
books. And unlike a traditional tuition reimbursement program, employees
will not need to find a way to pay for the expenses up front.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Bright Horizons Launches Free College Tuition Program for Early Educators (Photo: Business Wire).

Bright Horizons Launches Free College Tuition Program for Early Educators (Photo: Business Wire).

"We are rooted in the belief that everyone at every age deserves a great
education," said Bright Horizons CEO Stephen Kramer. "Our goal has
always been to professionalize the field and create an environment for
teachers where they can build a lifelong career. We recognized that for
many, the cost of education has been a barrier to pursuing their goals.
This program will give teachers at every level and stage the ability to
continue their education, grow their careers and ultimately improve the
quality of education for the youngest children across North America."

Employees are eligible for the Early Education Degree Achievement Plan
as soon as their first day working at any Bright Horizons child care and
early education center, providing a direct path for a college degree and
a lifelong professional career in early education. Through this benefit,
Bright Horizons hopes to remove all barriers to continued education for
its employees who are committed to careers in early education as well as
for those who are hoping to enter the field.

By offering this program, the company is also continuing its mission to
raise the bar for quality in the field. Studies have shown that the
first five years of a child's life are the most critical in human
development, and the brain's capacity for change decreases as people
age. The first three years are especially crucial as the brain is the
most impressionable, forming more than one million new neural
connections every second. Studies also show that quality early education
is vital in helping to guide a child's social, physical, emotional and
cognitive development.

In response to some of this research and quality standards established
by organizations such as the National Association for the Education of
Young Children (NAEYC), some city and state child care licensing
agencies have increased education requirements for teachers in child
care settings. At the same time, the number of people pursuing education
degrees has declined from 21.6 percent in 1975 to 7.6 percent according
to the U.S. Census Bureau1. And that number is even lower for
those specializing in early childhood education. According to the National
Center for Education Statistics
, early education degrees account for
less than three percent of college degrees. As one of the largest
employers in the field, Bright Horizons is hoping to broaden
opportunities for those committed to the education of young children and
raise the standard for early education.

"Collectively, nearly 20,000 Bright Horizons teachers and staff care for
more than 100,000 children around the world, and we recognize the very
important role they play in helping children to develop a love of
learning," said Kramer. "We believe this program is not only important
for our teachers and their careers but for the early childhood field as
a whole. We believe that this program creates a path for all of those
who are committed to the critically important work of educating young

Employees in Bright Horizons' Early Education Degree Achievement Plan
can enroll in programs with one of four institutions for higher
education – Ashford University, Northampton Community College, Rasmussen
College and Walden University.

"Northampton Community College is excited to partner with Bright
Horizons to offer their employees a great start to their academic
career. Research in the field of early childhood education continues to
document the need for our youngest children to have highly qualified
teachers," said Dr. Carolyn Bortz, Vice President, Academic Affairs at
Northampton Community College. "This initiative, to make enrolling and
paying for college easier for employees recognizes the value of
enhancing the knowledge and skills of early education practitioners as a
tool to increase the quality of care and education provided to children
across our country. Northampton's history of excellence in preparing
early childhood teachers is a perfect match for this endeavor."

"This is the most important investment that Bright Horizons can make,"
said NAEYC CEO Rhian Evans Allvin. "Affording early childhood educators
the opportunity to pursue post-secondary education is a commitment
directly to the young children and families that Bright Horizons serves.
After all, effective early childhood educators and program
administrators are the linchpin to high quality early learning programs."

In addition to covering tuition and expenses, individuals who sign up
for this benefit will have the support of an education advisor who will
help them determine the right program to both meet their career goals
and fit within their personal lives. The Early Education Degree
Achievement Plan
will be administered through EdAssist, provider of
tuition assistance and student loan repayment benefits and a division of
Bright Horizons.

Bright Horizons has been offering employees a free Child Development
Associate (CDA) credential for employees since 2007. The CDA, together
with the Early Education Degree Achievement Plan, offers women
and men interested careers in early education a path to a full college
degree, even straight out of high school, with no financial barriers.

About Bright Horizons®
Bright Horizons
Family Solutions® is a leading provider of high-quality child
care, early education and other services designed to help employers and
families better address the challenges of work and family life. The
company provides full service center-based child care, back-up dependent
care and educational advisory services to more than 1,100 clients across
the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada and
India, including more than 150 Fortune 500 companies and more than 80 of
Working Mother magazine's 2017 "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers."
Bright Horizons has been recognized 17 times as one of Fortune
magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" and is one of the U.K. and
Netherlands' Best Workplaces as designated by the Great Place to Work®
Institute. Bright Horizons is headquartered in Watertown, MA. The
company's web site is located at


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