An infant smiling in a Primrose Schools infant classroom.
An infant smiling in a Primrose Schools infant classroom.

About Us

The Leader in Early Education and Care®

Primrose Schools® is a national system of accredited private preschools that provides a premier early education and child care experience for children and families. Our Franchise Owners, Leadership Teams and School Staff partner with parents to help build the right foundation for future learning and in life.

Our History

  • 1982

    Primrose Schools is launched!

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  • 1982

    Paul and Marcy Erwin open the first Primrose in Marietta, GA and make education the center of our curriculum when "all-play" is the accepted norm.

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  • 1990

    Primrose awards first franchise in Georgia and launches the educational childcare franchise concept.

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  • 1990

    We set standards high. And, to maintain them, we create an internal review process called the Service Excellence Assurance.

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  • 1998

    Primrose® becomes the first educational child care company to receive accreditation from the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS CASI) Council on Accreditation and School Improvement, two prestigious associations recognized as the gold standard in evaluating high schools, colleges and universities.

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  • 2001

    We introduce our Balanced Learning® curriculum, which aligns with leading early childhood education philosophies, research and best practices.

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  • 2002

    Celebrating 20-years of learning fun!

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  • 2003

    We continue to innovate. Primrose is the first to integrate the use of wireless laptops into preschool and pre-K curriculum for teacher and student use.

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  • 2003

    To facilitate infant and young toddler communication and language development, we add a sign language program.

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  • 2005

    24 new Primrose Schools open in one year – a new record!

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  • 2006

    The Primrose Children’s Foundation® is launched to enable schools to make a greater impact on the needs of underserved children in their communities.

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  • 2006

    We establish our partnership with Reach Out and Read® by donating $100,000 to support the integration of literacy into pediatric care facilities.

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  • 2006

    Children learn languages most easily before age five, so we introduce our Spanish language curriculum Mucho Mundo®.

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  • 2006

    KIDWARE® software programs are introduced in preschool and pre-K classrooms to provide online extensions for learning activities and experiences.

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  • 2007

    With 176 schools in our system, we celebrate our 25th anniversary!

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  • 2008

    We form the Education Advisory Board, a team of leading early childhood experts, who advise us on current research and trends in high-quality early childhood.

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  • 2010

    Primrose expands our national support center campus with a 22,000 square foot Primrose School of Education. Now Primrose Franchise Owners and school management teams from across the country can come together for training and development.

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  • 2011

    The Primrose system expands to more than 220 schools in 30 U.S. markets across 15 states.

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  • 2012

    AdvancED® selects Primrose to partner with them in developing and piloting the new Standards for Quality Early Learning Schools. And, we become the first early education company to earn AdvancED Corporation Systems Accreditation under these new standards.

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  • 2013

    We launch a national partnership with Save the Children® in a multi-year initiative that promotes early literacy, child sponsorship and protection for at-risk children in North America.

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  • 2014

    We name our Corporate Social Responsibility commitment Primrose Promise and integrate it throughout our organization, including our children and families.

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  • 2014

    We’re coast-to-coast! We open schools for the first time in Pleasanton, California and Boston, Massachusetts.

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  • 2014 names Primrose Schools as the leader in Franchisee Satisfaction in the Children's sector.

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  • 2014

    We did it! Families, students and staff of local Primrose schools raise a record- breaking $500,000 for charities during Spring Fling events. A portion is donated to the Primrose Children’s Foundation, which is used to support Save the Children and Reach Out and Read.

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  • 2015

    Primrose marks the opening of its 300th school in Brookhaven, GA.

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  • 2015

    Our Primrose Promise℠ corporate social responsibility program raises $622,500 for local and national children’s charities.

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  • 2016

    Primrose forges partnerships with ZERO TO THREE® and the World Forum Foundation™.

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  • 2016

    We incorporate the latest early learning research into our curriculum and launch an exclusive STEAM integrated Balanced Learning® approach that guides our early learning experiences for children.

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  • 2017

    We celebrate our 35th anniversary and launched Primrose on Premise℠, a new business segment adjacent to our core business and line focused exclusively on employer-sponsored child care.

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  • 2017

    Entrepreneur ranks Primrose Schools the no. 1 child care franchise on its Franchise 500 list.

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  • 2018

    Primrose expands the national footprint to more than 375 schools in 29 states, serving more than 54,000 children and families.

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Brains are built over time from the bottom up. In the first few years of life, 700 to 1,000 neural connections form every second.

Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University

Primrose puppet Arturo the Burro with a chalkboard Arturo the Burro says 'Hola'.

Innovative Leadership

You can be sure that our purposeful curriculum for infant care and early education has passed through many levels of scrutiny from our expert education panel and esteemed advisory board. Our focus is always on what will best serve the needs of Primrose children and families with an eye on innovation and advocacy for quality early education for all children.

Jo Kirchner, CEO, Primrose Schools

Jo Kirchner


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Steve Clemente, President, Primrose Schools

Steve Clemente


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Dr. Lauren Starnes, Vice President of Early Childhood Education Research and Professional Development, Primrose Schools

Dr. Lauren Starnes

Vice President of Early Childhood Education Research and Development

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Laura Jana, M.D., and Primrose Schools Early Learning Council member

Laura Jana, M.D.

Early Learning Council

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Kathy C. Trundle, PhD, Author and Advisor, Early Childhood STEM and Research, Primrose Schools Early Learning Council member

Kathy C. Trundle, PhD

Lead Author and Advisor, Early Childhood STEM and Research

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Credentials You Can Trust

Primrose School Franchise Owners, School Leadership Teams and school staff, and Primrose National Support Team, are mutually dedicated to delivering service excellence and the highest standards of safety, health, education, and, of course, hugs!

Service Excellence Assurance: Child and Parent Experience Review logo

Our quality assurance and continuous improvement processes help foster a safe and consistent experience for children and families.

Image with copy that reads NCA CASI NWAC SACS CASI ACCREDITED Cognia

In 1998, Primrose Schools became the first early childhood education organization to earn national accreditation from AdvancED (now known as Cognia). In 2012, Primrose Schools was the first education organization to earn Corporation Systems Accreditation through AdvancED. Cognia is a 100 year old quality-improvement enhancement network made up of the largest community of education professionals in the world. They conduct rigorous, on-site external reviews of pre-K-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential.

Primrose Promise: Forging a Path That Leads to a Brighter Future for All Children

For more than 30 years, Primrose Schools has partnered with parents, children, staff and the communities we serve to make a difference in the lives of children. We believe that every child represents the promise of a better tomorrow, and we are committed to making a difference for all of America’s children—especially those at greatest risk. We call this the Primrose Promise.

The Primrose Children’s Foundation® is a not-for-profit organization that combines funding from our schools and national support center in order to make a greater national impact. Over the years, the foundation has donated more than $3.5 million to national charities such as Save the Children, Reach Out and Read, Children’s Miracle Network, Zero to Three, Ronald McDonald Charities, and other child-focused organizations.

Partner Spotlight

No Kid Hungry

Our partnership with No Kid Hungry supports programs that give children the healthy food they need to thrive across the United States to help end childhood hunger. Through a combination of emergency grants, strategic assistance, advocacy and awareness, No Kid Hungry is equipping communities with the resources they need to help ensure children are fed.

Find a Primrose school near you.