Saturday, August 18, 2018

Commentary: Wonderschool: The Free Market Comes Up With a Solution for Teachers Who Can't Afford to Live on a Public School Salary in High Rent San Francisco Area


Linda Jung quit her job at a San Francisco Bay Area preschool, where she had been making about $50,000 a year, to launch a preschool out her two-bedroom apartment in the East Bay. Right now, she earns close to $80,000, with room to grow, and has plans to lease a home in the future so she can accommodate more students, reports Business Insider.

The funding for her private preschool came with the help of a Silicon Valley startup, Wonderschool.

This free market solution is completely changing
the preschool model. According to Business Insider, preschool teachers  can start, operate, and grow their own preschools and daycares out of their homes — and earn an average salary of $78,000.

Wonderschool provides a framework around their small businesses, supporting them with operations, licensing, accounting, and marketing to attract enrollment, as well as a network of other teachers to generate ideas for lessons and work through any issues.

And get this. Big money is flowing into the idea.

Wonderschool recently announced $20 million in a Series A round of financing led by Andreessen Horowitz, whose partner Jeff Jordan will join the board. Earlier Wonderschool investors First Round Capital, Cross Culture Ventures, Uncork Capital, Lerer Hippeau, and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar's Omidyar Network also participated.

Here are the numbers according to BI, (Keep in mind this is in the greater Silicon Valley area, near a Fed money spigot so parents can afford the tuition):

In San Francisco, the company says school operators charge $1,971 for tuition on average, which could net them nearly $8,000 a month for a program with four kids. The cost is comparable for parents, based on typical tuition rates cited in Children's Council San Francisco, but the school operator pockets more income. (Once a school grows to more than four students, Wonderschool recommends it hire an assistant teacher, who the company helps recruit.)

Some programs, though, start as low as $733 per month/

There are about 100 Wonderschool programs in the San Francisco Bay Area, with 30 programs in the city proper. According to the company, there are another 500 teachers in the process of opening schools across the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York City.

Here is a typical "Rhythm of the Day":

7:00 AM Children arrive
7:00 AM - 7:45 AM Free play
7:45 AM Wash hands / potty time
8:00 AM Breakfast
8:45 AM Floor activities and storytime
10:00 AM Morning snack
10:30 AM Outdoor play / Classes & activities
12:00 PM Circle time: Calendar / shapes / colors / music
12:50 PM Clean up / potty time
1:00 PM Lunch
1:45 PM Nap / Quiet time
3:30 PM Clean up / potty time
3:35 PM Afternoon snack
4:00 PM Storytime / Floor & table activities
5:00 PM Light snack for late pickups
5:15 PM - 6:00 PM Quiet play, puzzles, books and parent pickup
6:00 PM Last children depart



Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of



Editor's note: This article was originally published at Economic Policy Journal and has been
rerun with permission.

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