Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best dividends.” 

For the past 20 years, franchisors have found that investing in the knowledge of children is also a hot commodity. Despite economic conditions, parents will spend what they can afford on their kids.

It’s a fact of life.

The latest U.S. Census estimates 22.9-percent of people living in this country are under the age of 18. That’s approximately 74 million people. And that number is only expected to grow. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, children’s businesses, which are primarily educational, are growing with multiple opportunities available for franchisees. Investing in the knowledge of children is one of‘s top 10 franchise opportunities to watch in 2018.

The fact parents are willing to spend money to make sure their children learning equals or surpasses that of their peers is a big reason behind this growth. As is the increasing focus on STEM, STEAM and now STREAM education.

STEM education includes science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEAM education gives STEM a whole new look and feels by adding hands-on activities that include artistic ventures. STREAM education adds in the “R” for reading – a multidiscipline approach that starts to look like good, cross-curricular teaching.

Another area that has influenced the popularity of children’s franchises are leisure activities such as art, dance music, cooking and drama. School budget cuts have forced many of these areas to be dropped from curriculums. 

With childhood obesity an epidemic in the United States, according the Centers for Disease Control, kids’ fitness franchises also are seeing a boon. 

From education to recreation, to the arts and even children’s clothing resale, services focused on children will always be relevant and profitable. 

When I work with a candidate who has an interest in the booming child-focused industry, I attempt to narrow down the selections by asking a few key questions.

Are you looking at home-based or brick and mortar? Learning and child care centers first come to mind, but what about children’s haircare, trampoline parks, retail / resale clothing or even party centers?

Are you considering being based at home but taking your target business mobile?

Are you leaning towards after school education programs, such as the STEM / STEAM / STREAM programs we previously discussed, or how about offering swim lessons utilizing the pool of a local hotel? (Yes, there’s a franchise for that!)

How about throwing children’s parties? A new franchise I’ve heard of is basically like a party in a box, or in this case – party in a bus. A truck rolls up and unfolds into an arcade for your child’s birthday party! Think of 15 tweens all battling the bad guy to save the planet earth from aliens! High Fives all around and no clean up!

The biggest take away in all of this is to do the research. Figure out which franchises initially spark an interest, then take off your “wow, that looks like fun” glasses, and look at the business model, lifestyle design and potential in your market.

There’s a lot to choose from, but my guess is, in this space, you’ll be having fun – making money.

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