Image from Wonderschool’s website

San Francisco-based childcare management platform Wonderschool has raised $25 million in a Series B round led by Goldman Sachs, with participation by Citi Impact Fund and existing investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Uncork Capital, Unusual Ventures, Imaginable Futures, and Gaingels.

Wonderschool stated its software aims to reduce “childcare deserts” – areas with an insufficient supply of licensed childcare providers, which particularly affects black women.

Margaret Anadu, global head of sustainability and impact for Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said: “Even before the pandemic, the absence of quality, affordable early childcare education undermined the careers and economic mobility of many Black women, in addition to the development of their children during crucial years. Wonderschool is harnessing the potential of technology to provide comprehensive support to home-based care providers, enabling them to create high-quality environments while also helping parents in need of childcare solutions with an accessible marketplace.”

The Wonderschool platform, which has been deployed state-wide in New Mexico, Indiana, and Nevada, provides childcare entrepreneurs with the tools and infrastructure needed to establish, support and sustain their programmes. Using the platform, providers can access help with operations, licensing, accounting and marketing to attract enrolment, as well as expert and peer support to generate curriculum ideas and work through any problems they may encounter.

Chris Bennett, founder and chief executive of Wonderschool, said: “Childcare is, perhaps, our most important public investment. And yet, we have historically relied on a fragmented, outdated system to make good on its promise. Policymakers have precious little data to understand where public funds are having an impact. Empowering providers to serve families and children and providing state leaders with better data to understand what’s happening are two sides of the same coin.”

Four years after incubating the company at a preschool, Wonderschool now runs nearly 1,700 programmes, with Wonderschool directors earning an average of $78,000, or more than twice the median salary of a US preschool teacher salary, according to data from media company U.S. News and World Report.

Wonderschool stated it will use the new funding for enhancements to improve the user experience, bolster support to government leaders who are rely on the platform’s insights, and expand the teams that help childcare providers improve the quality of their programmes.

Goldman Sachs’ Anadu is joining the Wonderschool board, along with software group leaders Ken Coleman, chairman of EIS Group and Shane Metcalf, founder of 15Five.

Date published: 19 January 2022

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