Higher Ground Education, Inc., the leading network of schools dedicated to modernizing and mainstreaming Montessori worldwide, has announced the acquisition of CozyKin, the childcare pioneer in Montessori-inspired nanny sharing at home. Founded in 2016, Higher Ground operates multiple education brands, including Guidepost Montessori, the Academy of Thought and Industry, and the Prepared Montessorian Teacher Training Institute. These together fuel a rapidly growing school system across the U.S., as well as a burgeoning international network.
CozyKin’s nanny sharing platform matches local families with Montessori-trained nannies and offers a range of backend support services to provide parents a seamless, pedagogically-informed childcare experience. CozyKin won both the coveted MassChallenge and Harvard Business School New Venture Competition and received funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, NextView Ventures, and Primary Venture Partners.
“CozyKin was founded three years ago to offer families high-quality, Montessori-informed childcare utilizing a sharing economy approach,” says Jeremy Au, CEO and co-founder of CozyKin. “We have long admired Higher Ground’s global leadership in Montessori education, and we are delighted by how aligned our teams are in mission and value.”
As part of the Higher Ground Education network, CozyKin’s platform will enable Higher Ground to better serve its growing waitlists of families seeking early education for their infants and toddlers. The platform, to be rebranded as Guidepost at Home, will be offered across markets where Higher Ground operates Montessori schools.
“Integrating CozyKin with Higher Ground Education is a win-win for everyone,” says Matt Graham, former Head of Services at CozyKin and new Director of Operations for Guidepost at Home. “Higher Ground recognizes the vast market need for quality early education and understands how CozyKin’s unique model and infrastructure solves it for underserved neighborhoods and parents.”
Ray Girn, founder and CEO of Higher Ground Education, says Guidepost at Home will expand the value of Higher Ground’s schools as hubs for home-care services. “A huge part of what Maria Montessori offers the world is the obliteration of the artificial distinction between education and childcare,” Girn says. “There is just one process of growing up — a process that starts at birth and benefits from learning science throughout. Our goal is to help elevate the profoundly important work done by early educators, and that includes nannies at home. By partnering with CozyKin and utilizing its exceptional platform, we can together extend to more families the value of a developmentally serious approach to early childhood education. Guidepost at Home will be a parallel pedagogical path to our Montessori school offerings.”
Au, who will now serve as Executive Director for Guidepost at Home, agrees. “We are excited to leverage our technology, network IP, and operations to further scale across the United States and beyond with Higher Ground’s resources, reach, and school brands,” he says. “We are only just getting started in advancing our mission to increase access for more families, children, and educators.”
This article originally appeared on BusinessWire.