About

Jody Thompson, Ducklings founder, has spent more than 30 years working with children. She started as a preschool teacher herself and attended college at night studying child psychology when her three daughters were young. In the late 1980's the Thompson family transferred to Chicago where Jody began teaching a private kindergarten class housed in a daycare center. At the time, daycare programs were for care and babysitting only even though most of the children spent the better part of their days there. Seeing an opportunity to expand on the children's daily experiences, Jody began working with the care givers and created a curriculum to incorporate early education into the program. Upon returning to Pennsylvania 2 years later, Jody went on to make a difference in the lives of children at risk through her work with nonprofit organizations in Delaware. Jody served as Director of the Kennett Square YMCA preschool until 1994, when the board announced its' intentions to close the program, leaving 60 plus children without care and their parents without many options. A small loan and 2,500 sq. feet of rented property later, and our first Ducklings was born.

All three daughters eventually joined Jody at Ducklings working as afternoon teacher's aides while in school then as lead teachers, school directors, and operations managers once they were married with families of their own. All seven grandchildren have been Ducks as well!

Since 1994, Ducklings has designed, built, and opened schools; purchased, moved, and closed schools all the while learning lessons and laying the ground work for the big things to come. Many of our teachers have been with us for 15 years or more- each of them helping to shape Ducklings core values of collaboration, creation, and celebration through professional integrity and deep respect for children and families. For decades, Ducklings has been a leader in educational childcare and now, through franchise opportunities, is bringing the Ducklings brand to families across the country.

History
  1. 04/01/1995: The first Ducklings opens
  2. 10/01/1997: Break ground on our 1st new facility
  3. 03/01/1998: Ducklings Chadds Ford opens
  4. 10/15/1998: Break ground on 2nd new facility: Willowdale
  5. 04/01/1999: Ducklings Willowdale opens
  6. 03/15/2000: Purchase Sprouts Country Day School
  7. 07/30/2002: Sprouts closes - dry well. Families move to Ducklings Willowdale
  8. 01/01/2008: Ducklings Longwood opens: 3rd new facility
  9. 01/01/2011: Sell Chadds Ford facility
  10. 04/01/2013: Ducklings Oxford opens: 4th new facility
  11. 07/01/2014: Sell Willowdale Facility
  12. 10/01/2015: Contract to build Pocopson: 5th new facility
  13. 01/01/2016: Ducklings Pocopson delayed in township for next year
  14. 08/05/2016: Sign lease for Ducklings Landenberg
  15. 08/28/2016: Announce Ducklings Franchise
  16. 07/05/2017: Ducklings Landenberg opens
  17. 09/07/2017: Ducklings Pocopson opens
  18. 09/01/2019: Ducklings Oxford Opens
  19. Winter 2020: Ducklings Hershey Mills will open
  20. Winter 2020: Ducklings Spring City will open
  21. Winter 2020: Ducklings Westtown will open as corporate location