In 1990, the Erwins took the lead again by franchising their model to provide hands-on leadership and a proven delivery model for their schools. They recruited Jo Kirchner to help them launch and grow their franchise brand.
And so, the seed was planted "in the mind of a businesswoman and the heart of a mother." With the vision of delivering a trusted, premier, early learning experience for children across America, Jo set about establishing a brand with an exclusive, Balanced Learning® approach continually strengthened by top early education experts that has proven to be one of the defining reasons many parents choose Primrose.
For more than 35 years, Primrose Schools® has been partnering with parents, children, our staff and the communities we serve to support and advocate for children and families who are in greatest need. These efforts are driven by our corporate social responsibility program – Primrose Promise – which aims to create a brighter future for all children through advocacy efforts focused on access to early education, safety and quality child care standards. It’s our commitment to giving without expecting.
In 1990, we revolutionized the child care industry by franchising our exclusive early education and care model.
Primrose Schools is not only The Leader in Early Education and Care®, we are the only early education franchise company to offer a time-tested Balanced Learning® approach aligned to early learning standards and developed alongside top early education experts. Many of these experts also serve on our Education Advisory Board which is tasked with the continuous improvement of our education curriculum and training programs.
Utilizing annual student assessments, a separate full-time team of early education experts studies current research and carefully strengthens each component of the Balanced Learning Curriculum. This insures the most rewarding educational experience possible for children and their families. True to our philosophy, at Primrose, we never stop growing and learning.
Listen to Jo Kirchner speak at the National Business Leaders Summit on Early Education about the role of early education and care in our country's future.Watch Video
Jo Kirchner has devoted the majority of her career to pioneering breakthrough strategies for delivering high-quality early education and care. As CEO of Primrose Schools® since 1999, she has led strategic growth of the company from four locations in Georgia to a national brand recognized as an industry leader and innovator.
Jo joined Primrose in 1990 as Vice President and was instrumental in creating and expanding the franchise model that now includes over 400 independently owned and operated schools coast-to-coast.
Today, Jo continues to shape strategic direction for the rapidly expanding franchise company while also providing leadership on the Primrose Schools Board of Directors and the Primrose Early Learning Council. Outside the company, her national advocacy work includes serving on the board as co-chair for the Early Care & Education Consortium, a trustee for Cognia and the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board, and she engages in initiatives internationally to advance early education and child care.
Jo founded the Primrose Schools Children’s Foundation and launched the Primrose PromiseSM corporate social responsibility program, which helps the Primrose organization fulfill its mission to forge a path that leads to a brighter future for all children.
Steve Clemente joined Primrose as President in May 2016. In his role, he leads internal operations for Primrose School Franchising Company and partners with CEO Jo Kirchner on strategic growth initiatives.
Steve’s entire career has been focused on providing senior leadership and management in multi-unit businesses. Prior to joining the Primrose Schools executive team, Steve served as President of Field & Stream, a subsidiary of Dick’s Sporting Goods, and also previously held senior leadership positions with the Nebraska Book Company and Target Stores.
Nick Koros joined Primrose as chief development officer in March 2023. In this role, he leads the overall growth and development strategy for Primrose School Franchising Company to ensure even more children have access to high quality education and care.
Nick has extensive experience helping industry-leading brands strengthen their presence in competitive markets through multi-unit real estate projects and aligning the objectives of franchise owners, real estate partners and other key stakeholders. Trained in working across multiple disciplines to reach common goals, his career is built on producing innovative growth strategies on both a national and global scale.
Koros is well qualified as he holds a Juris Doctor as well as a Master of Business Administration and received his bachelor’s in economics and sociology from UCLA. He has also obtained a master business strategy certification from Cornell and is LEED Design accredited by the US Green Building Council.
Tye Massey joined Primrose Schools as Vice President, Franchise Finance in 2021. In this role, he leads the Franchise lending process to support Primrose Schools growth nationwide.
Tye has had more than 15 years of experience in the banking and finance industry having previously served as Senior Vice President for Paragon Bank & Paragon Financial Solutions and Cornerstone Bank. Mostly recently, Tye served as Vice President and Small Business Administration (SBA) Franchise Team Leader for Toronto-Dominion Bank, where he worked with directly with Primrose Schools Franchise Owners for several years. His extensive background in SBA lending, network within the finance industry, and in-depth knowledge with the Primrose system makes him the ideal leader to drive accelerated growth for the organization.
Tye has a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Georgia Southern University. Tye lives in Roswell, Georgia with his wife and three children.
Tim Waldsmith joined Primrose in December 2017. As Vice President, Strategic Development, he leads strategic growth for Franchise Sales and Acquisitions & Conversions as we continue to grow and provide high quality early education and care to more children and families across America.
Tim has spent more than twenty years within the education and service sector, having previously served as Vice President of Operations for Aramark Education. His extensive background in sales, operations and hospitality makes him the ideal leader to engage with employers and existing childcare owners to develop new partnerships.
Tim has a bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Alabama. He serves as a member of both the School Excellence & School Development Teams for Primrose Schools and is passionate about helping provide quality education for all children.
Tim Roush joined Primrose Schools as Chief Marketing Officer in January 2020. In this role, he leads strategic efforts to actively protect and promote Primrose premium brand leadership position and grow brand loyalty and advocacy Primrose School Franchising Company and Primrose schools nationwide.
Tim has spent nearly forty years within the marketing sector, having previously served as Chief Marketing Officer for 1-800 CONTACTS, and also previously held marketing positions with Sara Lee, General Motors, Novartis, and Proctor & Gamble. His extensive background in brand strategy, consumer insight analytics, and integrated marketing development makes him the ideal leader to utilize key marketing strategies to drive accelerated growth for the organization.
Tim has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Literature from Brigham Young University and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Penn State University. He is passionate about helping provide quality education to all children through the Primrose Schools Children’s Foundation.
Annette Heng joined Primrose in September 2016 and leads strategic efforts to foster a brand-driven, high performance environment for Primrose School Franchising Company and the Primrose schools system. She has worked in education for more than 30 years, having previously served as a regional vice president for Aramark Education, among other roles for the company. Heng holds a bachelor’s degree from National Louis University and a master’s degree in education from Erikson Institute and Loyola University. She and her operations team are responsible for initial training and operation support, school openings, quality assurance, consultations, school cost control and ongoing Franchise Owner support and relationship building.