Bezos Academy is interested in working with organizations that want to host tuition-free, Montessori-inspired preschools in their facilities.
We believe that all children deserve the great start that an excellent preschool provides. Given that around half of our nation’s 3 and 4 year-olds are not enrolled in school, we understand that Bezos Academy will only be part of the solution.
That’s why our model relies on community hosts – organizations who share our vision and long-term commitment to early childhood education, and deeply understand the needs of their communities. These organizations provide the physical space where Bezos Academy schools are housed – and we do the rest.
Here’s how it works:
1. We identify eligible communities based on the answers to three questions: Does the community have a high concentration of low-income families? How many 3-to-5-year-old children live in the community? What is the gap between the number of preschool age children, and the full-day, year-round licensed preschool seats? We are looking for communities that have a large, growing access gap.
2. We then speak with trusted organizations in those communities who recognize the need for early learning services. If we find a host who shares our vision and passion, we request their help to better understand the local community, including meeting with other organizations and public agencies on the front lines of serving area children and families.
3. Once it appears that a Bezos Academy would be a good fit for a community’s preschool needs, we discuss space options. We have high standards that all our schools must follow, including meeting or exceeding all state and local early childhood education licensing requirements. As long as a building meets the bar, Bezos Academy makes the necessary investments to transform the space into a warm, welcoming preschool environment, and we furnish it with everything required to open a new Montessori-inspired preschool.
We also cover all the operating expenses for our preschool programs at no cost to either the families we serve or our community host. We hire, train, develop, and pay talented educators, and we provide everything that the children need during their day with us, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
Each host provides the space to us for no additional rent for a period of at least 10 years. Ten years might seem like a long time, but we’re committed to this work for the long-haul, and we want the families and communities we serve to have as much predictability as possible.
We are especially interested in collaborating with school districts, senior living communities, community centers, housing authorities, affordable housing developers, and local governments. Existing facilities with 2,500 – 6,500 square feet of space are preferred.
We’re intentionally trying out different host models for Bezos Academy schools. Our goal is to find an approach that meets the needs of the community who hosts the school we operate, and that we can scale to other communities we serve. Ultimately, we would like to establish a model that other early learning providers can affordably apply in the future.
Because we’re based in Seattle, WA, our first set of schools is in Washington state, but we’ll expand to other states as time goes on.
Do you, or does an organization in your community, fit this description?
Please connect with us to explore how we might work together to provide more children with a high-quality preschool education.
“Wesley is proud to host the first Bezos Academy on our Wesley Des Moines campus in Washington state. As a mission-driven organization with a long history of building community in the Pacific Northwest, we are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the Bezos Academy team to serve children in our community.”