COVID-19 to Force Bright Horizons to Temporarily Close Half of US Child...

Edtech Business

COVID-19 to Force Bright Horizons to Temporarily Close Half of US Child Care Centers

Mar 18, 2020

Bright Horizons Family Solutions, a publicly traded provider of employer-sponsored child care and early education, will temporarily close half its centers in the U.S. in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The close will last through the end of April, and the impact to the Watertown, Mass.-based company’s financials is too soon to tell, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

“Bright Horizons’ primary focus and attention is on the well-being and health and safety of the children and families we serve along with the teachers and staff at our centers,” it said.

The filing continues: “The situation is constantly changing, and we continue to work with our local teams on the operational and business impact.” The company will keep open its critical health care client and hub centers.

In the U.K., its 300 centers remain open for now. The 60 centers in the Netherlands have been mandated to close, but Bright Horizons might find a way to keep open ones that serve health care and medical professionals as well as other vital professions.

A report from investment bank BMO Capital Markets states that Bright Horizons had about 700 centers in the U.S., representing 65 percent of total centers. Bright Horizons’ U.S.-based and North American centers accounted for 59 percent of total revenue in 2019 as well as 46 percent of adjusted operating profit.

In February, the company reported adjusted income from operations of $268 million, up 11 percent year over year.

The company will still offer back-up care, temporary care for children and elderly people so that employees avoid missing work. The service has seen greater demand recently, according to the filing. Back-up care represents 14 percent of revenue and 30 percent of adjusted operating profit. Companies that use it include Target.

Its college admissions and financing advisory service, called College Coach, also remains available. College Coach includes an online platform with expert videos and price calculators and expert advisers available by phone and email. Employers that use College Coach include Columbia University.

Bright Horizons finished 2019 with about $1 billion in debt outstanding, $100 million in cash and a $225 million revolving credit facility, according to BMO.

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