Local operators of a national childcare chain are expanding their business with two new locations on either side of Chesterfield County.
Married couple and franchisees Charul and Raj Patel plan to open new Kiddie Academy outposts at 660 Watkins Centre Parkway near Westchester Commons shopping center, and at 731 Bermuda Hundred Road near Meadowville Technology Park. Those will be their second and third Kiddie Academy locations.
The two new schools are expected to cost between $4.2 million and $4.5 million each, which includes construction and land acquisition costs, Raj Patel said.
The 10,000-square-foot school on Watkins Centre Parkway will offer preschool, daycare and programming for school-age children, including summer camp. The school is planned to have a 160-student capacity, and Patel said 50 full-time students already are enrolled ahead of the opening next month.
An LLC tied to the Patels bought the 2.7-acre Watkins Centre site for $400,000 in 2021, according to online county land records. The land was most recently assessed at $770,500.
The upcoming Kiddie Academy on Bermuda Hundred Road is planned to be the same size and have the same student capacity as the Watkins Centre location.
Patel said the 2.6-acre Bermuda Hundred site is under contract for $750,000 and they hope to close by August. The property most recently was assessed at about $705,000 by the county.
The Patels aim to break ground on the Bermuda Hundred school in the fall and anticipate nine to 10 months of construction.
General contractor North South Construction and architecture firm Design Enclave Consultants were tapped to handle both projects.
The Patels opened their first Kiddie Academy in 2017 at 6801 Woodlake Commons Loop in Midlothian.
The first Kiddie Academy opened in 1981 in Maryland. The company has more than 300 locations across the country. Its other Richmond-region location is at 840 Broad Branch Way in Goochland County. The Patels do not own that franchise.
Kiddie Academy is expanding its local presence as national competitors The Nest Schools and The Goddard School have opened new locations in the region.