Demand for Enrichment Fuels Kumon’s Expansion of Centres

School closures, a shift to online learning and a lack of in-person instruction helped fuel the exponential growth that the education franchise market is now experiencing.


Kumon Centres throughout the U.S. and Canada experienced record enrollment numbers in 2022, and that increased demand for in-person instruction in Kumon’s centres is expected to continue into the future. An unintended consequence of the pandemic’s shutdowns was the creation of a widening education learning gap. That gap is the driver of the current surge in education franchises across the U.S. and Canada as parents continue to enroll their children in Kumon Centres.

“Kumon Centres are full of children whose parents don’t want them to fall behind,” said John Collins, Kumon’s vice president for centre development in the U.S. “Parents are rightly concerned about their child’s education. We’ve already seen reports from the Nation’s Report Card last year that showed the widening education gap in both math and reading. Our Instructors are able to work individually with students and help them continue their education in a way that can close any gaps and get them ahead in their studies.”

In total, Kumon operates 403 centres in Canada, including 23 that opened in 2022.

A 2022 market study of the global private tutoring market by Global Industry Analysts Inc. reported the market was estimated at $124 billion in 2020 and projected to reach $202 billion by 2026, with a compounded adjusted growth rate (CAGR) of 8.4%. The online market also is expected to grow in the future, at nearly the same rate as in-person learning.

“The market report wasn’t surprising,” Collins adds. “We know the demand is there, in our U.S. and Canadian centres. We want Instructors who want to create an exciting career opportunity for themselves, have control of their own business and thrive on helping students in their community.”

But the ongoing growth isn’t all pandemic related. The need for supplemental enrichment education, like that offered by Kumon, is on the rise as competition intensifies among students to gain acceptance into the schools and colleges of their choice, the Nation’s Report Card says.

While the demand persists, the opportunities to open centres around North America abound. If you think there’s a centre near you that already meets the demand of the community, think again. Many communities need multiple centres to keep up with both the online and in-person demand.

Kumon’s Area Development Team helps new Instructors find suitable locations to sustain a successful business with room to grow.

“The recruiters provide them demographics, so they have tools and data to look at,” Collins says. “That lets them see the number of children in the area, educational attainment and income levels.”

All of the information is taken into account when determining whether a new location is suitable for a Kumon Centre. But that isn’t all that happens. When it comes to expanding within certain areas, Kumon takes a different approach, especially with its existing locations.

“We get our current Instructors involved in the expansion process,” Collins adds. “I know a lot of franchises out there are just going to say, ‘OK, area development says we are going to open here, so that’s where we are going to open, and you just need to deal with it. You have your territory, and we are going to open a new location just outside your territory because we can do that.’ We don’t work that way.”

The process in determining new locations that play into the company’s sustainable business model can be a complicated process. But when a new area is selected, new and existing instructors can know it’s been properly vetted.

“We don’t want to open a centre just to open a centre,” Collins says. “We don’t want just a headcount. We know how stressful this can be for our Instructors. This is part of our business. We try to be as transparent as we can and get them involved.”