Bright Beginnings

Over the years, the Bright & Early brand was created, developed, and implemented as a business model that easily competes with the national brands of child care. With over 25 years of experience in the business, an excellent reputation, and detailed systems achieving the highest of standards, Bright & Early is one of the largest privately owned child care center chains in Connecticut. Bright & Early is proud to have cared for and educated 1,000s of children, having set them all on a path to success. The company philosophy captures the spirit of exceptional child care: “Awakening young minds when it matters most.”

In 1997, mother and entrepreneur April Lukasik found herself searching for child care options that suited her needs and the standards she had for her own children. After envisioning the ultimate child care experience, she decided she wanted to realize this vision for herself, so she tapped into her entrepreneurial spirit and founded the first of many Bright & Early Children’s Learning Centers.

Bright & Early is expanding and growing in a thoughtful manner, staying true to the core values that make the company a wonderful place for families to choose as a solution for early care and education for their children, and a fulfilling place to be a teacher. With new Bright & Early locations opening, attention is given to being steadfast to the familiar culture and excellent reputation in the field of early childhood.

Bright & Early in the News

1997 – Founded Bright & Early Children’s Learning Centers

The Bright & Early story started in 1997, and with 25 years of caring for and educating 1000s of young children, there are many Bright & Early centers with more in development to look forward to. What began as a vision of quality care for the founder’s own children grew into an endeavor that now reaches families across the Connecticut community. Stay tuned to see where the next Bright & Early locations will be!

2010 to Present – Entrepreneurs’ Organization Member and Board Member, including Past President

Being entrepreneurial in spirit, our founder April Lukasik has been part of EO (Entrepreneurs’ Organization) for over a decade participating in many business education programs such as Entrepreneurial Master’s Program held at MIT, Entrepreneurial Growth Summit held at London Business School, and many Annual Global Leadership Events.

2018 – US SBA Connecticut’s Small Businessperson of the Year

Nominated by her banking institution, April Lukasik was awarded the US SBA Connecticut’s Small Businessperson of the Year which included a trip to Washington DC to receive the award from Linda McMahon, another CT native, as Chairperson of SBA for US Government. Still involved with the SBA, many Bright & Early centers participated in these programs which facilitate business growth and positive economic impact.

May 2018 – US Senator Chris Murphy is our Guest Preschool Teacher

Bright & Early North Branford was honored to have US Senator Chris Murphy visit our early learning center. He engaged with a classroom of preschoolers, holding their attention with storytelling and interactive conversation. His command of their attention during this impromptu morning meeting was quite notable. Bright & Early teachers were duly impressed. We offered him a teaching position but he said he already has a job. He would have been a great early childhood educator!

2019 – Connecticut Entrepreneurship Lifetime Achievement Award

2019 was the inaugural year for this Connecticut award. As a woman in business, our founder proudly represents women in business as a leader in this field and in the local business community.

December 2020 – Visit from US Senator Richard Blumenthal

US Senator Richard Blumenthal visited Bright & Early Middletown on his way back from his steadfast and admirable work in Washington DC during the COVID-19 pandemic. He genuinely listened to all the challenges the Connecticut child care industry has been facing. He understood and truly appreciated the hard work and dedication of teachers who make child care centers safe places for families to send their children during the pandemic. He has always supported our industry, and continues to be a strong advocate understanding the need for quality child care and early education in Connecticut.

2022 – Bright & Early Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Twenty-five years ago we opened the doors to our Middletown center, our first of many locations. Since the beginning, we have stayed true to our core values while being able to grow across Connecticut. On our anniversary, we thank all of our staff, teachers, directors, and families who have made the past 25 years so remarkable. We are incredibly grateful for our entire community and are looking forward to continuing to serve many more families as CT’s premier children’s learning center.