San Francisco’s housing crisis is so bleak, this startup is reinventing homeschooling so teachers can afford to live where they work


wonderschool preschool startup 6

In San Francisco’s absurd housing market, teachers are struggling to afford to live near where they teach.
A startup called Wonderschool is helping preschool teachers stay in San Francisco by providing them with the framework to set up preschools and daycares out of their homes.
A school operator on Wonderschool earns an average salary of $78,000, which puts them in a better position to pay rent.

Linda Jung’s living room has been taken over by five screaming, cheering, playful little children — their toys, their books, and their art.

Brightly colored geometric shapes cover the walls, and an alphabet rug and train tracks lie where a coffee table or storage taller than three feet might have once been.

None of the children are Linda’s.

Last year, Jung quit her job at a San Francisco Bay Area preschool, where she had been making about $50,000 a year, to launch a preschool out her two-bedroom apartment in the East Bay. Right now, she earns close to $80,000, with room to grow, and has plans to lease a home in the future so she can accommodate more students.

And she did it with the help of a Silicon Valley startup.

For dozens of preschool teachers in San Francisco, Wonderschool is changing the economics of their profession. They can start, operate, and grow their own preschools and daycares out of their homes — and earn an average salary of $78,000, according to the company.

Wonderschool provides a framework around their small businesses, supporting them with operations, licensing, accounting, and marketing to attract enrollment, as well as a network of other teachers to generate ideas for lessons and work through any issues.

Chris Bennett, cofounder and CEO of Wonderschool, likens the startup to a very successful sharing-economy company.

“Think of it like Airbnb. The platform does all of the marketing, but the host has to deliver on providing a good experience,” he said.

Tech investors are throwing money at the venture-backed startup. On Friday, Wonderschool announced $20 million in a Series A round of financing led by Andreessen Horowitz, whose partner Jeff Jordan will join the board. Earlier Wonderschool investors First Round Capital, Cross Culture Ventures, Uncork Capital, Lerer Hippeau, and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s Omidyar Network also participated.

In San Francisco, teachers are getting priced out of their districts

At current rates, teachers in San Francisco have some of the highest salaries in the country. Still, many are struggling to afford to live near the schools where the teach. In San Francisco, less than 1% of homes on the market are affordable for the city’s schoolteachers.

Read more: San Francisco’s housing market is so out of control, 60% of tech workers say they can’t afford homes

The median-priced home in San Francisco sells for $1.6 million, and it’s not uncommon for buyers to bid hundreds of thousands of dollars above asking and pay in all cash. Priced out of the city’s housing market, some teachers are living in dorms — fashionably rebranded for adults as “co-living spaces” — and cars just …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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