The Baby Academy, an Irish parent education company, is a ‘one-stop shop’ for parents from preconception up to preschool. The company has recently accelerated its expansion across Britain and the US after raising nearly $3 million in funding.
The Baby Academy was founded in 2019 by Susan Hogan and Tom McGovern with a mission to provide easy and accessible childcare education to parents. The company, which has continual support from Enterprise Ireland, aims to be there for parents from preconception all the way up until their children start preschool.
“That’s our goal,” said Susan Hogan. “At the moment, we’re not fully there yet – but we do support through pregnancy and after, up until the baby is about eight months old.”
The Baby Academy was founded when Susan Hogan met Tom and Brian McGovern, the educational entrepreneurs who founded the Dublin School of Grinds, now the Dublin Academy of Education. They realized that there needed to be more in the market when it came to a comprehensive educational package for parents. That was where Hogan, a qualified midwife and childbirth instructor, came in.
The business has experienced rapid growth since its establishment in 2019 and now employs 14 people in addition to a roster of 92 contracted expert instructors. In the last three years, around 800,000 parents have registered their children for classes at The Baby Academy.
“When we were starting, it was clear that there was no real one-stop shop that parents could book into,” Hogan said. “Some hospitals will offer good services, and out in the community, you could be lucky if you found a nice midwife.”
The Baby Academy offers mothers a free baby care workshop that provides them with “stellar, up-to-date, evidence-based information,” said Hogan.
It then hopes these mothers will sign up for further classes to help them through pregnancy and childbirth.
“We launched in Ireland first, and then we rolled out in the UK, the US and Canada,” commented Hogan. “And in each country, we have a team of health professionals that are individual to that country. We only have health professionals teaching our classes.”
Using its seed funding round, The Baby Academy has been able to accelerate its expansion across Britain and the US. In America, it has started launching new B2B partnerships with hospitals and healthcare providers. In the long run, the company believes that B2B sales will help it provide educational services to a higher number of parents, with the system provided through healthcare providers rather than requiring them to seek it out.
“We educate the expectant parents so that the OBGYNs, who are really busy, can outsource it to our experts who will happily take it on and do it really well. That’s something we’ve more recently started building out in the US, and we’re growing it.”
“Our hope is to be the global provider for educating parents and empowering parents, from preconception to pre-school,” added Hogan.
Enterprise Ireland aims to support the expansion of companies that promote accessibility and education for all. The Baby Academy has proven its commitment to this mission, and Enterprise Ireland is proud to back a company with such values.