The 2002 Globe 100
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9. B R I G H T H O R I Z O N S F A M I L Y S O L U T I O N S
Rising need for child care drives company's growth
n the 15 years since Linda Mason and Roger Brown launched their first corporate child-care center -- at the Prudential Building, with $2 million from relatives and the management consulting firm Bain & Co. -- Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc. has grown into a chain of 400 onsite centers, operated around the country and abroad.
Headquartered in Watertown, the company expects revenues to increase 20 percent this year, and plans to open 43 to 48 centers in 2002. The firm employs 12,000 people worldwide.
Bright Horizons made a gigantic leap in 2001, to ninth place on The Globe 100 list, from number 53 in 2000.
"Workplaces have changed dramatically, but we still have far to go in terms of day care," said Mason, cochairwoman of the board. "Fewer than 10 percent of all major companies have onsite child care, and 65 percent of all mothers with children under 5 are working full time. Twenty years ago, about 17 percent worked full time."
Chief executive David Lissey said the company has grown 20 percent every year for the past five. He attributed some of that growth to the expansion of backup or emergency care services and the acquisition of a day-care chain in England and two centers in Ireland. Currently, 20 of the firm's centers are in Britain and Ireland, and 33 are backup services.
Like Bright Horizons' US centers, the European sites offer care to the children of workers whose employers have contracted with the chain.
DIANE E. LEWIS