Gymboree Play & Music Programs were founded over 40 years ago by entrepreneur Joan Barnes in San Francisco. They has since been franchised, and have grown into 712 centers, and are known as an international brand for children's early learning programs. Based upon the philosophy is that children learn best when allowed to actively explore in an environment that is fun, appealing to their natural curiosity, and supported by the people who matter most in their lives, Gymboree programs can enhance children's self-esteem. Gymboree Play & Music franchises have proprietary equipment, teaching skills and resources that has enabled its business model to grow and successfully expand into throughout USA, Asia (especially China) and 40 other countries.
The Gymboree brand is also a retail store for children's clothing (not franchised), and operates 1300 stores worldwide. While they target the same market, both brands are related, but are owned and operated separately. Gymboree Play & Music experiences create the opportunity for children to gain competency at their own pace in a “yes” environment, without the use of electronics.
Research in young children's development have found that early synapses in the brain are formed in children’s motor memories when they “learn by doing." They become the building blocks of physical movements and the vestibular system as they grow into their bodies in later years. Each type of class is non -competitive in structure starting with infants through age 5 years in “can-do” manner.
The Gymboree Play & Music franchise owner is Colleen McAleer who founded Gymboree Play & Music franchise in NE Seattle over 25 years ago. She has a MBA from the Foster School of Business at the U of WA, and master teaching certification.