Meet Chris Bennett, Wonderschool co-founder & CEO
Struck by the power of early childhood education and the fact that 51% of Americans live in “child care deserts,” Chris Bennett co-founded Wonderschool in 2016. The mission-driven company helps people start home-based childcare programs, increasing access to affordable, reputable preschools. We spoke to the entrepreneur about the evolution of Wonderschool, what he’s learned along the way, and his go-to apps.
Play: What drew you to the field of early childhood education?
Chris Bennett: It started with recognizing the problem. I heard that there was a shortage of child care in the Bay Area. I thought that was strange because I went to a home-based childcare program in Miami and had a great experience.

I started visiting child care programs to better understand the issues. I realized that many who were starting or running home-based child care businesses were struggling to implement crucial small business tactics, and that we could help them market their business, self-promote, and sell the value of what they offered.
How has Wonderschool evolved over the past few years, and what’s something you learned navigating that change?
When we started the company, we were a childcare marketplace. We were focused solely on helping people to create child care programs out of their homes and connect with parents. Over the years, we realized that we could build an enterprise business by working with employers, governments, and networks. To navigate this change, we've had to build out teams that know how to go after high-volume partnerships and make our product and services reach their child-care goals.
What has felt like the greatest challenge and/or triumph in your career?
Without a doubt, the greatest accomplishment is Wonderschool. Developing this company also created a lot of personal growth, and it's been an absolutely fantastic experience.

The most challenging aspect is shifting from being a builder who is good at tinkering and improving things on my own, to building a team that does these things together. Recruiting, aligning, and managing a team can be complex.
If you could give 20-year-old Chris one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would say, “Chris, don't focus too much on your grades. Take classes that you’re genuinely interested in and learn more on your own about things you care about.” I would also tell myself not to seek too much external validation. “What you truly care about is the best indicator of who you are and how far you can go – not grades or outside approval.”
Chirs Bennett's everyday essentials
I use these five apps to stay productive, connected, and inspired throughout my day.
Evernote
Evernote - Note Organizer
Evernote Corporation
In-app purchases
4.1
1.71M reviews
100M+
Downloads
Content rating
Everyone
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I use Evernote daily to keep track of all my conversations. I also take pictures of online documents for easy access and sharing. It's by far one of my favorite productivity apps.
Strava
Strava: Run, Ride, Hike
Strava Inc.
In-app purchases
4.5
762K reviews
50M+
Downloads
Content rating
Teen
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I run and meditate daily. Strava has been accelerating my running performance. I like apps that track individual performance but also have a community in them. It's a lot like Wonderschool in that sense.
Slack
Slack
Slack Technologies Inc.
3.8
116K reviews
10M+
Downloads
Content rating
Everyone
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I use Slack often. It's been bridging the communication gap with otherwise distant colleagues, friends, and family. All you have to do is add workspaces and you'll be able to communicate with your peers in an instant (and easily search through conversations later, if you need to).
Twitter
Twitter
Twitter, Inc.
Contains adsIn-app purchases
3.6
20M reviews
1B+
Downloads
Content rating
Mature 17+
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I'm a big Twitter user. I'm a sports fan. I like it all-basketball, football, baseball and I think athletes articulate what leadership and hard work mean really well. I try to follow anyone brilliant, positive, and who loves doing what they're doing.
Gmail
Gmail
Google LLC
Contains ads
4.2
11.5M reviews
10B+
Downloads
Content rating
Everyone
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I’ve been using Gmail since it first launched. I love how intuitive and versatile it is. I use Labels to instantly segregate emails according to their subject or content. And I appreciate that it integrates with other productivity tools like HelloSign, Trello, and Zoom, plus apps such as Boomerang and Mixmax.