Jan 25, 2022

Capstone Partners Advises Conscious Discipline on Its Sale to Prairie Capital

Capstone Partners advised Conscious Discipline (The Company) on its acquisition by Prairie Capital (Prairie). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Conscious Discipline is a leading provider of social-emotional learning (SEL) solutions that equip teachers, administrators, mental health professionals, parents, and special needs educators with the skills to foster the development of self-regulation and emotional competence in children. The Company’s methodology and award-winning transformative SEL training utilize a combination of current behavioral and brain research, child development information, developmentally appropriate practices, and an adult-first, child-second model for SEL. It has been shown to be highly effective in reducing student behavioral issues and suspensions, enhancing educational outcomes, and improving the social and emotional skillsets of both children and adults. The importance of SEL has become increasingly recognized by administrators as schools confront a tidal wave of student misbehavior driven by months of remote learning and an educational staff that is struggling with disruptive students, burnout, and their own mental health issues exacerbated by the pandemic.

Capstone was the best choice I could have made. They made a difficult process work seamlessly. The team held my hand carefully and assertively guided the process for my best outcome.

Becky BaileyOwner, Conscious Discipline

Conscious Discipline has been at the forefront of SEL education since its founding 25 years ago by the renowned Dr. Becky Bailey. In those 25 years, Dr. Bailey has authored 24 books, including 15 children’s books focused on the Conscious Discipline model. Over one million copies of Dr. Bailey’s flagship book, Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Classrooms, are in circulation, and she has created over 100 transformational SEL and classroom management resources. The Company offers SEL solutions through in-person workshop and institute events, on-site training and professional development, sale of its educational products, and through the fast-growing EdTech division which provides online SEL content including webinars, podcasts, and self-paced classes.

Founded in Chicago in 1997, Prairie Capital is a private equity fund with a long and successful track record of scaling growth-oriented, lower middle-market companies in partnership with talented founders and management teams. Since inception, Prairie has invested over $1 billion in 101 platform companies. Prairie makes control equity investments in founder-owned companies that require company-building investments to evolve into scalable platforms capable of sustaining accelerated growth. Prairie targets companies that participate in growing subsectors within the business services, consumer, education, healthcare, industrial, and technology industries.

“Conscious Discipline is ideally poised to capitalize on the high growth SEL market and the critical need for districts, childcare providers, and Head Start agencies to better serve students with behavioral health issues, autism, and special needs. Additionally, the need for teachers with SEL skills and training will only become more pronounced as a result of COVID as lack of structure, isolation, and fear caused by the pandemic and, in some cases, neglect and abuse will clearly exacerbate emotional, behavioral, and learning issues among children,” commented Eric Williams, Managing Director on Capstone Partners’ Philadelphia-based Healthcare industry team.

“I am pleased to finalize the partnership with Prairie Capital. Their strong education experience, financial strength, capital support to foster the Company’s continued expansion and growth, and dedication to ensuring that Conscious Discipline’s culture, mission, and brand will be upheld now and into the future made them the perfect choice,” noted Dr. Becky Bailey, Founder and Chief Knowledge Office of Conscious Discipline.

“The SEL market is experiencing rapid growth, and Conscious Discipline offers a proven approach for educators, parents, and pre-school teachers to make a difference for children struggling with behavioral and mental health issues. Not only did The Company win the 2020 Teachers’ Choice Award for Professional Development by Learning Magazine, but teachers utilizing Conscious Discipline also received numerous accolades including National Teacher of the Year, Delaware Teacher of the Year, and Missouri Principal of the Year” remarked Jacob Voorhees, Capstone’s Head of M&A and the Richmond-based Education industry deal team.