Firmament Acquires Controltec and COPA to Form National Leader in Childcare Management Software


NEW YORK, Oct. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Firmament, a leading provider of tailored capital solutions to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), announced today its investment in Controltec, Inc., provider of childcare subsidy management software to state governments and local childcare agencies, and COPA, a provider of data management solutions for early childhood education programs such as Head Start.  By combining the two companies under the Controltec name, Firmament has created the national leader in the publicly funded childcare sector.

The most recent United States Treasury Department data shows the cost of childcare remains unaffordable at 13% of family income for an average family with one child1. Ted Wong, Principal at Firmament, remarked, “In addition to the affordability challenges, families have experienced significant, ongoing disruptions to childcare arrangements since the onset of COVID-19.  Many working parents cannot return to their original employment as they are struggling to find available care during the workday.  We believe that technology and software providers like Controltec and COPA play a vital role in addressing this crisis by facilitating access to childcare and public funding.” 

The combined company will be led by newly appointed President and CEO Lara Oerter, who brings decades of experience from the software industry including 10+ years at education technology leader Blackboard, Inc. as well as experience in state and local government software and K-12 education consulting.  Ms. Oerter shared her vision and excitement: “I am honored to become part of the combined Controltec and COPA team and to have this unique opportunity to create a national leader in the childcare management software industry, tackling one of the most pressing social issues of our time.  The addition of COPA to the Controltec team is another big step forward for us as we add Head Start expertise to Controltec’s longstanding leadership within childcare subsidy management.”   

Controltec was founded by Norbert Haupt, who has 30+ years of experience in the childcare industry and will transition to the role of Executive Chairman.  Mr. Haupt will focus day-to-day on business development and strategic partnerships.  Mr. Haupt commented: “On behalf of the entire Controltec team, we are delighted to partner with Firmament and to have Lara join us at this unique time when the childcare sector is experiencing an unprecedented level of change. Firmament’s support and Lara’s leadership will help us build upon the remarkable progress we have already made in developing best-in-class solutions for state and local governments.” 

Hamid Kelishadi founded COPA software in 2000 and is joining Controltec to lead their Head Start business.  Mr. Kelishadi stated: “I have known Norbert Haupt for many years prior to this transaction.  I could not be more excited about partnering with Lara and Norbert to pursue the unique opportunity for Controltec and COPA to jointly serve childcare providers across the nation.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  Alkali Partners, an independent investment bank, facilitated this transaction as the financial advisor to Controltec. 

About Controltec
Controltec ( provides subsidy management solutions for childcare providers and agencies throughout the United States. Built and supported by industry experts, all of Controltec’s innovative software and custom solutions share a single goal: allowing users to work smarter and more cost-effectively. Implementation of the Company’s systems enables social service agencies and childcare providers to manage cases more efficiently, reduce clerical errors, remove worker frustration, and reduce fraud.

About COPA
COPA ( provides web-based data management software solution for Early Childhood Education programs and community services.  COPA’s solution is used by Head Start, Family Child Care, Early Head Start, State Funded Pre-K, locally designed and Community Action Programs across the nation to track, manage and monitor data, and report outcomes.  COPA’s clients include city and state governments, school districts, federally and state funded programs and other institutions in the United States, U. S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

About Firmament
Firmament ( provides tailored equity and debt capital solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises.  Firmament is a value-added partner to entrepreneurs, management teams and business owners and curates solutions by deploying versatile capital in a user-friendly way. Firmament concentrates on software and services businesses with significant scaling potential in the healthcare, logistics, wellness and environmental sectors. With offices across the United States and in the United Kingdom, Firmament is focused on turning small business into big business.

CONTACT: Allie Reitman, [email protected]

1 U.S. Department of the Treasury, “The Economics of Child Care Supply in the United States“, September 2021.

SOURCE The Firmament Group

Related Links

Like it? Share with your friends!


What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
confused confused
fail fail
fun fun
geeky geeky
love love
lol lol
omg omg
win win


Leave a Reply