After nine years in operation, Rose Garden Early Childhood Center is being transitioned into a worker-cooperative. Five employees from the center have opted to purchase the business, which is centered around the philosophies of instilling the LifeWays model – programs are based on Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy of childhood development, with a focus on building respectful relationships, encouraging outdoor play, and eating healthy food.
Rose Garden Early Childhood Center founder and former owner, Judith Frizlen, started the business to offer families with children eighteen months to five years old, a place based upon ideologies that are shared with the Waldorf Schools’ approach on early childhood development.
“If we want a community with strong relational bonds,” Frizlen said, “then we need to create and model it. Young children learn through imitation. This is big news for Buffalo – it’s the first worker co-op conversion!”
The five new owners of the cooperative spent a significant amount of time over the last year, studying the ins and outs of worker-cooperatives, with the support of Cooperation Buffalo, a local of affiliate of The Working World (an international organization that supports worker cooperatives).
According to Tori Kuper or Cooperation Buffalo, “With the dedicated workers of the Rose Garden buying their business to own and run democratically, the Rose Garden represents the American Dream we have all been promised: that taking responsibility will be rewarded, that ownership will put us in control of our economic future and that democracy supports our communities.”
The Rose Garden Early Childhood Center is located in a converted school building at 257 Lafayette Avenue, one block east of Grant Street. If you would like to learn more about the Rose Garden, visit the website, www.therosegarden.us or call 716-816-0078 to arrange a Thursday morning tour. For information about Worker Cooperatives, contact Cooperation Buffalo.