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297. Downtown Daycare Co-operative: Giving parents a say

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Coop Name: Downtown Daycare Co-operative N° of Employees: 5
City: Moncton N° of Members: 35
Country: Canada Year of formation: 2012
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About this coop:

The Downtown Daycare Co-operative is Moncton's first non-profit, parent-owned daycare and one of the few daycares operating in the city's core. It offers spaces for children from ages 15 months to four years along with a pre-school program for 4- and 5-year-olds and an after-school program for children ages five to 12. The goal of the Downtown Daycare Co-operative is to provide a safe and stimulating environment for children that teaches multiculturalism, peace, co-operation, learning and creativity and where children have opportunities to learn, explore, discover and interact with others.

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In May 2011, a group of women from the Women’s Co-op Business Program in New Brunswick decided to start a co-op for working parents – a place where parents could have a say in who takes care of their children and how. The result was the Downtown Daycare Co-operative, which opened its doors on March 19, 2012.

“The parents are the member-owners,” says Raissa Marks, president of the Downtown Daycare Co-operative. As a parent, she decided to join the co-op when she saw the value it offered to parents and children. “Parents have a say in the way their children are taken care of. This isn’t run like any other business. Here, parents can really be involved,” she says.

The Downtown Daycare Co-operative recognizes the vision and policies set out by parents. Parents make up the board of directors, and like other co-ops in Canada, every member has a say.

The vision for the Downtown Daycare Co-operative? A place where peace, co-operation and multiculturalism form the basis for every child’s care. The goal of the daycare co-op is to provide a safe and stimulating environment for children using these three values, as well as learning and creativity. It offers children a place to explore, discover, make friends and have fun.

And in keeping with the co-op spirit, all of the day-to-day operations are handled by a worker co-op of early childhood caregivers – the First Step Worker Co-operative.

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Canadian Co-operative Association
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