“But what if WE ALL owned it?”
Two years ago, a group of professional nannies on Staten Island came together to ask themselves this question of a childcare business they were thinking of starting.
Their goal was to provide quality childcare to their community while also empowering their employees. The women believed uniting in an entrepreneurial mission would serve their community by providing childcare and jobs simultaneously. In a short time, Love and Learn Childcare formed as Staten Island’s first worker-owned cooperative.
The members in a worker-owned cooperative all have a voice in the workplace, each participating in the profits, oversight, and often management of the organization. Each worker-owner plays an equally important role in the cooperative’s mission, as well as in the home of the family they serve and children they care for.
When Love and Learn Childcare Cooperative in Staten Island launched in June 2017, it led the arrival of worker-owned cooperatives in the borough. The members of Love and Learn Childcare Cooperative, like many workers organizing cooperative businesses, faced challenges. What set them apart was their continued commitment to learning the ins and outs of cooperative business models and their intensive training in preparation for Love and Learn’s official launch.
Each member is certified through the We Rise Nanny Training program through Cornell University, having completed courses in: CPR/first aid, child nutrition, socio-emotional development, home as the workplace, communication with parents, workers’ rights and pediatrics.
Love and Learn Childcare cooperative is a unique economic and business opportunity for the immigrant community to explore entrepreneurship, providing opportunities to immigrant women which recognizes their valuable contributions, markets their skills and improves their quality of life.
“Some of the benefits of being a worker-owner is that I manage my own schedule and do a job well done since I am the owner of my own business,” said Maria, a member of Love and Learn Childcare Cooperative. “I want to assure parents that their children will be in great hands because I am trained and prepared to be your child’s best friend–your most precious treasures! Parents can go to work and their occupations confident that their children are in good hands-playing and learning. Whether it be Spanish or a new craft, with me, they will not be bored! I love to work with children, as I see them as my own. I love to play with them. In whatever it may be, I like to give my best in everything.”
Another member added: “My name is Aurora I am part of the Love and Learn cooperative dedicated to childcare. My experience as a member of a cooperative is wonderful because I do what I like, and that is to work professionally with children. I am always learning something new with all the trainings offered and at the same time we help our community by generating decent work opportunities and economic democracy. ”
If you are interested in hiring a Love and Learn member to care for your child, call 718-873-1371 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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