Our Projects


Rose Garden Early Childhood Center

Non-extractive loan: $87,500.00

Conversion date: December 2017​

This loan financed the conversion of an already established child care business in Buffalo, NY to worker ownership as the founding owner retired.

The Rose Garden is a LifeWays representative Waldorf-inspired private child care center, which emphasizes the role of imagination in learning, striving to integrate holistically the intellectual, practical, and artistic development of children. The Rose Garden serves 44 children and 16 staff. After 8 years, the founding owner is retiring and selling the business to its workers. The business is currently near full capacity in enrollment, is consistently profitable, and is in high demand with an active waiting list for new customers. 

The current wave of rapid economic development and re-urbanization in Buffalo is creating a large demand for the necessary support services that are required when many people, specifically white collar professionals, move to urban centers. Quality child care is in very high demand in Buffalo, and is core to supporting newly expanding professional industries. The child care sector, however, is in rough shape--suffering from low quality of care for children in addition to high worker turnover, low wage ceilings, and high levels of burnout among workers, not to mention very few professional opportunities for advancement. 

The Rose Garden conversion offers parents a close-knit home-like environment where every provider is committed and has a stake in the quality of care for each child. This project offers workers an opportunity for control of the workplace, increased wages, and professional advancement. Cooperation Buffalo intends to work closely with the new worker-owners of The Rose Garden for the duration of the loan payback, allowing the business time to adjust to new governance and management structures, develop and test a candidacy period for new worker-owners, and realize continued improvement in enrollment.


Read more:

Buffalo Rising: Rose Garden transitions into Worker Cooperative

Lifeways: The Rose Garden becomes a worker-owned cooperative

Rose Garden: The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same

Becoming Employee Owned: The Rose Garden

Loan for the downpayment conversion of a childcare center