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Welcome to

Oxford Street Cooperative

Oxford Street Cooperative provides an educational and nurturing environment for infants, toddlers, stompers (two to three-year-olds), and preschoolers.

Children move through the Center in groups so that the infant group moves up together to the Toddler classroom, and so on. We have found that this respects the crucial relationships the children have forged and also helps make these transitions smoother.

The Center provides care from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. OSC follows the academic cycle, enrolling children for a 12-month period beginning just before classes start on campus.

 

We work to provide excellent childcare in a safe, nurturing, and supportive cooperative environment. Our curriculum fosters the development of each child’s cognitive, physical, social, and emotional growth through hands-on, active exploration, experimentation, and creative expression. We are committed to building a solid community and a strong home and school partnership. We value diversity and the uniqueness of each child, family, and staff member of our cooperative.

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Teaching Philosophy

Oxford Street Cooperative’s philosophy is rooted in the belief that the quality of young children’s lives can be enriched through positive early childhood experiences.

We firmly believe that childcare should be an extension of the children’s home lives as well. In our center, the participation of parents in the classroom helps to bridge the emotional gap between school and home.  Importantly, it provides creative opportunities for parents to enjoy their children in a nurturing environment with their peers. For the cooperative to work effectively, it is imperative that parents and staff keep themselves informed and participate fully in the daily life of the center.

Oxford Street Cooperative is inspired by the guiding principles of Brazelton Touchpoints Center.  Brazelton Touchpoint Center is a model of practice that enables caregivers and educators to establish collaborative and encouraging relationships with families based on a shared interest in the healthy development of their child. Using observations of children as a base, teachers recognize a child's behavior as their expressive language. We encourage a high level of parent involvement because we believe it is a critical piece of a quality program.  Part of our focus is on the parent-child relationships and look for opportunities to support parental mastery. It is important to recognize the value and understanding in the relationship between staff and parents.  

 

Each teaching team plans curriculum activities that are responsive to children’s interests, feelings, and environment while introducing new skills and supporting age-appropriate problem-solving.

It is important to recognize the value and understanding in the relationship between staff and parents.  Teachers use the behavior of the child as their language. 

We encourage high parent involvement because it is critical for a quality program.  Part of our focus is on the parent-child relationships and look for opportunities to support parental mastery.

Each teaching team plans curriculum activities responsive to children’s interests, feelings, and environment while introducing new skills and supporting age-appropriate problem-solving.

 

We pay particular attention to: The 4 Goals of Anti-Bias Education:

  • Each child will demonstrate self-awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identities.

  • Each child will express comfort and joy with human diversity, accurate language for human differences, and deep caring human connections.

  • Each child will increasingly recognize unfairness, have language to describe unfairness and understand that unfairness hurts

  • Each child will demonstrate empowerment and the skills to act, with others or alone, against prejudice, and/or discriminatory actions

Teaching Philosophy
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Group Sizes & Staffing

In Each Classroom

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Groups Sizes
Anchor 1

The History of

Oxford Street Cooperative

The Oxford Street Cooperative traces its beginnings to two infant playgroups that were established in the early 1970s. In October of 1973, the playgroups merged, expanded and moved to the Palfrey House, a Harvard University building on Oxford Street. This move followed a series of demonstrations and petitions by parents and others in the Harvard and Cambridge communities demanding that the University support childcare. In response to these demands, Harvard renovated several buildings and provided space (rent, utilities and some maintenance) free of charge to various childcare groups. One of these became the Oxford Street Cooperative. In November of 1980, the center moved to its present location in Shannon Hall on Francis Avenue.

 

One notable event in the history of our Center was the publication of Growing Up in Child Care: A Case for Quality Early Education 

(Heinemman, 1999) by Ben Mardell. A former

preschool teacher at OSC, Mardell drew from

his experience to produce a scholarly study on

the education of young children. This book attests

to the spirit and values that drive our Center.

The center is a parent-staff cooperative in which the

active participation of parents is encouraged in all

aspects of its operation. Parents are involved in the

chores of the center, as well as policy-making

through various committees. Parent helping allows

children to know and become comfortable with

the parents of their friends. This interaction

strengthens bonds among children and families

and builds community.

While our core values remain the same as 30 years ago, our structure has evolved to effectively respond to increasing economic and regulatory demands as well as the work life of our parents today. The most significant adjustment to parent classroom work time happened in 2005. Though still mandatory and essential, parent help shifts have been modified from four and a half hours to two hours per week.

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History
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