Who We Are
Botanic Gardens Children’s Center is an inclusive community which values uniqueness among our children and diversity in families and staff members. We seek to provide a place where all are welcome and where each of us shares the responsibility for contributing to the strength of our community through mutual respect, kindness and partnership.
We believe that a rich early childhood experience combines the best of child development theories and current research in the field. In our classrooms you will see materials from the Montessori tradition, children teaching and learning from each other in the spirit of Vygotsky, and documentation inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. At the heart of our program is Piaget’s philosophy that through
children are best able to make
new skills and concepts their own. Our teachers engage with children during play to understand each child’s interests, passion and need to explore the world around them. With a deep understanding of the skills and concepts that children are developmentally ready to explore and through careful observation of the children’s individual learning styles, language, culture and experiences, teachers construct a multi-faceted curriculum that fosters each area of development. You may hear this described as an
We believe that it is crucial for children to develop a strong sense of connection and trust and that this is achieved through unconditional care for the child. In the words of developmental psychologist Uri Bronfenbrenner,
“Children need to be cared for by adults who are just crazy about them”
At BGCC - We are!
Botanic Gardens Children's Center is one of six childcare centers affiliated with Harvard University. Originally the Harvard Law School Child Care Center, we have been serving the Harvard and Cambridge communities since 1971. In 1999, our unique early care and education program moved to its new and expanded home, which was specifically designed for young children. With the new location came our new name: Botanic Gardens Children's Center (BGCC). Our current site was once a botanical garden for Harvard and is still dotted with exotic trees and plants.
BGCC is one of seven centers under the umbrella private, nonprofit corporation, Campus Child Care Inc. (CCC). Campus Child Care is managed by the central office, including the Executive Director, Finance Office, and Human Resource Officer, as well as an accounts manager and administrator of special projects, which help guide the larger governing of the six child care centers as well as supporting the individual administrations in providing the best care in each center. Campus Child Care is governed by a board of directors made up of a current parent of each center as well as experts in Harvard and the greater community. The communities’ families are committed to academic excellence and cultural diversity—a commitment BGCC matches with its emphasis on individual learning, hands-on activities, and a language-rich environment. We are also excited to collaborate together with all CCC staff on ongoing anti-bias training and professional development. This is a long-term and continual practice that our staff and administration feel is vital to our development as educators of young children.
Health & Safety
As places where many people gather together in close quarters, childcare centers are particularly vulnerable to the spread of illnesses. One of our goals as a center is to keep children and staff as healthy as possible. There are three major ways in which we attempt to do this:
● We follow good hygiene practices, including washing our own hands frequently throughout the day, and teaching children to wash their hands before and after eating, after toileting or diaper changes, and after blowing their noses, coughing, or sneezing.
● We ask parents to keep their child home when the child has an illness or exhibits symptoms of illness
● We include a brief description of what is required before a child may return to the program, should a child be sent home sick, has a contagious illness or other medical concern.
● Please see the CCC Parent handbook or review our “Healthcare At-a-glance” sheet for specific illness information, including fevers and contagious illness.
Currently we are continuing to follow our typical healthcare guidance with additional policies created through CCC and healthcare specialists. The additional healthcare precautions will be sent separately. We appreciate all families' considerations and caution when dealing with illness and symptoms associated with COVID 19.Whenever a family is unsure of what is best practice in a situation we ask that you contact your families healthcare provider for information and support.