The Barn is a cooperative preschool school for children ages 2 years and nine months through 5 years. We are located in Acton, Massachusetts in a purpose-built nursery school owned by the cooperative. The Acton Barn has been a fixture of the community since 1972 and serves many of the surrounding towns, including Boxborough, Littleton, Maynard and Westford. The educational program at the Barn is designed to foster the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical growth of young children.

Because we believe children learn by doing, we feel it is important for children to become involved in their own learning and become successful on their own terms.

Please take a little time to explore our website. You will learn more about our educational philosophy, and what it means to your family to be a part of a cooperative. Get the details on the programs we offer and find out about our application process. We look forward to meeting you and answering any questions you may have as you begin this very important journey in selecting the preschool that is right for your child, you, and your family.



The Acton Barn Cooperative Preschool School (The Barn) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) early educational organization in Acton Massachusetts. Our school provides a warm, safe, creative learning experience for preschoolers. The cooperative model promotes collaboration between families and professional educators and celebrates the unique journey of every child.


“Learning through play” best summarizes the school’s philosophy of education. Materials are accessible; located where children can reach them without adult assistance. Because we believe a child learns by doing, we feel it is important for children to become involved in their own learning and to become successful on their own terms, with educated, experienced teachers available to guide each child’s journey at the Barn.

Addition depth on Learning through play can be found here: The Power of Play
Authored by Acton Barn Director, Nancy Tang.

This text is also a featured article within the Acton Family Network newsletter.


The educational program at the Barn is designed to foster the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical growth of young children.

The program focuses on:

Emotional Growth:
positive self image
self control
self confidence
ability to cope with new situations
responsibility for own property

Social Growth:
ability to play well with others
willingness to share
willingness to take turns
awareness of others’ feelings
respect for rights and property of others
ability to follow directions
participation in school organization

Physical Growth:
large and fine motor skills
feeling of confidence and joy in movement

Cognitive Development:
exposure to a wide variety of cognitive experiences
pleasure in the experience of discovery
active involvement in learning


Our Educators:

The Barn teachers celebrate early childhood. They are experts in identifying children’s individual needs and providing appropriate creative opportunities for exploration, discovery and learning.

The teachers at The Barn have many years of experience in the field of early childhood education and diverse experience in working with families. They are trained in Early Childhood Education and Development and participate in continuing education opportunities locally, statewide and nationally. All staff are members of NAEYC and BAEYC and have certification in Pediatric First Aid and CPR.

The Barn enjoys long relationships with our teachers. We value their expertise and guidance.


Our Facilities:

The Barn is located in a specially built school house which opened for the 1992-93 school year.  The building was developed with input from Barn families, professional staff, the architectural firm of Katherine McGuiness and Associates, renowned for their work in preschool educational spaces, the developer Kirk Ware and his architect Albert Fine.  The design goal was to provide a warm, inviting educational environment for young children.  One of many special features is a floor to cathedral ceiling wooden climber with soft curves for exciting play or quiet moments.  The open floor plan, including a kitchen work area for cooking projects, houses a broad spectrum of materials and supplies that foster the growth and development of young children.  An excellent array of play equipment, including an enclosed sand box and a custom-designed play house, is available in the fenced in outdoor yard.







The Acton Barn Cooperative has been an invaluable experience for our Family.  When we discovered it in 2008, our son was a very quiet, shy little guy.  He graduated from the Barn an empowered, confident kindergartner.  This is a direct result of the nurturing, educated and professional staff at the Acton Barn.  Our daughter currently attends the Acton Barn and we, as a family, continue to benefit from the rich play-centered learning environment. We feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to be part of the Acton Barn family.


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