In November 1982, Aira Nancy Garcia and Ruth Susen Ortiz set up “Mafalda” a Latin American community nursery, as an independent community nursery for children from all Latin American countries in response to the needs of the community.
The aims of the nursery were to provide the children with a firm background in the language and culture of their community.
Mafalda was run for two years by five women volunteers, with support from the community. For over 30 years the nursery run on donations, funding, and minimal fees.
The project had such a positive impact on the community, creating amazing first memories for many children and skills such as being bilingual.
In 2010, the sad reality of Mafalda coming to an end was faced. This was heart-breaking for everyone as Mafalda was like a second home to everyone and impacted many families lives.
Ana Marin, Director of “Tia Ana’s” went on to follow her mother’s footsteps, who was one of the founders of the nursery Mafalda. Ana qualified as an early years professional, she joined Mafalda as a member of staff at the age of 18. She worked alongside staff that taught her as a pupil when she attended in her early years. Ana says, “This was an amazing experience and one that I will cherish forever.” Now that I get to teach and oversee our little ones learn with us and go off to school I personally know how both experiences are as important to the children and teachers.
Ana therefore decided to open Tia Ana’s Nursery after Mafalda was closed in the hope to continue my family’s legacy and create a loving, stimulating and multicultural environment for all children.
“I wanted to continue Mafalda’s aim to maintain Latin American children’s cultural identity with the added bonus of celebrating other cultures and giving all children the opportunity to speak Spanish from an early age.”
Staff from Mafalda continued with Tia Ana’s Nursery until it was time to retire. Continuity of staff has been of great importance for both Mafalda and Tia Ana’s. Giving children a familiar and stable environment.
Tia Ana’s Nursery
has been able to offer early education to children from all backgrounds and has cared for 2nd and 3rd generations. The nursery are very grateful to be able to share the Latin American culture with the community, and create the stepping stone for children to thrive from.