A bit about us…

Mary Brosnan


Mary Brosnan is the founder of Snug Nursery Schools. The youngest of 4 siblings, she grew up on a farm in the west of Ireland and spent much of her childhood riding ponies and horses. A self confessed ‘homebird’, she grew up with a strong sense of family and community.

She flew the coop for the big city studying Business and Spanish at university before earning an MBS in Strategic Management. After university, Mary worked in corporate finance in Dublin (a square peg in a round hole, but an educational experience nonetheless!) for 7 years before moving to London in 2010 to join the finance and operations side of a major Childcare chain. During that time, she became increasingly attracted to the teaching side of things. It was in this role too that she got a sense of what makes a good nursery.

At times in life you need to take stock. Mary quit her job and went travelling and reconsidered what she wanted out of life. It was while on her travels that she learned more about Maria Montessori and her unique, and highly effective, method of teaching.

When she returned to England, Mary had a plan. She would use her experience to open a very special nursery. She even had a name in mind: Storybook. She signed up to retrain as a Montessori teacher and spent her free time researching her nursery project.

Business had taught her the importance of innovation. Montessori had taught her the importance of environment. Mary began to sketch out a plan for a nursery that was totally different - a community environment designed to stimulate and educate.

In 2015, she found the perfect venue at Crown Estate in Ascot. The old stable was completely refurbished to reflect Mary’s vision of a village designed just for children. Storybook would be a place for them to engage in activities in a fun way, learning without even realising it.

She enlisted the help of Montessori guru, Chris Manville, to get the nursery up and running and spent time recruiting a team that shared her values and belief in exceptionally high standards. In summer 2015, Storybook opened its doors and the village community that she had dreamt of sprung to life!

Miss Derry-Ann

Nursery Manager

I have worked in childcare since 2007, during and after I graduated from university where I studied a BA (Hons) in Physical Education. I worked as a Nursery Assistant while I gained my NVQ level 3 and then I went onto achieve my Early Years Professional Status and progressed to a nursery manager in 2010. I am a qualified assessor for childcare qualifications and the Early Years Teacher status.

Children’s outcomes and their happiness is very important to me and child development is my passion.