Mary Brosnan is the founder of Snug Nursery Schools. The youngest of 4 children, she grew up on a farm in the west of Ireland. During this time, she spent much of her childhood riding ponies and horses. A self confessed ‘homebird’, she grew up with a strong sense of family.
Mary flew the coop for the big city and studied Business and Spanish. Later, she gained an MBS in Strategic Management. After university, Mary worked in finance in Dublin (a square peg in a round hole, but a good experience nonetheless!) for 7 years. Finally 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. Afterwards, Mary quit her job and went travelling to decide what she wanted out of life. It was while on her travels that she learned more about Maria Montessori. She had a unique, and highly effective, method of teaching.
When she returned to England, Mary had a plan. She would use her knowledge to open a very special nursery. Mary even had a name in mind: Storybook. After signing up to retrain as a Montessori teacher, Mary spent her free time researching her nursery project.
Business had taught her the importance of innovation. However, 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.
The Storybook Vision
In 2015, she found the perfect venue at Crown Estate in Ascot. The old stable was completely rebuilt 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. During this time, she was 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!