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Daycare children playing with buckets and spades

In 2007, the Sisters of Mary received an area of 50 hectares from the city government of São Bernardo, in the state of São Paulo. Two years later we opened a day-care centre on the site, with a capacity for 158 young children, aged 3 to 5 years old.

The day care facility allows young mothers in the community to work and earn money to feed their families whilst their vulnerable youngsters are well taken care of. As with the programme in Brasilia, these young children have the chance to play and learn and receive three meals a day plus milk when funds allow.

An Elementary day School was subsequently opened in 2012, offering education to 292 children in grades 1 to 5 (ages 5-11). It operates half-days to serve two groups of children (one from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm, the other from 1 pm to 5:45 pm) maximising the opportunity for learning.

Elementary school children in a group outside

Quality education and nursery care

The elementary boys and girls follow a curriculum of academic studies including maths, Portuguese, history, geography and computing. Each session, the children receive a full meal and a snack. There is now a huge demand for this programme because it provides local disadvantaged children with a good start, offers them regular nutrition, proper stimulation and keeps them safe.

Both the Day Care Centre and the Elementary School programmes are currently operating at full capacity with long waiting lists and provide care to over 450 of the poorest children in the area.



Girls and boys aged 3-5 in day-care, 2021


Girls and boys aged 6-11 in elementary school, 2021


Full time teachers delivering their educational needs