Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
Until recently, Paulina Díaz-Ruiz and Nuvia Valenzuela struggled to care for their young children while holding down odd jobs at a restaurant and a cleaning company.
Now, they’re managing their own business, Learning Together Childcare Center, which provides before- and-after-school services at Kirtland Elementary for 45 children under contract with Albuquerque Public Schools. It’s the first of a chain of child care centers the women hope to open at other schools in the coming years.
It’s been a long, winding road for the two who, with a group of Southeast Albuquerque moms, have built an informal co-op that offers day care services for kids at Manzano Mesa Elementary into a formal business that employs five women.
Díaz-Ruiz and Valenzuela own and operate Learning Together with Rosalia Hernandez. Two others will join as partners after graduating from Central New Mexico Community College with child development certificates, likely this spring. Many groups assisted the women in their efforts, including the ABC Community School Partnership, the University of New Mexico Law School and CNM.