Manggahan Daycare Center
Manggahan is an urban poor community located along Aglipay Street, Barangay Old Zaniga, in Mandaluyong City. The 17,694 square meter privately-owned land occupied by the community used to be a swamp area that was always flooded during heavy rains. People started settling in the area in 1959 and is now home to approximately 250 families. In 1993, the city used the area as a temporary dumpsite. This resulted in elevating the land to street level, making the area less prone to flooding.
In 1992, residents of the community organized and registered the Manggahan Neighborhood Association, Inc. (MNAI) with the Securities and Exchange Commission. MNAI aims to address its member’s needs, particularly to work for land ownership and increase their access to basic government services. Since then, MNAI has been able to stop illegal demolitions in the community, conduct dialogues on land ownership, facilitate access to basic medical services and provide its members with education inputs.
In 2003, MNAI established the Manggahan Daycare Center. The Manggahan Daycare Center provides early childhood education and supplemental feeding to children ages 3 to 6 years. Between 2003 to 2006, 138 children benefited from its services. Eighty percent (80%) of these students are now enrolled in different elementary schools in Mandaluyong. This school year, 2006-2007, the daycare holds three classes for its 57 students. Two (2) teachers and a teacher aide manage the classes. Parents assist in daycare tasks such as food preparation, serving and washing dishes. They also take turns in helping clean the center. Parents said that students who graduate from the center excel in the elementary school level. They stressed that the daycare is their only chance in providing their children with high quality and affordable early childhood education.
The daycare’s partnership with the Antipolo Seminary Foundation’s started in school year 2004-2005 and remains until today. The ASF helps support the supplemental feeding for underweight and children at-risk, provides school supplies and supports the teacher’s minimal allowances. The foundation also extends technical assistance to MNAI along planning, project management, documentation and finance. Key leaders and parents also participated in consultations and trainings on Bookkeeping, Planning, Christian leadership and Nutrition that were facilitated by the foundation.
As a result of the ASF’s interventions, the MNAI’s financial system was developed. They learned and now observes the use of receipts, cash vouchers and books of accounts. Documentation of meetings has also improved. Improvements in the leader’s skills in managing their organization and operating the daycare were also observed. These can be gleaned from their conduct of regular meetings for updating and troubleshooting purposes, the conduct of fund raising/ resource generation activities for the daycare and the involvement of parents in the daily operation of the daycare and other daycare activities. Some parents also shared that they learned from the July 15, 2006 Nutrition training for parents the importance of providing nutritious food.
The parents and leaders of MNAI are committed to continue the operation of the daycare center because of its significant contribution to the early childhood education needs of their children.