Our Team

Our founding team of teachers came together to form Semillitas after many years in the industry of early childhood education. We believe that committed teachers who create strong, lasting bonds with children are the basis of quality care. As our team grows we have brought in the expertise of bilingual early childhood educators with experience from DC public schools early childhood education programs, Maryland credentialed programs and NAEYC accredited schools.


María D. Lopez has 15 years of experience working with children in a professional setting. As former owner of a licensed home-based program, Maria is well-known in the Columbia Heights and Petworth communities as a strong and caring provider. She holds her Child Development Associate Credential for Infants and Toddlers. As President and Founding Member of the Association of Hispanic Providers in the District of Columbia, María advocates for Hispanic providers starting or expanding early childhood operations in DC. She is an active member of the community, and has inspired others to continue their passion in the field of early childhood education, in order to create a more diverse and responsive landscape for early childhood care.

Ximena Maldonado Bruckner, a native of Cochabamba, is part owner and creator of Semillitas. After studying early childhood development and receiving her Child Development Associate degree, Ximena first started childcare in her home as a family childcare provider. In this setting she created a caring and socially rich environment for her daughters and other children in her care. In addition to bringing over 8 years of childcare experience to Semillitas, Ximena also studied Graphic Design and is an avid golf player.

 Maryuri Ramos has 14 years of experience working with children. Maryuri completed her first degree in early childhood education in Colombia. In DC, Maryuri has worked for David’s Star and the Rosemount Center. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education at the University Ana G. Mendez in  Wheaton, Maryland. She loves working with young children and sees her role as a provider to be a very important one in helping them to meet their needs and do so with love and care. She knows that the children at Semillitas are learning a second language, even before they are able to speak, and that will help open more doors for them in this country of many cultures.