Our Team

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Nikki – Owner Director

Hi I’m Nikki, the proud owner and hands on operator here at Kidstown. You will see me around the Centre assisting the staff on a daily basis.

20 years in the workforce has seen me move from early teaching roles to programme management and business development roles. I hold a BSc and PhD in applied science and a graduate Diploma in Education from Auckland University. I have 4 wonderful children, who have finished their education and ventured off to experience life overseas.

I believe early education plays an important role in preparing young children for the first vital years of school. That by encouraging children to get involved, explore their world, persist with challenges and communicate clearly with others. they develop a belief in themselves, a love of learning and the courage needed to take the next steps forward.



Sam – Centre Manager

Kia Ora, I’m Sam and am thrilled to be part of the Kidstown team!

I have a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Auckland and am a fully registered teacher. I have been teaching since 2010 with all aged children, although my passion is working with two to three year olds. I have had three years experience as a team leader.

I love working with children and see it as our responsibility to continue the learning, which has already begun at home, throughout their time at the centre and to help prepare children for school and life long learning. I see play as the vehicle for children’s learning and love creating a fun environment where children can feel safe to try new things and learn with others. I value encouraging children’s self esteem and confidence as these create the foundation for children’s higher learning.

I’m recently married and enjoy spending time with my husband and family as well as exploring Auckland restaurants with friends. I look forward to getting to know all the families and already feel so welcome by the children and teachers!


Keshia – Lead Teacher Over 2

Kia ora

Ko Keshia taku ingoa

No Whangarei ahau

I grew up with my family in Whangarei; where being outdoors, playing sport, cooking, baking, and visiting the amazing local beaches was common place. I am a passionate, bubbly teacher, who strongly believes that forging close relationships with children, their whanau and the community are integral to providing the best foundation to allow children to reach their potential.  This links to Kidstown’s philosophy of children’s individuality being nurtured and their ambitions and achievements celebrated. By forging strong relationships, children are best catered for by teachers providing a holistic programme that best fits their needs.

I completed my Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) through Te Rito Maioha (New Zealand Childcare Association) and this has instilled a huge respect and love of Maori culture and it’s language. This is something that I believe I can bring to the team to enhance the amazing programme that runs here. I look forward to meeting you all and providing the best environment for your child to reach their potential.


Emma – Lead Teacher Under 2

Kia ora, I’m Emma and I have been teaching since 2013. I completed my Bachelor of Education (ECE) at Auckland University and I am a fully registered teacher. I’m passionate about working with infants and toddlers and I believe that respectful, caring and trusting relationships are at the heart of successful education especially with this age group. I value all meaningful relationships that a child is a part of, connections with family, other children, teachers, the environment and the community.

I believe as teachers we have the responsibility to help children build foundations through play based learning, to assist them not only in their time in early childhood education but also in life as well rounded contributors to society. This includes valuing learning dispositions such as empathy, perseverance, taking an interest, collaboration, imagination and observation.

In my spare time I enjoy relaxing with family and friends, reading, going for walks and exploring new places.


Serena 

Tena Koutou katoa

Ko Waitangi te marae

Ko Papatoetoe toku kainga

Ko Serena Maxine Collins taku ingoa

Kiaora, my name is Serena Collins, I am 42 years old and of Maori and Scottish ancestry.

I have a Bachelor of Education ECE through Manukau Institute of Technology and have my full Teacher Registration. I live with my husband Chris and we have two children, Tyler 25 and Cadel 20, who have recently left home. I also have a granddaughter Caila, who is 9 months old and so very cute.   I have over 17 years experience of working with children.

As a teacher I encourage the well-being of all tamariki and their whanau by providing them with a positive, fun and supportive environment where they can explore safely and freely and feel comfortable that they can engage in open ended conversations with a more knowledgeable adult.

I believe that children should be able to choose the information that interests them so that they can develop and form their own working theories and opinions of the world through their own eyes.

My aim is to facilitate children’s learning by observing, documenting and then planning and providing opportunities for them to extend on existing ideas that they have formed from home and in the wider community also in the early childhood environment.

I see learning as a journey of knowledge and feel that not only can children and whanau learn from me but that I in turn can learn from all of you.

Nicole

Kia ora families

My name is Nicole and I’m working in the Kiwi room! I’m a qualified provisionally registered early childhood teacher and I have been working in early childhood settings in New Zealand and England for over 10 years now.

I have a daughter Ella, who is also at Kidstown being cared for in the Kea room. Prior to having my daughter, I worked and lived in London for 4 years ,and taught in several pre preparatory schools in Chelsea. I absolutely loved my teaching experience in London and it has given me a wide perspective on different ways of teaching.

Within my teaching I aspire to create responsive relationships that empower children to learn and develop to their full potential. I believe that learning should be facilitated through positive and fun experiences that allow children to discover, explore and learn at their own pace.

I look forward to getting to know you and your children and supporting your children as they grow into confident and competent learners


Sam

Kia ora, I’m Sam. I completed my Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) at Wintec in Hamilton and I am a fully registered teacher. I love to spend time with my large family of eight siblings and go on adventures to practice my photography skills with my DSLR camera.

I’m a person who is positive in attitude, full of energy and new ideas, with a love of viewing things at different angles. I love to get the children excited about learning and I love creating a fun environment with so many things they can explore and discover every day. This comes from my passion for the environment as the third teacher, and for beautiful protected spaces that promote so much thought and creativity.

I greatly believe in reciprocal relationships between the centre, the community and with whānau. Alongside an environment in which children thrive, I believe relationships are the most important attributes towards creating a place where children know they belong


Sarah

Hello, I’m Sarah, I am from Ontario, Canada.  I attained my Diploma in Early Childhood Education  in 2007 followed by a Diploma in  Montessori education in 2009 from Canada.  I have worked as a head teacher in  multiple  daycares, Montessori schools, and ran a  small independent preschool for about 6 years.

I love to travel and explore the world, either by car, plane, motorcycle or foot.  I have been travelling worldwide teaching young children for the past 4 years, working with children in Canada, Australia, The Netherlands and now New Zealand. I love to learn of new methods and philosophies of working with children. I try to include the best parts of what I have learned into my practice.

I have a passion for working with infants and toddlers. I love to be a part of their development and believe in building strong relationships a with children and their families to provide the best care. I strive to create a space to  enrich the child’s development as a whole. Creating a space for positive development of the mind, body and soul.


Kay

My name is Kay. It’s my great pleasure to be part of the Pukeko teaching team, providing the early childhood education for our young learners to realise their potential and prepare them for their future. I hold a Bachelor degree in Early Childhood Education from New Zealand Tertiary College.

I have been enjoying working with and alongside children, seeing them to explore, learn and grow. The most amazing thing I have learnt from the children is their ability to be totally open to endless possibilities, love and trust. There is a chinese saying from my home culture relating to the art of teaching:

“Tell me and I forget;

show me and I remember;

involve me and I understand”

I would love to collaborate with the Kidstown kaiako, the families and whānau as well as the community to provide various learning experiences and to ensure the continuity of care and best learning outcomes for our tamariki. I look forward to getting know all of you and I’m also excited to be a part of each child’s unique learning journey.


Jenny

Kia Ora, my name is Jenny.  I have worked with children for 20+ years.

I come from a nursing background and I have been a nanny overseas and in New Zealand, however natural progression led me into early childhood and that is where I have stayed. I’ve worked for many years at First Steps in Parnell and before that at Lollipops Educare Ellerslie and Natural Steps in Ellerslie. I’ve been Head Teacher at both Natural Steps and First Steps.

I have experience in both under 2’s and overs. My true passion lies with babies, I see all children as competent, capable and independent learners. I enjoy working alongside them and allowing them to work things out for themselves knowing that we are there to guide them if necessary.

like to think that I’m a very intuitive person with a warm, sincere and down to earth personality. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, shopping, travel, movies and spending time with friends and family.


Charlotte

Hello, I’m Charlotte; I am a proud mother to my son Max who just started school and Lilly, who is soon to be one.

I graduated from Auckland University with a Graduate Diploma in Education (ECE) in 2015 and have been working in early childhood ever since.

I have always loved working with children so it was a clear path for me. I am a very warm and affectionate person who loves to learn and laugh with children on a daily basis.

I believe that early childhood education is all about learning and scaffolding those lifelong lessons. But also to be part of a centre, to feel loved and cared for daily and that the families feel the same too. Being a mum I hope for my child to be happy and secure while in early childhood education, as a teacher that is also my aim too, for all the children.

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Chamini

Hi, I am from Sri Lanka and have been living in New Zealand for 2 years now and working at Kidstown for one year. I came to New Zealand as a student to study Early Childhood Education. I have a level 5 qualification in Early childhood Education from New Zealand Tertiary College.

I love my job and enjoy spending quality time with the children by providing the needed support in their learning and development. Teaching is my passion and I’m really interested in early childhood education. I was a registered piano music teacher in Sri Lanka and have five years experience in music teaching. I speak both Sinhala and English fluently.

I believe that the education given to the children in the early years is the main foundation for them to guide their life. Therefore a high quality early childhood education is important for their development. I am very fortunate to support children in their education and development in an environment full of love, nurture and affection.


Kristina

Kia ora, I’m Kristina.  I’m originally from Whanganui and moved up to Auckland with my partner in 2017. I’m very excited to be part of the Kidstown Team.

I completed my Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) through Te Rito Maioha (New Zealand Childcare Association), and I’ve been teaching since 2014 with children of all ages. My passion is working with the younger children.
I’m a warm and caring teacher and I have a real love for children and enjoy becoming part of their lifelong learning journey. Each day is different and I find it so rewarding supporting children to achieve their aspirations and milestones. Building strong, respectful and reciprocal relationships is important to me. As well as creating a space where children know they belong and are valued as individuals. I look forward to getting to know all our families and working closely alongside you and your wonderful children. Please don’t hesitate to approach me if you  have any questions. I will always have a smile on my face.


Kerryn

Hi I’m Kerryn I’m a fully registered teacher and I completed my Montessori Teaching Diploma in London before returning to New Zealand, where I then completed my Bachelor of Education Early Childhood Education specialising in Montessori. I am married and have 2 children, a 12 year old daughter and 10 year old son.

I have worked as a nanny in both London and New Zealand and have also worked in two different Montessori Preschools for 6 years prior to joining the Kidstown Team.

I am a caring, enthusiastic teacher and love working alongside children of all ages. I believe all children deserve the right to live a happy successful and fulfilled life, where all their physical, mental, social and spiritual needs are met, supported and extended. I am looking forward to getting to know all of the children and their families better and being an integral part of your child’s development and education.


Heshala

Hi, I’m Heshala Seneviratne and I’m from Sri Lanka. I moved to Auckland with my family for my husband’s higher education. I am a proud mother to my four year old son, who means the world to me and who keeps me on my toes.  I was a practicing lawyer in Sri Lanka but have now changed my profession to early childhood. The change took place when I received an exciting job opportunity as a Kumon Teacher in New Zealand which gave me the opportunity, experience and confidence to work with children.

Thereafter I began my new career initially as a relief teacher,  gaining experiences in a variety of Centres around Auckland. During this time I had the wonderful opportunity to work as a reliever at Kidstown and I’m now enjoying my time here working in the Kiwi room with my Kidstown family.

My philosophy is to be fair, responsible and respectful to every single person, big or small. I am very passionate about working with children and have found it very rewarding to be a part of children’s development and see their responses to the encouragement I give them. I enjoy working here because of the sincere smiles I receive from the children that encourage me to become a better person and offer my best to them.  In my spare time I enjoy cooking, gardening and travelling with my loving family.


Kellie

My name is Kellie and I am a professional chef, I graduated from AUT university in 2014 with a diploma in culinary arts along with my London city and guilds. Upon completing my studies I worked for metro top 50 restaurants which gained me the skills and knowledge to then to take part in the opening and running of successful Asian fusion restaurant in Matakana in 2016.  After being away from my family for a year and accomplishing goals I set out for myself I decided to head back home and pursue my true passion which is working with children.

Cooking has always been a big part of my life whether I do it in competitions, work or for family gatherings it’s amazing how good food can bring us all together.

I have an amazing loving husband who is supportive in all things food. In our spare time we take long walks with our German Shepard to anywhere and anything food related.

I aim to provide great tasting, balanced and nutritious meals. I like to have fun and always try new things and have never been one for pre-packaged. Fresh is best! I am a firm believer of you are what you eat. Feed your body with good food and your mind will be fed with good thoughts.

 


Chloe – ( Currently on parental leave ) 

My name is Chloé. I am originally from France and arrived in beautiful Aotearoa New-Zealand in 2011. NZ is now my 2nd home, and I live here with my partner, Alejandro, and my cat, Szuricat. After a few years working in hospitality and perfecting my English (still learning new words every day!), I decided to follow my true passion and started working with children. I completed a Graduate Diploma in Teaching ECE with the University of Auckland in 2016 to finally join the Kidstown family!

As an early childhood teacher, I feel it is a privilege to be helping the very young children to grow and become themselves, and to develop the dispositions, knowledge and skills that will help them to be successful in this exciting journey.

Play is a fantastic motor for children’s learning, and they should be able to follow where their interest lies and be free to investigate what makes them ‘spark’; they become curious, playful, motivated, are willing to take risks, and most importantly develop a love of learning.

The arts have always been part of my life, I have a Bachelor in Art History and Archaeology from France, and I love sharing that passion with children doing music, visual arts, and dance.


Sophie ( Currently on parental leave )

Hi, I’m Sophie, I was born and raised in Wanganui, where I come from a very large family. I moved to Auckland 6 years ago with my partner, now husband, and have a lovely, not so little, 4 year old son.

I’m very passionate when it comes to the development of young children and I’m dedicated to providing young children with the best possible education and care. I love being a part of children’s learning in a fun creative and safe environment, and contributing to their growth and well being. I possess a positive attitude, good self-confidence and I’m a quick learner.

I have enjoyed over 6 years of nannying/childcare experience, so two years ago I decided to study ECE. My career goal is to be a well regarded, fully registered Early Childhood Teacher. My interests and hobbies include, spending time with my son and husband and travelling and exploring New Zealand, taking my mischievous but affectionate husky for walks, the gym and music.



Tajinder (Sona)

‘SAT SRI AKAAL’,

‘KIA ORA’, my name is Tajinder Kaur (Sona). I’ve had more than 5 years in the teaching profession since completing my Bachelor of Education at Delhi University. At the beginning of 2015, I moved to Auckland and have since completed my Postgraduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education from New Zealand Tertiary College.

I’m passionate about working with tamariki and love watching them grow to their full potential in every area of their learning. Early childhood education offers a variety of activities and a wealth of experiences which together help influence the developmental changes in children before the formal schooling.  I believe it’s  important for teachers and whanau/families to work in collaboration, to provide children with a stimulating environment to explore, to grow their imagination and capabilities and to encourage them to learn on their own through positive and negative results.

I’m married and have a beautiful daughter, who is also a part of Kidstown. Apart from teaching I love spending time with my family and friends.


Sarah Lawson

Hello! I’m Sarah and I am excited to be a member of the Kidstown team!  I grew up in Dunedin and moved to Auckland in 2002 with my family.

My passion is dance, I have been teaching dance for over 15 years and am a teacher at 8Count Dance Studio.

I teach tap, jazz, contemporary and ballet, to students from age 2 years through to adults.  I also teach dance at Pre Schools, and my classes incorporate hip hop, jazz and character work.

I believe dance has so many benefits for physical development as well as social and cognitive development.  Dance can help children with confidence, co-ordination, muscle strength, body awareness and balance as well as social awareness, which comes from learning in a group environment.

I enjoy working with my students and helping them to achieve their goals, whether it’s mastering skipping or achieving their highest mark in examinations. In my spare time I enjoy travelling and socializing with my family and friends.


Kat

Hello, I’m Kat. I was born in Canada and lived in America till I was 5 years old, then made the journey to the beautiful New Zealand. I come from a big family of 8 kids. Four sisters and three brothers. Growing up in such a big family has been awesome, and there’s never been a dull moment.

I am a very bubbly, outgoing person and love seeing people succeed. For me it’s really important that a child feels loved and accepted wherever they go and always making sure they are in a safe environment. I have a huge passion for young children and have always loved being around them.

I’ve always enjoyed learning about children and I’ve completed the Porse course levels 1 and 2.  I have experience with many age groups having worked with children at Jumping Beans and at Dream Big after school care programme.
In my spare time I like to spend time with my family, friends and go for walks with my Husky and Pug.

Julia

Kia ora I’m Julia

I have a Bachelor Commerce from Auckland University and have worked in the commerce field as a buyer for Debenhams in London and for KMart in Auckland. My family have now completed secondary school and have moved on to University. This has given me time to explore interests and hobbies of my own.  I joined Kidstown in 2017 and enjoy working here, helping to  streamline the enrolment processes and assisting with the timetabling for both teachers and children.  I consider myself to be friendly and approachable and I look forward to helping families in any way I can. 

I love to spend my spare time with my family and friends and enjoy boating on the Auckland Harbour, walking the family dog and honing my skills on the golf course.


Ryan

Kia ora my name is Ryan

Ive been working at Kidstown for 2 years helping the children develop their motor skills and learning activities. I am also studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce at Auckland University of Technology. I’m thrilled to be a part of the Kidstown Team and love my job.

I love to teach younger kids and hopefully teach them to become a better person at the same time. I love to see kids improving yet having fun while they learnI like to think I’m a good role model for the Kidstown children and will bring enthusiasm, a positive energy and a friendly smile.