Our Team

Early Childhood Education Infant And Toddler Care Specialists

 

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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 that quality early education plays an important role in preparing young children for the first few years of school. If you encourage children to get involved, explore their world, persist with challenges and communicate clearly with others. they will develop a belief in themselves, a love of learning and the courage needed to take the next steps forward.

 
Emma – Centre Manager

Kia ora, Ko Emma Goodwin tōku ingoa. No Tāmaki Makaurau ahau.

I completed a BA/BTeach (ECE) in 2013 from Victoria University of Wellington and have been working in Early Childhood Education ever since. I have experience teaching in both New Zealand and overseas settings and have a passion for working alongside kaiako as we promote high quality learning outcomes for ākonga. 

I joined the Kidstown whānau in 2020 as Centre Manager. I am thrilled to be working alongside a group of unique tamariki, whānau and kaiako, who each contribute their rich kete of dispositions, capabilities, strengths, interests and cultures. Respectful and reciprocal relationships form the foundation of my teaching philosophy. I endeavour to work in an authentic partnership with all members of our learning community so please feel free to come and see me at any time.

 

Teresa – Lead Teacher Kiwi – Toddlers Room

Kia Ora, I’m Teresa and I’m excited to now be a part of the Kidstown Team in the Kiwi Room.  I changed careers from one in Accounting to becoming a teacher after having my daughter and volunteering at her Kindergarten.  I have been teaching since 2012 and completed my Bachelor of Education (ECE) in 2013. I am a fully registered early childhood teacher. I love working alongside children and get inspired by their willingness to learn.  I’m excited to be working in the Kidstown environment where children are encouraged to explore, communicate and contribute to their learning.  The Kidstown philosophy also aligns closely with my own where we connect with our local community, show care and empathy for animals and our environment and most importantly develop strong relationships with children and their families. I have one daughter who is 13 and has just started at College.  I look forward to getting to know all the children at Kidstown, and working closely with the children, parents and whanau in the Kiwi Room. 

Serena – Lead Teacher Pukeko Pre-school Room

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 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.

Briana – Lead Teacher Kea – Infant Room

Kia ora everyone, my name’s Briana and I’m very excited to be working at Kidstown in the Kiwi Room! After completing my Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and French) in 2013, I spent 7 months in France teaching English in French Primary Schools. It was a very rewarding experience and this is where I developed my passion for working with children. I returned to New Zealand to explore working in Early Childhood Education and have never looked back. I completed my Graduate Diploma of Teaching (ECE) in 2016 at the University of Waikato and am now a fully qualified registered teacher. After completing my diploma, I made the decision to move back across to the other side of the world and I have just returned to New Zealand after spending two years teaching in London. I have a love for travelling and discovering new cultures and languages and am excited to keep exploring this at Kidstown with the diverse range of cultures and languages within our families I believe in providing children with an environment where they have the ability to explore their own interests and abilities and feel a strong sense of belonging. I enjoy celebrating the child as an individual with all the knowledge and culture they bring with them. Developing strong and positive relationships with both the children and their whanau is very important to me.

Emma – Lead Teacher Under 2 (Currently on maternity leave) 

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. 

Chloe

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, my wee boy Valentino and our 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.

Kay

My name is Kay. It’s my great pleasure to be part of the Kea 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.

Rhianna

Kia Ora everyone, my name is Rhianna and I am currently working with the children in the Under 2 area. I am so excited to be a part of the Kidstown team.  Before working with children, I studied journalism at AUT, but found my passion for teaching through nannying and babysitting. In 2018 I completed my post-graduate diploma in ECE at the University of Auckland and have been teaching since December 2018.  My interest in working with infants and toddlers stems from a fascination with the early years and a love for watching their personalities and language development. There is nothing more rewarding than arriving at work everyday to the sound of laughter and play and I feel very privileged to be able to teach and mould the young minds of future New Zealand. In my spare time I enjoy babysitting, spending time with friends and watching movies.

Fony

My name is Fony and I come from Indonesia.  Learning alongside children has always been a goal of mine and I’m very proud to be a teacher. I love nurturing and helping children to develop and prepare for their future and it’s heart warming seeing them grow and learn. It’s also very rewarding knowing that I can have a positive impact on a child’s  life.  I started my adventure as a teacher after completing my Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) in New Zealand in 2011. Since then, I’ve been teaching young children especially in the over 2 area. I enjoy working at Kidstown and love getting to know the children and their whanau. I live with my husband and my daughter, Jacqueline. I love travelling and exploring the world, while also experiencing different cultures and diversity. I enjoy listening to calming music and creative activities.

Morgan

My name is Morgan Schaeffer and I’m from the United States. I moved to New Zealand in July of 2010. I was not sure how I would like living across the world from my family and friends, however I absolutely fell in love with New Zealand and have no plans to return to the US any time soon. 

I have completed my Bachelors of Teaching at NZTC and have been working in Early Childhood Education for 3 years. I’m really excited to be working here at Kidstown and looking forward to getting to know all of you and your children. 

One of my main passions is health and fitness. I have always been involved in sports as a child which include gymnastics, dance and horseback riding to name a few. My current passion is CrossFit and I’ve been doing this for 9 years now. Before I was an ECE teacher, I was a CrossFit Coach for 5 years.

Besides coaching adults, I’ve also worked with kids and teens from the ages of 5 – 17, helping them with their nutrition and fitness. I love helping the younger generation become active and making sure they are having fun doing so alongside teaching them the benefits of eating healthy foods.

Vanessa

My name is Vanessa and I’m a teacher in the Kiwi Room. I completed my degree in Early Childhood Education (Teaching) at Manukau Institute of Technology. I have been working within the Education sector since 2010. As part of my work experience I spent time as an Education Support Worker with the Ministry of Education providing support services to children with learning difficulties. I have a special interest in children, who may have learning difficulties and I enjoy working closely with them.

I am a keen lover of learning and self-improvement and development for myself and I advocate passing this onto the children in my care. I promote reciprocal, responsive and respectful relationships within my practice. My own teaching philosophy centres around the child’s uniqueness and individual capabilities. I am married and I’m a Mum to a 12-year-old son. We have a wonderful dog as part of our whānau. I look forward to getting to know you, your child and your whānau. 

 

Kerry

Kia ora everyone. 你好(hello in Chinese). My name is Kerry and I’m excited to be part of the Kidstown family and to be a teacher in the Pukeko room. I come from China, Guangzhou and speak Mandarin, Cantonese and English. I studied in New Zealand, completing my Bachelor of Education (ECE teaching) degree in Auckland in 2018. I also specialise in Montessori curriculum.

I enjoy working with the children, sharing ideas, laughing and building positive relationship with children. I strongly believe that teacher can create an environment which aim to support each child’s unique development of becoming a capable, confident, respectful, responsible and creative learner.  I would love to support our families and empower the Pukeko children by providing quality and premium educational adventure in a safe, caring environment. I consider myself to be a bubbly fun-loving and positive person. I love swimming, yoga, hiking and I enjoy travelling and exploring different places and cultures.

Amelia

Kia ora, I’m Amelia and I enjoy being part of the Kidstown whanau.  I’ve been working with children for the past 15 years as a nanny both in New Zealand and in Australia. I have also worked as an in home educator through Porse and most recently I’ve been a relief teacher for Kindy Relievers.  In October 2018, I completed my Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care in Melbourne. My passions are arts and crafts, spending time outside, exploring our beautiful country travelling, cooking and spending time with my family. I have 2 children, a daughter, who is 11 and a son who’s 15. I thoroughly enjoy working with children of all age groups and find my career very rewarding. I enjoy watching children learn and grow and helping to guide them, as and when needed, with their learning and development. I enjoy to getting to know all the families and building respectful and positive relationships with you all.

Chamini

Hi, I am from Sri Lanka and have been living in New Zealand for 4 years now and working at Kidstown for three wonderful years. I came to New Zealand as a student to study Early Childhood Education and 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.

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 two gorgeous children, who mean the world to me and who keep 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.

 

Sophie

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.

Buddhi

Kia Ora ! My name is Buddhi and it’s my pleasure to be part of the Kidstown family. I’m moved to NZ from Sri Lanka in 2011 to study Early Childhood Education. I have 10 years experience as a Primary School English teacher home in Sri Lanka. After gaining my Diploma of Early Childhood Education in NZ I started my career as an  ECE teacher in Remuera Discovery Express and worked there for nearly 5 years before taking maternity leave. My husband Chammi and I have two boys, Senul 10 years and Kenul 2 years, who is also part of the Kidstown family. I love spending my time with my loving husband and gorgeous boys. I really enjoy working with children and I think it’s a privilege to support them in their learning. I enjoy setting up fun activities for them to enjoy. I believe that it’s very important to help children to feel safe and comfortable at daycare and to create positive relationships with both children and whnau.

Michelle ( currently on maternity leave)

Kia ora whanau, My name is Michelle Nielsen and I am a fully qualified and registered teacher. I’ve had 8 years of experience working with children from being a nanny, student teacher and qualified teacher for the past 4 years I am fortunate enough to be employed part time at Kidstown. I have two beautiful children, a almost 3 year old and a 1 year old who will be attending Kidstown on the days I will be working. I love being a teacher and a mother and find it very rewarding. I also enjoy being adventurous and spending time outdoors, particularly at the beach, gardening and relaxing in the nature that surrounds us. I believe that exposure to nature and making time to enjoy the outdoor environment is crucial for healthy development and overall well-being. I look forward to building relationships with the children and whanau here at Kidstown.

Theo

My name is Theo. It’s my pleasure to be part of the Kidstown relieving team, I see myself as a positive and resourceful person, who likes to make the most of any situation. I have a real passion for children and their development  in particular a real heart for children with additional needs. My journey in caring for children with additional needs has gifted me development skills and opportunities, which I believe have shaped me into a person with understanding and awareness of all children’s needs. When caring for children I enjoy promoting children’s’ oral language development by encouraging  children to share their opinions and express their ideas. During my free time you will find me exploring the outdoors hiking and camping or creating and trying new recipes at home, and making different types of cheeses.  I thoroughly enjoy volunteering in the local community and find my volunteer work through Rotary very rewarding 

Michelle

Kidstown’s Master Chef Kia ora my name is Michelle and I’m originally from Ireland where I developed my love for cooking alongside my gorgeous grandma. I hold a level 4 qualification in culinary delights.  I love working with children and you will find me playing alongside them every afternoon when the cooking is finished.   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.