Our People

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Elsje Van Heerden, Centre Manager

What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?
My love for children, people and my passion for learning and teaching

What do you love most about what you do?
Inspiring people to become the best they are and in what they do.


What are three things that make your centre special?
• We are not only a day-care centre but we are home. Every child/family at Learning Adventures Rosedale become family.
• We have a beautiful, big outdoor environment.
• We have a combined toddler/preschool room. Both toddlers and pre scholars care, guide and learn from each other. We are inclusive and sensitive to everyone’s individual needs.


What is your favourite time of the year at the centre, and why?
Every time that we have a special celebration: Easter, SPCA cupcake day, Daffodill day, Father’s and mother’s day, Maori Language week, Loud shirt Day, Breast cancer Months, Diwali, Kids Christmas Party – because these are the opportunity to show that we care. These are the moments that we get together and get to know each other. These are the moments that families spent time together.


What is your ECE philosophy?
Every child has a purpose. A teacher/parent/ care giver/ has the key to unlock that purpose and to help a child to gain skills knowledge and attitude in a safe, fun and caring environment to fulfil that purpose. In the end, a child should be able to fit into society, be successful in life and should be able to make a positive contribution to that society.

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Melanie McLean, Assistant Manager/Head Teacher Little Penguins Room

Hi I’m Mel. I am originally from Australia but moved here when I was 5 years old.

I love sports and have played tennis since a very young age. I also enjoy netball, rugby and league…I am a huge Warriors fan!

I have always loved being around young children. This started for me when I coached netball and tennis through my school years.

I have a Bachelor of Teaching and through my studies came my passion for teacher under twos. I am excited to be part of your journey here at Learning Adventures Rosedale.

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Emily Divitt, Teacher Little Penguins Room

Hi, my name is Emily,

I have been teaching for quite a few years now and hold a Bachelor of teaching, and am a fully qualified and registered teacher.

I really enjoy developing relationships with each child and watching them learn and develop new skills and abilities throughout their time with us.

When I’m not teaching I am enjoying my time with my husband Chris and twins Alexis & Olivia.

We also own two beautiful dogs, Bella who is a Siberian Husky & Toby who is a blue merle Border Collie. I look forward to meeting you and getting to know you & your child.

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Catherine Doody, Teacher Aid Little Penguins Room

Hi I am Catherine

I have been at Learning Adventures for 11 years now, I love working with children of all age groups. Before starting at Kids Planets I was an enrolled nurse at Starship Childrens hospital, I really enjoyed this job but family commitments saw me moving on.

My family and I lived in Hong Kong for 2 and half years. While I was there I worked in a daycare.

I have two children Justine and Logan who are both now young adults. My husband and his two teenage children also live us, which is fantastic as we have a huge big happy family.

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Kylie Henderson, Teacher Preschool

Hi I’m Kylie and I have been a qualified ECE teacher since 2001. I have a passion for working with children over 3 years of age.

I especially love taking mat times, where I get to teach the children different songs, some beautiful dance, and give them a love for reading.

In my spare time I enjoy walking, I have really enjoyed taking part in Round the Bays and the Colour Run and look forward to doing more fun outdoor activities like these.

I also love to shop, so if you don’t see me going for a nice long walk on a sunny day you might find me looking for lots of fun resources for the children at the mall.

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Toni Benjamin, Teacher in Training Preschool

Hi, I'm Toni. I have worked in Early Childhood for almost 3 years and I am currently studying towards my degree in Early Childhood Education. I have chosen this field as I find it very rewarding watching children grow and learn while being alongside them to help support them.
I believe that children should be in an environment that is challenging whilst still allowing them to take risks and problem solve.
I have 2 sons and 2 stepdaughters.

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Shen-Ye (Zoe), Zen (Teacher)

Kia Ora, my name is Shen-Ye, also known as Zoe. I am from Taiwan and I have been in New Zealand over ten years.
I speak Mandarin and English. I am a qualified and full registered teacher in New Zealand. Nurturing and teaching young minds is a job I really enjoy and building positive relationships with children and families is my focus.
I believe children learn best in an environment when they feel safe and comfortable. I look forward to learning alongside you as you go on your journey of discovery here at Learning Adventures Rosedale.

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Ayesha Rose, Chef

I'm Ayesha, a mother of 3 and have always been passionate about cooking. I love trying new things and creating nutritious healthy food for the children, presenting it in fun ways that makes them want to try new meals.
I have worked in many different restaurants over the past few years but took a break so I could work school hours to be with my children more. I had always hoped that one day I would have the opportunity to cook in a childcare center where I could do what I love, work the hours I want and also bring my daughter with me.
Ava joins me at Learning Adventures where the environment is amazing and we are surrounded by loving teachers.

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Candice Olwage-Waloejo, Teacher

Hi my name is Candice
I am an ECE Teacher in Training. I was born in South Africa and moved here with my family when I was young.
I have 2 amazing little boys who are the world to me and they are my little blessings.
I enjoy being creative with arts and crafts and I enjoy the outdoors with my family.

 

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Alex Butcher, Teacher

My name is Alex, I am married and have 2 school aged boys. I have been working in the ECE industry for several years and love getting to meet so many different children.