Our People

Elsje Head shot.jpg
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.

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.

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.

Shen-Ye (Zoe), Zen (Teacher) - Little Penguins Room

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.

Ayesha Rose.jpg
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.

Alex Butcher.jpg
Alex Butcher, Teacher Aid - Morepork (Ruru) Room

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.

Jaydene Willson, Teacher - Morepork (Ruru) Room

Kia ora koutou, Goiëdag, Hello!

I am Jaydene, better known as Jae or Jaejae. I am originally from South Africa but have been here for 15 years and love being here.  I am a mom to two girls Nicola 8 and Jordynn 5, who enrich the lives of me and my husband. We enjoy cooking together, snuggling watching movies and playing board games. I am passionate about cooking and baking, as well as photography. I even have my own scooter so that I can spend time with my girls when I take them to the park scootering or down to the beach.


I have been in Early Childhood Education since 2008, after finishing my level 5 at the Nanny Centre. I have had experience in the many faucets of ECE, babies’ room, toddlers’ room, running the preschool programme and 3 years running the kitchen and house Keeping.  

I have my Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood which I graduated in 2019, and at present I am provisionally registered. I am a passionate teacher who loves to see how children can learn and grow through my teaching. I believe kindness, compassion and understanding, is the key in helping children to learn and grow. Observing the children “getting it” is a moment that is always treasured.

I look forward to joining the team here at Learning Adventures and to grow together with your children on this learning journey. 


Lynette Evans, Head Teacher - Morepork (Ruru) Room

My name is Lynette Evans, a mother of 3 amazing children, aged 25,17 and 13.We immigrated 10 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa. I have been in Early Childhood education for over 20 years in various leadership roles in South Africa and here in New Zealand.We as a family enjoy going for braai's(barbecues), socialising with family and friends. I am so excited to be starting my new journey with all of you at Learning Adventures and I am eager to get to know each and every one