Our Staff

Centre Manager

Lisa Havill | Centre Manager

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

Kia Ora to all the families here at The Village Childcare.

I graduated in 2004 and have been working in Early Childcare since then.  I love that I am able to share such special moments with young children on their learning journey and am excited to be leading the Team at The Village.


Natalie Orme | Team Leader

Bachelor of Teaching, Post Graduate Diploma in ECE

Hi, my name is Natalie, I am the new Team Leader for Preschool and a qualified primary teacher with a passion for early childhood education. I have lived in the sunny Bay of Plenty all my life and have worked with The Village for over five years. I am married and love spending time with friends and family.

I believe strongly in inspiring children to achieve their goals, interests and personal strengths and to create a nurturing and safe environment for them to learn in. I have a passion for teaching learning experiences that engage and encourage children to learn and grow.

Lynda Braid

Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)

Kia Ora Whanau

Ko Lynda Toku ingoa

I have been teaching three to five year olds since graduating from the University of Auckland in 2012. I have three children and five grandchildren.

Originally from Tauranga, I am happy to be returning to my hometown to support my family and community.

I have a strong passion for the value of learning through experiences in nature, so it is important to me to be able to offer children interactive experiences with gardens, bush and wildlife. I also believe that children of this age learn best through play.

Choiwee Moon

Bachelor of Teaching

I have a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) from the University of Waikato and graduated in 2012. After graduating I moved to Wellington to work in Early Childhood.

My teaching has been inspired by Magda Gerber’s RIE Philosophy and the Reggio Emilia Philosophy, as well as the teachings of Rudolph Steiner. I have a daughter who is 7 and two sons who are 4 and 2. I have spent the last couple of years at home with them and am enjoying working back in Early Childhood.

I am passionate about holistically teaching children, the natural world, play-based learning and supporting children to become the best versions of themselves. I enjoy running, yoga, reading, baking, nature walks and adventures with the kids.

Sue Te Kani

Diploma in Early Childhood Education (Australia)

Hi, my name is Sue Te Kani and before joining The Village I was working and studying in Sydney where I completed my Diploma in Children’s Early Childhood Education and Care. I have been working in the Preschool for the past three years.

I have three children and one grandchild and I love all kinds of outdoor activities. I love The Village outdoor environment which nurtures the children in nature. The natural surroundings resonate with my beliefs and values as I believe that exposure to nature is fundamental for our future generations.

Kirsten Lasalle

Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) – Teacher in Training

Kia Ora! My name is Kirsten and I’m the new Teacher in Training working part-time whilst studying for my Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education).

Originally from South Africa, I spent 16 year’s living abroad in London, Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore and Malaysia. I moved to Tauranga in 2014 with my husband and two children and we absolutely love it here!

I have been blessed to be a stay-at-home mum for the past 15 years, but now that my kids are teenagers at Bethlehem College, I’ve decided to pursue my passion in Early Childhood Education. I believe children should be allowed to be children and to learn through play, spend lots of time outdoors exploring nature, and that children should be allowed to express themselves through art, music and storytelling.

I’m extremely excited to have been given the opportunity to work at The Village Childcare Centre and look forward to meeting you and your family.


Kate Christie | Team Leader

Bachelor of Social Sciences, Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE)

Kia ora, my name is Kate Christie and I am excited to be pursuing my calling as a qualified early childhood kaiako.

Having gained a Bachelor of Social Sciences with a double major in Sociology and History in 2013, I have worked in a variety of roles and enjoyed getting in a bit of travel overseas also. I am pleased to be back in my home town and am passionate about building responsive and reciprocal relationships with tamariki and their whanau.

I have a bubbly personality and a positive outlook on life. I am patient, caring and enjoy the outdoors, reading and arts and craft.

Rebekah Penhall

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

Tena Koutou. Hi I’m Rebekah, teaching is an absolute passion of mine. I have been teaching for 10 years and over that time I have enjoyed working across all ages.

I believe in supporting and including all tamariki through positive relationships and stimulating experiences that allow our tamariki to develop and grow alongside their kaiako and peers.

I have just returned from Maternity Leave after having my son Benji, who is in Tots. I have two more beautiful children that I have had the pleasure of teaching, and now I look forward to supporting you and your tamariki in their amazing learning journey.


Milla Hong

Bachelor of Arts (Russian)/ Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE)

Kia Ora the Village whanau. I am Milla.

I used to be a high school teacher in Korea many years ago, and my passion for teaching led me to be an ECE teacher after having my boy in New Zealand.

I am a passionate and interactive kaiako who values and shares our tamariki’s excitement.   

My philosophy goes with respect and relationship as well as inclusive practice.

I am so excited to join the Village team and look forward to meeting you all.

Aroha nui

Katie Ferguson

Teacher in Training

Hi I’m Katie, I’ve recently come back to The Village after returning from Australia.

I am currently training to become a fully Qualified Early Childhood Teacher. My passion is working with babies and toddlers, and I love being part of their learning journey and supporting them to grow and develop.

I look forward to getting to know you and your whanau better.


Erica Clarke

Teacher in Training

Hi my name is Erica.

I have been working in early childhood for 7 years and here at The Village (relieving) for two years. I am excited to now be here permanently and can’t wait to get to know all the children and families more.

I am currently studying towards my Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood) and have two beautiful girls Indy & Maisie who also attend The Village.

I am very passionate about working with children and believe in building strong, respectful relationships with the children and their whanau. I love teaching in a natural holistic environment and introducing them to the natural world around them. I love being part of a child’s learning journey and being there alongside them reaching their milestones and new learning experiences. I believe in play based learning for children where they can explore, discover, create and use their imaginations as they learn and explore the world around them.

I look forward to getting to know you and supporting your tamariki here at The Village.


Kirsty Nicholson | Team Leader

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

Tena Koutou,

My name is Kirsty Nicholson and I am excited to be part of The Village Childcare whanau, as Team Leader of The Tots Room.

My passion for Early Childhood Education stretches across all ages, with a particular focus on equality, inclusion and child advocacy.

Children are our future and it is a privilege to be part of their learning and developing in the early years. My passion is to see that all children feel loved and accepted for who they are; the best person they can be is themselves!



Jackie Jenkins

Teacher in Training

Kia ora kautou

Ko Jackie toku ingoa

I am a mum to two amazing boys Jae (10) and Neo (3.5). I am currently studying towards my Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) and am extremely excited to have the opportunity to be part of The Village Whanau.

I am passionate about building children’s social skills, encouraging their strengths and interests through play, whilst supporting diversity, cultural beliefs and values.

I think each child should be given the opportunity to explore the huge possibilities the world has to offer, igniting their passion for learning.

Kushla Morris

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

Kia Ora Koutou,

I am excited to return to The Village and be a part of The Village whanau again after many years of teaching out of Tauranga. Tauranga is home for my whanau, and what an amazing place it is. I began my journey as a teacher straight out of high school, and went on to have three children of my own.

It is such a joy to see children grow in their personalities. I enjoy setting up activities and providing materials to help extend their interests. I know that as a teacher, we have the best job in the world!

Building strong, respectful relationships with tamariki and their whanau is so important to me, as this partnership enhances the quality of care. The hope is that this will result in empowering them to become competent and confident learners and communicators.

I look forward to getting to know you, your pepi/tamariki and their whanau.

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