Katrina Grau, Centre Manager
What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?
Interactions with young children and how they connect their working theories together have inspired me to be an early childhood teacher. I have always been fascinated with how children learn and come-to-know the events and phenomena that they already know.
How long have you worked in this sector?
I have been in the education industry, both here and overseas, for close to 13 years now, working with tamariki aged from 0 to 8 years old. In that time, I have handled various responsibilities from being a teacher, office administrator, mentor, curriculum coordinator and centre manager.
What do you love most about what you do?
I am an advocate of the Reggio Emilia approach. I enjoy working on investigations and projects with tamariki, creating authentic documentation and preparing inspiring provocations. I am a dedicated, resourceful and goal driven professional educator with a solid commitment to the holistic development of all our akonga. I like to inspire other Kaiako to be the best that they can be for our young tamariki.
What are three things that make your centre special?
The passionate team, our small community of learners and beautiful learning environments.
What is your favourite time of the year at the centre, and why?
I love all times of the year! Meaningful learning and respectful relationships occur throughout all seasons.
What is your personal ECE philosophy?
I consider relationships with whānau essential for enhancing children’s learning; reciprocal and responsive relationships foster a sense of belonging and empowerment for whānau of all ethnicities and cultures to become active members of the early childhood centre. Collaboration is vital for establishing a learning environment where whānau, tamariki and Kaiako have the opportunity to share their expertise. I believe responsive relationships with both tamariki and whānau, along with careful observation, supports Kaiako to identify authentic opportunities for learning. I see great value in stepping back to observe children’s interests, strengths, needs and behaviours. I see much significance in tuakana-teina relationships amongst children and I value the concept of Ako as learning and teaching being one and the same. I believe co-learning has many benefits including the potential development of empathy in children. We learn to care for others as their friend, mentor and brother/sister. I am passionate about creating a culture unique to the centre; where the learning community becomes a family with every participant having a place they can thrive in.
Master of Early Childhood Education, Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education , Bachelor of Business Management, fully registered teacher.
Jessica Ross, Team Leader
I’m Jessica I am the team leader of Little Wonders Greenmeadows.
I have a Bachelor in Education for Early Childhood. I am fully registered with the Teaching Council. I have been teaching since 2015, and have worked with a range of ages and environments. I've been at Little Wonders since September 2017.
I have a real passion for working with infants and toddlers. I love building strong nurturing relationships with tamariki as well as family and whānau. I am a strong believer that relationships are the key to all things in young children’s lives and when those are strong, respectful and reciprocal the outcomes are positive and limitless.
I love working at Little Wonders Greenmeadows. We have an amazing community culture of passionate teachers and involved whānau. Our mixed age centre provides a unique opportunity for tamariki to work alongside each other, engaging in activities that promote ako and tuakana teina relationships. We also have well established gardens and a natural environment where the children are encouraged to explore and engage with nature.
In my home life I enjoy spending time with friends and my family. We spend a lot of time in Mahia on the East Coast fishing on the boat, swimming at the beach and exploring the taonga or tangaroa.
I look forward to meeting you and your whānau and supporting you through your child’s learning journey with Little Wonders Greenmeadows.
Sandy Zachan, Teacher Over 2s
My name is Sandy and I am a Fully Registered Teacher working with the Over 2s. I am the centre’s driving force behind our Transition to School programme, overseeing curriculum content that is relative to both Te Whariki and the New Zealand Curriculum. While my passion and focus are towards the older children, being in a mixed aged environment is something I enjoy as each age group offers their own challenges and highlights, which makes every day rewarding.
I completed my teacher training (Diploma of Teaching – ECE) at EIT Hawkes Bay in 2006 and have been working in ECE ever since.
I have lived in Hawkes Bay all my life. I come from a very big family and am the youngest of seven. I now live in Taradale with my husband Brendon. In my spare time I enjoy the outdoors – walks, the beach and jet skiing. I also enjoy music, gardening and believe it or not, I find doing the housework relaxing!
Lisa Potts, Under 2s Qualified Teacher
I have been working with ngā tamariki for many years, volunteering in certain places and working as an in-home caregiver. I decided to train once I'd had my own children. It was always a dream of mine to be a teacher. So in 2015 I walked across the stage as a adult student and qualified. My teaching journey led me to join the Little Wonders team in 2018.
It brings me joy to witness, and be a part of the learning and developmental journeys our tamariki experience. It gives me great delight when they figure something out for the first time, or they learn to climb that tree they have being trying so hard to climb. I love the smiles, the sense of accomplishment, and the knowing in themselves that they can be or do whatever they want.
I have two tamariki of my own, Brodie, 14, and Charlii Rose, 10, and I have been married to Richard for ten years. As a whānau, we all enjoy rugby and netball and are active members of the Taradale Rugby & Sports Club. We also enjoy spending time together out and about, or in the garden.
Bachelor of Teaching in ECE, First Aid Trained
Chelsea Ferris, Unqualified Teacher/Cook
Hi, my name is Chelsea and I have been working in early childhood for over a year now. I enjoy watching children learn from new experiences and getting excited about what they've learnt as they develop new skills.
I have two step kids aged 5 and 6. I enjoy spending time with my family and taking my dog to the river on hot days. I also love my racing from V8s to drifting cars and Speedway.
First aid certified
Naileen Bush, Unqualified Kitchen Hand
I've worked at Little Wonders Greenmeadows since mid-2018. I enjoy the environment with the tamariki, learning alongside them and working together with the team.
I am passionate about te reo me ōna tikanga and arts and crafts.
I have a 13 year old son called Kendall, and outside of mahi I enjoy spending quality time with my whanau, listening to music, family holidays and kapa haka.
Kaye Pratt ,
Kia Ora koutou,
Ko Kaye Pratt ahau
I live with my partner Campbell and daughter Holly in Napier. I have worked with children for over 30 years and have been teaching for 10. We also have 2 businesses which keep us busy at the weekends although we like getting out and about in our community too.
I love children’s sense of wonder and their curiosity of the world around them. I endeavour to inspire them as they learn, grow and gain knowledge. I look forward to working with you and your children.