Annie Percy, Centre Manager
What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?
I have always loved being with young children and even as a child spent time in preschools in the school holidays. I started in ECE because of my passion for children’s learning. Watching children learn and grow is so rewarding for me.
How long have you been working in this sector?
I started in the sector in 2002.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love not only watching the children learn and grown but as a centre manager I coach and mentor my team to be the best that they can be; promoting quality learning outcomes for all children.
What are three things that make your centre special?
I love Little Wonders Pegasus because we have such a homely environment in the peaceful Pegasus town. We have a diverse culture of children in the centre and the feeling of community is so strong here. We have a beautiful centre with a wide range of resources and equipment making teaching exciting each and every day. The teaching team here are professional and knowledgeable whilst having a lot of fun learning with and alongside the children.
What is your favourite time of the year at the centre?
There is always something new and exciting going on at the centre so every day is a wonderful new experience for me.
What is your personal ECE philosophy?
I have a strong belief that unhurried play is essential in ECE centres; the team are here to support and provide the tools for children to extend on their learning. Relationships are at the heart of every centre; parents are trusting in us to care and educate their children and I take that role very seriously.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I have two children so my husband and I spend a lot of time outdoors with our children. We go boating, fishing and exploring most weekends and holidays. We live rurally so we are often found out with the animals.
Diploma ECE, Fully registered teacher
Caitlin, Head Teacher
Hi my name is Caitlin and I am the Head Teacher of our Nursery. I live in Amberly and have been teaching for over 6 years. I started off as a reliever and was offered a permanent position teaching 2-3 year olds while I studied by distance at Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa, where I gained my bachelor of Teaching in February 2013. My manager through this period of my working life, and the manager that initially took a chance on me is actually our current centre manager Amy, whom I am really enjoying working with again!
I have worked alongside each age group, however my passion is in the Nursery where I have now been teaching for over half of my teaching career.
I have always wanted to be a teacher growing up, I love that I have the opportunity to be a part of and support children in their life long journey of learning.
I love my position at Little Wonders Pegasus leading a fantastic team of teachers who are truly passionate about what they do. Our Nursery prides itself on our Primary Care, we all feel very strongly about this and feel as though it has helped our children gain such a strong sense of belonging in our centre.
Karen Porteous, Administrator
My name is Karen and I am the administrator here at Little Wonders Pegasus.
I moved to New Zealand in 1994. I worked as a private family nanny and personal family assistant in Wellington and in Auckland for the majority of that time. Last year I began working at a small country school in the Waikato as the office and admin which for me was amazing and I loved it! My partner was transferred down to Christchurch with his work over Christmas and we have bought our first home together and are very excited to become a part of the community here. I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone and hanging out with all your kids!
Julie O'Connor, Qualified Teacher, Preschool Room
Hello, My Name is Julie O’Connor. I have been working at Little Wonders since April 2019. I am a very experienced teacher who has been involved in early childhood education for the last 30 years. I started in Playcentre when my three children were very little being a parent and then supervising before joining the parent education team and the Playcentre Association. I then moved into teaching at several centres and finished my diploma in 2007. I have worked in community based, Christian based centres and worked for Best Start in Christchurch for 9.5 years as a teacher, then a head teacher, and Acting Centre Manager.
I am a very passionate teacher and like to empower children to guide their own learning by getting to know them and what makes them tick so I can use their own knowledge and strengths to drive their learning forward. I am also passionate about being stainable and using lots of recycled equipment and loose parts play that the children can use to make and create anything they want. This lets them make sense of the world around them, use their imagination and be able to communicate and express their ideas and thoughts with others. I believe that respectful reciprocal relationships are the key to successful learning outcomes for all children.
I have three adult children with my oldest two children Hannah and Brent living and working in London. My youngest daughter Rowena lives and works as a relief teacher for Best Start and has a 9 month old son who attends the Nursery here at Little Wonders.
In my spare time when I am not with my grandson Roddy, I love to do hand crafts. I knit, crochet and sew. I also love to cook and spend lots of time in my garden, growing my own vegetables and enjoying my roses and my many lilies. In the summer I love to support monarch butterflies by growing swan plants.
Sam McTavish, Qualified Teacher, Nursery Room
Hi, I’m Sam. I’ve been working in ECE for the past eight years and love working with children and supporting them to develop. I enjoy forming trusting relationships with children and their families and providing meaningful experiences for the children. I believe in building trusting relationships with children and providing them with a warm, safe and nurturing environment where they can feel safe and secure to explore and make discoveries at their own pace.
I have a four year old daughter who absolutely loves the preschool environment, especially the big outdoor area and the art room. In our spare time, we like to have lots of family time, going on adventures, watching movies, baking and spending time with friends and family.
Diploma of Teaching
Ashleigh Cheeseman, Teacher in Training
My name is Ashleigh, I am currently in my final year of study working towards my Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood Education. I started teaching seven years ago as a reliever for a centre in town after a career in hairdressing. It was time for a change, and I had always loved being around children. Having had my own children I decided that studying was something that really interested me. I was fortunate enough to join the Little Wonders team when it opened almost three years ago.
We are so fortunate as a centre to have an enquiry room specific to drama to allow the children to explore curiosity and creativity. Our outdoor area is an attribute to our preschool with wide open spaces for children to be kids and a gorgeous view of the lake! Our teaching team are dedicated to providing an exciting space with provocations to extend on learning and interests.
My own teaching philosophy is forever evolving but my approach to teaching is to be warm and nurturing and give the children a home away from home environment. I love all things creative and arty so it’s really important that children can explore all the textures and have opportunities to be creative in our learning space. In my free time I spend my time with my husband and our four children. We live locally so we are usually attending children’s sport and local activities in our area.