Jenni Potter – Centre Director / Owner
Kia ora, I'm Jenni Potter the Curious Cubs Centre Owner and Director. We opened Curious Cubs in June 2013 and have enjoyed growing and developing an Early Childhood Centre that we are very proud of. I grew up in Hillcrest and qualified from the University of Waikato in 1993 with a Diploma of Teaching Early Childhood Care and Education.. I have worked as a teacher and Centre Manager in several early childhood centres in New Zealand and Australia and recently worked as the Education Manager for a group of private Childcare Centres. In the last few years I have undertaken post graduate study and have gained a certificate in Educational Leadership and Management from Unitec in Auckland. I have also spent many years working and travelling the world on board luxury yachts and then worked as a crew and charter yacht agent. My husband Ian, our daughter Chloe and I live in the country near Hamilton and we enjoy relaxing and spending time at our lifestyle property.
Debbie Jackson – Centre Manager, Hillcrest
Kia Ora, I’m Debbie, I was born and raised in the South West of England. I completed my degree in Early Childhood Education while working in a primary school as a teaching assistant. I did this for ten years. In 2004 I came to New Zealand on holiday and fell in love with this amazing country, I went back to England to complete my studies then in 2007 I moved to New Zealand. I continued studying through the Open Polytechnic to complete my Diploma in Early Childhood. I have worked in a number of settings as a Centre Manager so have gained a lot of experience in this role. I have always had a passion for working with children, I love watching them grow and develop at their own pace into confident learners. I am married my wonderful husband Matt, we have two beautiful children, Robbie who attends Hillcrest Normal school and Lucy who attends Curious Cubs. I can't wait to get to know you all and your families.
Danelle Corfield – Team Leader, Early Childhood Teacher
Kia Ora my name is Danelle Corfield and I have a Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) from Waikato University. I actually have another Degree, a Bachelor of Tourism also. I graduated in 2009 and I worked for the largest hotel chain in the world, Accor Hotels. I made my way up the ranks to work in the New Zealand Head Office teaching adults and recruiting people from WINZ to work as frontline staff in our hotels. It was rewarding work but it was also hard watching these adults struggle to find jobs and live life because of their lack of education. That’s when I decided to go back to Waikato University and study to become an Early Childhood Teacher. After I gained my Teaching Diploma in 2012 I began working for a large company and became a Head Teacher 15 months later. Now here I am about to begin my position as Team Leader at Curious Cubs and couldn’t be more excited. My favourite part of being an Early Childhood Education teacher is meeting all these amazing children and their families and building relationships with them. I think the most important part of our jobs is to keep your children happy and healthy so they are able to become confident lifelong learners. I am recently married to the man of my dreams, Bryan and we live with our two beautiful 9 year olds, Alyssa and Dylan. In my spare time I play indoor netball, bake cakes, and pretend I know what I am doing in the garden. I love spending time with my family and friends going on bike rides and camping. We are quite adventurous and love the outdoors. I look forward to getting to know you all.
Ngaire Crackett – Team Leader, Early Childhood Teacher
Hi I’m Ngaire Crackett. I am passionate, caring and have a natural nurturing nature. I am friendly, have an outgoing personality, enjoy life and meeting new people. I finished my Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) in July 2014. Being an Early Childhood teacher has been an interested of mine from a young age, so completing my degree later in life is an achievement I’m very proud of. I am currently working on my teacher registration, which I will complete next year. My personal philosophy is to provide learning experiences that promote children’s self-help skills, curiosity, and to encourage them to try new experiences. I am committed to ensuring every child and their family feels welcomed, and valued. I have enjoyed my last four years working with over two’s, however it has always been my dream to work with under two’s, and now is the right time to pursue this. I am very happy and excited to be joining the Curious Cub’s team and working in the Cub’s room as a full time teacher. I am looking forward to getting to know all the families and children in the Cub’s room and building warm and reciprocal relationships with all. I have been married to Evan for 25 years; we have four adult children and a beautiful granddaughter Hailey-Jayde, who is 2. My family and friends are my world and I love spending time with them, including dinners, and camping holidays at the beach. I love to travel and have enjoyed trips overseas exploring the world.
Rochelle Standing – Early Childhood Teacher
Kia ora, my name is Rochelle Standing and after re-discovering my passion for Early Childhood Education I completed my Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) at the University of Waikato in 2011. Prior to this I was employed in a variety roles including a trainer and Team Leader in the insurance industry. In my spare time I enjoy exploring the great outdoors with my husband Daniel and teenage son Caleb, gardening and being creative. I love working with children of all ages and enjoy watching them grow, especially observing their sense of awe and wonder and listening to giggles and laughter. It is a privilege being around your children who have taught me some valuable life lessons such as live for the day and enjoy every moment in life. I aspire to ensure all your children's unique identities and competencies are fostered as they enjoy growing a sense of autonomy in the surrounding environment secure in the knowledge they are loved and valued.
Dene Pearce – Early Childhood Teacher
Tena Koutou, Hi everyone, Ko Dene taku ingoa, ko Nathan taku tama, ko Madison taku tamahine, ko Robert Stanley toku rangitira. E noho ana ahau ki a Hillcrest. Tamariki tekau ma one mea te ono. (My name is Dene, my son is Nathan, my daughter is Madison, my husband is Robert Stanley. I currently live in Hillcrest. I have been teaching with early childhood for approximately five years however have a previous five years of playcentre membership. Play centre laid the foundation for manaaki (support) based teaching and practicing ‘Ako’ to enable learners and teachers to be interchangble in their roles. In 2016 I graduated from a three year Bachelor of Teaching with Te Rito Maioha – Early Childhood New Zealand. As a bicultural provider this training has given me strengths, confidence, deeper understanding and tools with which to encourage diverse learners and celebrate our indigenous peoples through contextual education. I come from a centre where a sustainable backyard type practice was in motion. I am passionate about tamariki learning to be kaitiaki (guardians) of the land and understanding how they can live more sustainably through our own centre practices. Some of you may recall I attended four week practicum at this lovely centre in 2016 in my final year of study. I am pleased and excited to connect with you all again and get to know the tamariki most of all! Nga mihi nui - Dene Pearce
Tracey Cracknell – Early Childhood Teacher
Tracey is currently on extended Maternity leave returning mid 2018. Kia Ora Whānau, my name is Tracey Cracknell. I was born in New Zealand and lived in Wellington for 7 years before my family and I moved to Norwich, England for 15 years. Whilst in England I completed my schooling and then gained a Diploma in Early Years Education. Following this, I worked in a Special Educational Needs School for 5 years, something I thoroughly enjoyed. Having always intended to return to New Zealand, in 2010 my now husband David and I made the big move. Since being back in New Zealand I have worked in Early Childhood Education for over 5 years and completed my Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood Education with Te Rito Maioha in 2015. Respectful practice is a huge passion of mine when working with young children. I believe it is essential that children have the tools and guidance they need to become confident and capable within their own learning journey. I enjoy integrating te ao Māori (the Māori world) through the use of natural resources, te reo Māori and reflecting biculturalism throughout my practice. Building trusting relationships with children and their families is of utmost importance to me and I am thrilled to become a part of the Curious Cubs team. When I am not working I enjoy spending quality time with my family and friends as well as water skiing, fishing, horse riding and baking.
Michelle Ward – Early Childhood Teacher
Kia ora, my name is Michelle and I grew up in the Hawkes Bay and completed a Bachelor of Business Studies in 2002 in Palmerston North. I worked in a couple of different business administration and accounting roles until 2010 when I had my first son followed by another son in 2012. I completed my Graduate Diploma of Teaching - Early Childhood in 2014 and have been working part time at Curious Cubs since it first opened as the Centre Administrator as well as teaching in both the over 2s and under 2s rooms. I live with my husband Brad and sons Alex (7), Toby (5) and Noah (2) in Matangi . Alex and Toby have been part of the Curious Cubs community since day 1 and love coming here. I love nothing more than spending time with my family and I really value people, relationships and sports. I am very passionate about my role as a teacher and really look forward to continually learning and developing alongside our children and their families.
Nikki Neville – Early Childhood Teacher
Kia Ora, I’m Nikki. I was born in South Africa where I gained a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. My husband Shaun and I have been in New Zealand for almost 10 years now. We started our family in 2008, and being a stay at home mum with my daughter Chloe is what ignited my passion for working as an Early Childhood teacher. In 2012 we had our second child, my son Jesse. I decided to pursue my interest in teaching and went on to complete a graduate diploma in Early Childhood Education. I graduated in 2015, and I am now provisionally registered. During my time here I hope to work towards obtaining my full registration. I completed a practicum at Curious Cub’s during my studies, and subsequent to that have done relieving at the centre as well. During my time spend at the centre I have built relationships with many of the children. I believe children need an environment that is nurturing, stimulating and allows them the opportunity to be themselves. Becoming part of the fulltime team means I have the opportunity to continue building on these relationships, and getting to know whānau as well. I spend most of my spare time with my family as we enjoy the outdoors, movies, games, and travel. I look forward to all we will experience together here at Curious Cubs.
Kat Robinson – Early Childhood teacher
Kia Ora, my name is Kat, and after almost two years of being a student and reliever at Curious Cubs I am very excited to be joining the team and taking on a permanent role. I am studying towards a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and I am half way through my 3rd year at New Zealand Tertiary College. Outside of work I can usually be found playing football or back on the farm spending time with the family. I love the outdoors, animals and nature which I have been able to enjoy while growing up in the country. I believe that the environment is invaluable as a learning resource and can provide so many open ended learning opportunities. I've always enjoyed working with children, and love watching them develop as life long learners. I believe that each child is unique and love not only teaching them, but learning alongside them as they use their individual strengths and interests to develop working theories of the world around them.
Amanda Logan – Centre Cook
Kia Ora my name is Amanda Logan In 1996 I completed the New Zealand National Nanny Certificate. As a nanny I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great families across NZ and overseas. In 2005 just after my first child was born I decided to work as a home educator/caregiver for PORSE. This continued till 2013 by when both my kids were at school. Over those years I have had the pleasure to educate and nurture many children alongside my own kids in our home as part of our family. Along with my work as a PORSE educator I have also been actively involved with the development of a Playcentre in Lower Hutt. I am passionate about child education and their welfare. I believe that nurturing and home like environment is essential for a child’s wellbeing and this is why I am pleased to be part of the team at Curious Cubs.