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.
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.
Nicole Dutton – Early Childhood Teacher
Hi, I’m Nicole Dutton. I am originally from Te Kuiti and moved to Hamilton in December 2017. I have two sons, Matthew (2) and Keegan (15). My passion for early childhood began when Keegan started at The Cottage in Te Kuiti. Now after 12 years at The Cottage it was time to make the move to Hamilton to be closer to family. I have a strong passion, commitment and belief in the influence and importance of early childhood education on young children. I believe that for a child to learn they must be having fun and enjoying the experience. This comes from relationships formed with educators, other children and the environment. As an educator it is my job to support children in developing these relationships as their sense of belonging grows. Facilitating the environment enables this learning to grow alongside the use of appropriate teaching techniques. I graduated with a Bachelor of Teaching in 2012 from Wintec. I look forward to my new adventure at Curious Cubs and thank you for the privilege of being an important part of your child’s early years.
Alice Kimber-Bell – Early Childhood Teacher
Kia ora, my name is Alice Kimber-Bell and I was born and raised in the Waikato (Raglan and Hamilton). I completed my Bachelor of Teaching: Early Childhood Education in 2012 whilst also working at a rural centre in Raglan and then moved to a central city centre in Hamilton. I have recently come back to teaching after a few years off pursuing other interests, including office management, working as a legal assistant and theatre/film endeavours. I am so excited to be coming back to my true passion and cannot wait to start working with the Cubs and the wonderful team here. I have worked with a range of age groups and really enjoy the under two's and sharing in their exploration of the world around them, watching them begin to master their bodies, and most of all helping them to develop language and communication skills, along with self help and independence. I am passionate and outgoing and enjoy being outdoors, hiking, reading, singing and exploring our beautiful country in my free time, and love to share these interests with the children I teach.
Lucy Noble – Early Childhood Teacher in Training
Hi my name is Lucy Noble. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood Education at The University of Waikato. I was born and raised in Rotorua, New Zealand with an older brother and both mother and father. I grew up in a very active family. We were constantly moving and life was full of adventures. I enjoy spending time outdoors and using my creative abilities and imagination to pursue many activities. Some of my hobbies are running, swimming and surfing. Ever since I became a part of a children’s learning centre I knew that Early Childhood Education was where I wanted to be. I look forward to spending time here at Curious Cubs and getting to know you all.
Hayley Saunders – Early Childhood Teacher in Training
Hi I'm Hayley. I'm studying towards my bachelor in early childhood teaching through New Zealand Tertiary college. I am currently half way through my second year. I was born and Hamilton and spend most of my childhood here until my family of two brothers and mum and dad moved to Swansea in Wales for a couple of years and then to Cambridge England for another year. We then moved back to New Zealand. I have lived in several cities in New Zealand and was home-schooled in my high school years. At the end of high school I went to the UK and Europe and did my OE for one year. My hobbies include baking, cooking, exercising and spending time with my two year old niece. I have really enjoyed studying early childhood education and love being part of having a positive impact on children's learning and development since having my niece born. I look forward to learning more during my teaching career.
Harry Bryant – Early Childhood Teacher in Training
Kia Ora my name is Harry Bryant, I am a student studying with Wintec toward my Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood Education. I am currently in my second year of study and have spent the last 3 years of my life working with children. I began my journey of working with children when I became a nanny of four boys aged 6 – 12, I then progressed to relieving at my friends mothers childcare centre which I really enjoyed. This experience gave me the motivation to get serious about teaching and gain a qualification. I spent over a year working in a Toddler room at a centre in Rototuna so have a lot of experience working with 2-3 year olds. Outside of work I am an avid skateboarder and guitar player and am probably best described as being a child at heart which I believe is one of the reasons I am successful as a teacher. I have really enjoyed the time I have spent at Curious Cubs and am looking forward to future days spent here
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.