Children’s best learning and memories take place in relationship with adults who matter and in nature. That’s why, at Kakapo Creek we take special care to maintain a constant, long term caregiver so that the child-teacher relationship is optimised. We’ve also designed an environment that is rich in nature including our native forest school.
Ian and Kaye are parents of four sons and have worked in family enrichment and therapy for over 20 years. Passionately committed to an attachment framework, matched with neuroscience, they are committed to creating a childcare that is a true extension and support for families. In today’s fragmented world, parents need more than a baby sitter and academic teacher for their child. They need more than a safe, clean, educational environment. Parents need a childcare that is like extended family. That’s what Kakapo Creek wants to be for you and your child.
Ian is the founder and Clinical Director of the Parents Partner and is passionate about helping families be their very best. For nearly 30 years he has been writing and presenting family workshops in Australia and New Zealand. He has extensive training and experience in how families function and what couples and parents need to create closeness, love and happiness in their relationships. Ian brings a wealth of experience working with parents of young children to optimise children’s learning, behaviour and emotional maturity. In today’s world of alarmed, anxious and stressed families Ian has the answers for parents facing times of stress. Ian’s clinical services are offered free to all our Kakapo Creek parents.
Kaye is a Mum to four boys, and Parent consultant with post graduate qualifications in Guidance Studies, Social Welfare and Education. She has spent 17 years working with parents who have behavioural and developmental parenting challenges. Kaye has long dreamed of designing an early childhood centre that provides an uncompromising service and meets the holistic needs of families. Passionately committed to the quadruple bottom line philosophy, Kakapo Creek is carefully designed to meet these aspirations. Kaye’s practitioner interest is in the holistic needs of families. She has a soft spot for parent deprived children and as a result began her own charity to care for orphaned children in Russia and Rwanda. She heads Lighthouse Orphan Foundation which currently supports deprived young people in Rwanda become their very best. Kaye has an educational approach to growing happy families. As a High School teacher Kaye was a gifted and competent teacher who was well loved by her school and students. She loves teaching, presenting workshops and training and is delighted to embark on providing bespoke early childcare and education at Kakapo Creek.
Leanne Tong, Centre Manager
Leanne has worked with children all her adult life. She is Mum to 4 grown children and Grammie to 6 beautiful granddaughters. Leanne and her husband Brian worked as foster parents for at risk children for both the Department of Social Welfare (now Oranga Tamariki) and the Open Home Foundation for many years. Leanne holds a BTchLn (ECE) and graduated top in her year. She has worked in early childhood centres for the past 30 plus years in a variety of roles; a teacher, a manager, and as an area manager. Leanne has also owned and run her own early childhood centre in Christchurch and is now back in Auckland to be closer to her children and grandchildren.
Leanne is committed to ensuring that every child has the opportunity to experience a rich and exciting childhood where they learn and grow as individuals. She passionately believes that children learn and grow best when they are cared for by adults who genuinely connect with them and respect their uniqueness. Leanne believes in the importance of teachers working in partnership with parents to ensure that they are achieving the very best outcomes for every child. Relationship is all! Leanne believes that children should learn and grow in environments that are beautiful, calm and inviting. She loves to create beautiful spaces for children and teachers to work and learn in. Leanne believes that children should be in nature every day, irrespective of the weather. She believes that children should have access to natural materials to work with and explore.
Laura Fang, Teacher
Laura’s impressive aesthetic background enables her to develop rich attachment with children and whanau through a beautiful environmental setting, active communication and relationships. With over 10 years teaching experience, a Masters Degree in Education and a PhD in Aesthetics, Laura is passionate about helping families find the very best for their children while meeting the needs of those from diverse backgrounds. Laura moved to New Zealand with her husband and son from China where she also worked in education. Laura’s teaching philosophy is to empower children in their unique pathways to holistic development.
Cynthia Palacin, Teacher
Cynthia comes to Kakapo Creek with a degree in Psychology and a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education. Originally from Argentina, she has now been living in New Zealand for 21 years.
Cynthia is married, with 3 beautiful children aged 16, 12 and 8 years old.
Believing that every child is unique and special, Cynthia enjoys working and interacting with our tamariki. She loves playing with them while they make sense of the world around them. Cynthia finds every day at work full of fun and exciting learning experiences.
Cynthia believes it is just as important to provide quality teaching and care to children, as it is to engage with their families, ensuring a safe and nurturing environment supporting each child’s and whānau unique needs.
She strongly believes that positive and meaningful relationships are the foundation for learning. Consequently, Cynthia strives to provide a safe, loving atmosphere with positive reassurance.
Cynthia always makes the effort to boost children’s confidence, to explore their environment, and to develop a good sense of self-esteem.
It’s been proven that the initial five years of life are the most critical for healthy brain and emotional development. These first few years will influence learning experience outcomes for life. Cynthia will take amazing nurturing care of your children.
Rosie has been teaching tamariki for 17 years and has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. With three beautiful children of her own, two teenagers and a cheeky toddler, Rosie loves to go for walks with her husband, children and German Shepherd on our local beach. Rosie grew up on a farm in Riverhead and has the most wonderful memories of a childhood filled with animals, bush huts, veggie gardens, mudflats on the riverbank, climbing trees and making rope swings. Rosie believes this is an important part of childhood, being outside close to nature and learning from our environment, as these childhood experiences have guided her through life and fuelled her passion for teaching. Rosie heads up our Nature School and is sharing these experiences with your tamariki and teaching them about her love for gardening and the outside environment and can’t wait to share in this journey with you.