Our Team Melissa Cooper Owner / Director / Educational Leader I am one of the owners of mi kids as well as the director and educational leader. Originally I started my working life as an engineer. But after university, I did some volunteer work in Costa Rica – teaching English at the local school – and it was here that I discovered my passion for teaching! I feel in my element in the classroom and have pursued a career in education ever since. When I returned to Australia I undertook a Post Graduate Diploma in Primary School Education and worked in state and private schools before taking some time out to have my own three boys who are now all at school. In 2014, I completed my Diploma in Early Childhood and began work as an Early Childhood Teacher in G8 Centre’s as well as Cherry Bridge Station at Warriewood. All three of my boys also went through child care and it was these experiences which inspired me to create my own unique Centre which is true to my ethos. Why did we call our centre mi kids? It’s not because I can’t spell – the ‘mi’ stands for multiple intelligence which is an educational theory upon which this Centre is inspired. The theory, by Howard Gardner, recognises different learning styles in children and encourages teaching environments which cater to these. With three boys of my own – all with different talents and styles of learning – I realised the need for a system in which the learning needs of all children are met. Which is why I created a Centre driven by the same philosophy. I look forward to welcoming your family on this journey with us! Isara Crea Owner / Cook / Support Educator I am another owner of mi kids as well as the cook and support educator in the Tiny Tots rooms. Originally from Thailand where I worked in administration. I married Melissa’s brother Robert and moved to Australia to start a family 7 years ago. After having my own two boys I wanted to work in the Early Childhood Sector which inspired me to complete my Certificate 3 in Early Childhood. I love seeing children grow and develop especially in the early years where there is so much growth. I love cooking and I can not wait to have the children participate in my daily cooking program and taste the variety of vegan/vegetarian meals which mainly feature in my weekly menu. Julie Centre Director My name is Julie Anderson and I am mi kid’s Centre Director. Let me tell you a bit about myself, I am originally from the UK and moved to Australia in December 2017 with my husband and 2 children. I qualified as a Diploma Educator in 1996 and completed my Degree in Young Children’s Learning and Development in 2010. Childcare is my passion and I have loved every minute of my 23 years working in the childcare industry, every day is different and being able to play a part in a child’s learning and development is so rewarding. Stani Art Educator / Atelierista My name is Stanislava (Stani). I am originally from Bulgaria and I graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Preschool and Primary School Teaching from Sofia University. I have been working in the childcare industry for six years. During my career so far, I have gained a large amount of experience in all ages of Early Childhood, including being a Nursery Room Leader. I have a strong passion for arts, music and movement, which makes me very excited to take on the role as Atelierista. My focus will be using my passion to inspire the children to learn and expand their creativity in these areas! Toonie Yoga Instructor Hi I’m Toonie and I have a Diploma in early childhood and am a certified Yoga teacher. I believe that yoga practice is the best tool to bring mindfulness and kindness to children. In Yoga for Kids classes, there is a balance between spontaneity and structure, so that children learn to listen to each other as well as express themselves creatively. We believe that children learn best when they are having fun. So Yoga for Kids classes interweave story, song, games and poses, allowing children to learn in a multi-sensory environment which explores kinesthetic, visual, aural, inter-and intra-personal learning. Through yoga and mindfulness, children maintain mind-body health and experience a greater capacity for kindness and compassion. Hannah Junior Preschool Lead Educator My name is Hannah and I am currently holding a Diploma in early childhood education. As an educator, I believe in taking on new ideas and opportunities to continue to develop my teaching skills within the industry. I am a strong believer in play-based learning and have had lots of experience in working with toddlers. I was the room leader at my previous centre, and look forward to bringing strong leadership and positive ideas to mi kids. “In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn,” – Phil Collins. Kellie Nursery Lead Educator My name is Kellie, through my 13 years of early education experience, and raising my own two children, my career has turned into a passion. I believe learning is happening all the time and is interwoven through all developmental domains and my goal is to nurture the whole child. I guide children into the next stage of development with confidence in themselves, and an excitement for continued learning. The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery. Shan Junior Preschool Educator My name is Shan and I’m one of the experienced educators at mi kids. I’ve been working with children for over 20 years in a variety of settings. I’ve run my own family daycare, been a private nanny, and worked with high profile clients, children with special needs, and children who are ‘on set’. I’m a very creative and passionate person, and when I’m not working with children, I’m a Mum to my own two children. I also have my diploma in make-up art and special effect – and love to use my skills during Halloween and other special events to bring fun, creativity, and beauty to children’s lives. I’m a huge supporter of discovering a child’s personal strengths and showing them how they can use that to grow and develop into confident members of society. Lauren Junior Preschool Educator My name is Lauren and I have a diploma in childcare. I have been in the industry for 13 years. I have a strong passion for children and their education and learning. I believe that each child is capable at anything they put their mind too. I love watching the children grow and teaching them to learn. I have mainly taught in a 2-3 years room, but I am very excited to be embarking on a new journey to teach in the preschool room at mi kids. I’m open to new ideas and love working as a team. I also love travelling and another passion of mine is makeup. I’m excited to teach and meet the children and go on this adventure with you all. Kaylee Support and Music Educator My name is Kaylee and I am a Support Educator specialising in music. I love music, especially when I am engaging children in music and movement lessons. They respond excitedly to my guitar playing and songs. You will normally see me on a part time basis in the Preschool rooms and occasionally in the Toddlers room. Melissa Inclusion Support Educator The early years of a child’s life sets the foundations for the rest of their lives. The intertwined physical, social, emotional, communicative and social experiences a child partakes in during this time either promote or hinder development. No matter what perceived limitations a child presents with whether it be physical or cognitive, for example; that these perceived limitations do not define them nor hinder their experiences. I believe that every child is unique and so to are their support circle and as such, each child deserves my time and understanding so I can appreciate their developmental needs and advocate for these needs in any forum. Children can accomplish anything when surrounded by love, guidance, understanding, patience and time. In my role as Inclusion Support Educator I seek to guide educators, therapists, parents and care givers in creating inclusive care environments that take into consideration each child’s unique qualities. Empowering children’s support network is paramount to ensuring that their early years are full of successes. I am passionate about creating long lasting, mutually respectful bonds with care givers that empower them to feel capable, supported and heard. I have learnt that such bonds have a positive long-lasting impact on children’s lives. Nikita ECT Educator I am a very enthusiastic and caring educator. This is my 7th year working in Early Education and Care. I have just finished up my studies for my Bachelor of Education degree. I enjoy creating inviting learning environments and I enjoy providing learning experiences based on children’s interests. Through children’s interests I plan activities that cover many learning outcomes. I believe children learn best and feel a strong sense of belonging in the centre when they have secure and supportive relationships with their educators. I ensure I support children’s secure attachment through consistent and warm nurturing relationships. I am emotionally available and support children to express their thoughts and feelings. I believe these are very important tools to support children during their time at the centre but also in their world outside of the centre and for when they go to school. Cassie Toddler Lead Educator My name is Cassie Thomas, I have been working in childcare for 27 years. I have worked with kids ranging in age from 0 to 12 years. I have worked with children with special needs and gifted children. I have enjoyed working with all these children and their parents. I have two daughters, Jade who is 18 and Hope who is 10. Joana Assistant Director and Senior Preschool Educator I believe that the learning process happens all the time and in every situation specifically, through play. In my program, my goal is to make this ongoing learning experience fun, positive and safe. Also, I see each child as an individual and as an educator and I want to guide children to go into the next stage of their development with confidence and excitement.