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Island Bay Childcare Team

Island Bay Childcare has a teaching team of 16 teachers. All of our qualified and registered teachers (13) are trained in Early Childhood Education and are registered with the Education Council. Our non-qualified teachers are currently in training to receive their Early Childhood Education qualification. Every qualified teacher is considered to be a person responsible in the centre.

Meet our friendly Island Bay team


Centre Director

Early Childhood Fully Certified Teacher

Cead Mile Failte, My name is Christina and I am the Centre Director here at Island Bay Childcare (I also support Miramar and Johnsonville Childcare). I have been working here at the Centre for seven years now and love each and every day.

Working with children brings such a variety and excitement to your normal day and I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else! I graduated with an Honours Degree in Early Childhood Education in Ireland in 2010 and have worked in a variety of childcare centres since then, including bilingual kindergartens, crèches, nurseries and Montessori preschools. I am currently studying for my Doctorate of Education with Victoria University.

I’m originally from Ireland and still haven’t lost my accent! My Irish culture is very important to me and I like to share it with the children and their families in lots of different learning experiences. As a teacher, I am really passionate about biculturalism and multiculturalism.

Building friendships and relationships with friends and families comes very naturally to children and their ability to learn about different cultures and values is a wonderful advantage of these relationships. As a teacher, I strive to provide these opportunities for children where they can continuously strive to learn about different countries and nationalities and their unique attributes. I am also really passionate about risky play and seeking new ways to incorporate into children’s everyday routines and rituals.



Early Childhood Fully Certified Teacher

Kia Ora!

I am Karen Otic the Manager at Island Bay Childcare. I originally came from the Philippines and have been working as a Preschool Head Teacher back then before I decided to live and work in Wellington, New Zealand.

I started working as a teacher in Johnsonville Childcare Centre and was later on invited to join the Island Bay Childcare Centre team in 2011. Since then, I have been working with the Island Bay Childcare Team in providing the best care and education we can provide for our tamariki and their families.

My passion for teaching lies in seeing each child grow and develop into a happy, independent, confident and competent learner and communicate with a strong sense of respect and compassion.  I enjoy working with the children through music (ukulele and singing) time, dancing and outdoor activities.  I value the privilege and responsibility I have in becoming part of each child’s life as I have the opportunity to support them and their family in their learning journey.


Teacher in Training



My name is Cristhel Juarez and I’m originally from Peru. I came to New Zealand in 2011 and since then I love this country. I have been working as a nanny with two beautiful girls for a year and a half. After that I began to work in different centres around Wellington, gaining more experience working with children under 5’s and learning more about New Zealand culture. I particularly enjoy supporting children’s development based on their interests and how the most knowledgeable child influences in role models to younger tamariki or less knowledgeable. ‘Tuaka-Tenia’.

I started relieving in Island Bay Childcare centre since the middle of 2015 and later on was invited to join Pukeko room permanently in January 2016 . Since then, I have had the opportunity to learn and train alongside Sharon and Cara. I feel very thankful to have the support of my team. As I found my main vocation which is working alongside children, I decided to study my second field in ‘Early Childhood practice ‘ and then following will be my degree.

I’m very proud of my heritage (Inca Empire) and have found slight similarities with Maori Culture. I Iove sharing my culture with children as well as encouraging them to share a bit of their roots or culture with me. I strongly believe we could all be citizens of the world.

I’m looking forward to getting to know more tamariki whanau and sharing in their own exciting learning journeys.

In my spare time I love doing yoga, dancing, hanging around with my friends and Skyping my family.


Teacher in Training- due to graduate 2020


I’m Samantha Pardo. I’m a very proud born and bred Wellingtonian, with a Chilean and Spanish background. Before joining the Island Bay Childcare team, I worked as an Administrative assistant at Red Cross – New Zealand Parliament with the Government Research and Communications Unit – Events Coordinator at Strathmore and Miramar Plunket and as a radio co-host/presenter. I too have an Administration, Acting, and Early Childhood background to go along with my qualifications. I gained my experience in Early Childhood through Porse and a Gateway programme offered to me while in college, I was 17 at the time, where I worked for six months at Kidzone Childcare Centre  in Newtown. I volunteered at Khandallah Ngaio Community Creche to gain further experience in early childhood and did a lot of babysitting for my two gorgeous nieces. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Music Studies with Victoria University of Wellington and a Diploma in Radio Journalism and Broadcasting with Whitireia New Zealand.

I felt very fortunate when I was presented with a role as a casual reliever at Island Bay Childcare to be later promoted as a permanent teacher working in all three classrooms (the Tuis, Kiwis and Pukekos). I am absolutely enjoying my role, bonding with the different age groups. Every day at work is different and so unpredictable and that’s what I enjoy the most. I love the challenge and the learning of new skills and of course having the opportunity to get to know these splendid group of kids. I’ve always enjoyed working with children, I love socialising with them which gives me an opportunity to learn more about the child, playing games, expressing their creativity through art and for me the privilege of being able to see them grow and their personalities blossom. I love to use my communication skills to increase our children’s vocabulary with reading stories and teaching them songs; building friendships amongst their classmates, accomplish goals from walking to writing their own name and putting their own shoes and socks on or being part of the group; personally, every detail makes it so special and rewarding. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing children smile and laugh and that’s what I love to see while I work, I love to be part of the process of the child’s development.  I think that it is fantastic that our centre has a multicultural atmosphere giving the children the opportunity to interact with different nationalities.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, acting, dancing, photography, going to the beach, play sports, watching movies, listening to music and travel especially to my second home, Australia, to visit my two beautiful nieces.



Early Childhood Provisionally Certified Teacher

Kia ora. My name is Xiaowu Su and I usually go by my English name Vincent. I’ve just got my Graduate Diploma at the University of Auckland. I have a background in teaching back in China for several years, I have made up my mind to take the journey into ECE.

From a big family, with 5 nephews and 3 nieces, I really enjoy the company of children and enjoy being there and offering what I am capable of when they have their very first stages of development. I strongly believe that I will be able to enjoy, learn and offer a lot more while I work at Island Bay Childcare. I look forward to working alongside the teachers and getting to know all the children/whanau.


Early Childhood Provisionally Certified Teacher

Kia ora! I am Vivi Liu from Tui Room.

I came to New Zealand in 2014 to study the postgraduate programme in Education with the University of Auckland. To gain more practical knowledge in education and start my teaching career in this country, I completed my graduate diploma of early childhood teaching in 2017 and have been working as an ECE teacher for over one year in Auckland. I also have a Bachelor Degree in Psychology and teacher certificate from China, which helps me know more about children’s development. As a teacher, I value every child’s interest and trust their strength. I believe that every child is unique and respect their unique ways of development.

I like singing and dancing with the children as well as organizing art learning experience for them. My most enjoyable part as a teacher is being creative and thinking of cool ideas with the kids and teaching team. Let’s have fun together!


Pukeko Room Leader

Early Childhood Provisionally Certified Teacher

Kia Ora, Namaste (Hello) Whanau!

My name is Shilpa Salgotra and I am registered teacher in the Pukeko room. I completed my Bachelor of Honours School in English, Bachelors in Education, and Masters of English from India. I have also done a Post-graduate diploma in early childhood education from Auckland, New Zealand.

Basically hailing from the holy city Amritsar, state Punjab, country India, I came to New Zealand in 2016 with my husband. I was an English lecturer in my home country. At very young age, because of my leadership qualities I inherited from my family, I became head of the department of English (HOD) during my service span. Moving further in my life, my compassionate, helping, exploring and inquisitive nature diverted my interest to young learners.

I joined Island Bay team in the last week of May, 2017 and I am learning and exploring things as well as finding every day just as interesting as previous one. I am very keen to build up relationships with tamariki and their whanau, and always believe in a collaborative strategy for better learning outcomes of young minds. I really enjoy time knowing people and their different cultures, reading American novels, spending time with my husband and cooking for him.


Kiwi Room Leader

Early Childhood  Provisionally Certified Teacher

Kia ora {Namaste}

Hi my name is Deepti Acharya; recently I have taken up the role of Kiwi Room Team Leader. In my personal life I am part of a boy’s gang which includes my husband and my 11-year-old son. In 2008 I completed graduation and post-graduation in India, since 2008 then I have been teaching in Mumbai. I got the chance to teach in some of the country’s best educational institutes.

With increasing globalization and urge to challenge our abilities we decided to relocate to New Zealand. With New Zealand teachers registration I started my practice and grew as a teacher and enjoyed my journey in Island bay childcare. I have a very special bond with Island Bay Childcare, as it gave me the liberty to experiment and hold my own belief and standards.

My own idea of education is that my learner should have no boundaries to think, explore and create. I always try to be well equipped to give ample opportunities to my learners to keep them motivated and learn new things. My biggest fascination is the creativity offered by my young learner which keeps me amazed every day.

In my free time which is a rare occasion, I love to read books and watch good documentaries. I love travelling and making friends with people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. I am an active participant of Toastmasters, as I enjoy public speaking and building a good rapport with people. I try to practise yoga and meditation 3 times a week and I’m a strong advocate of good mental health.


Our Centre Cook has been preparing delicious meals for our children since the centre opened over seven years ago. She enjoys cooking and has several years experience working & preparing healthy nutritious meals for children. She has completed training in Food Safety Hygiene and H.E.A.T: Healthy Eating Action and Training.


Early Childhood  Provisionally Certified Teacher

Kia ora,

 I am Cuiran Yang from He Nan Province (home of Shaolin Kung fu and Tai Chi), mainland China. In New Zealand, I am used to being called Ashly. I have been an English teacher in China for around six years after accomplishing my Bachelor Degree of English. During that period, I realized the importance of early childhood for each member of society to gain their holistic wellbeing. Therefore, I decided to become more professional and helpful as an educarer in ECE. Therefore, I came to New Zealand in January 2018 to start my ECE journey at the University of Auckland. I feel lucky that this one-year Graduate Diploma benefits me a lot in the what, why, and how to be a better teacher and adult with children and their families. I value relationships and partnerships a lot. 

 After graduation from Auckland Uni in December 2018, I feel really lucky to be able to join Island Bay Childcare with this loving, professional, and supportive team. I am also impressed by the beauty of the Island Bay community and feeling so welcomed by all of the families. Children here are amazing independent, explorers and learners whose smile and happy faces motivate me a lot in my daily work.I value this journey of being, and becoming, a better teacher and carer for each child, being respectful to their families and being thankful for such a good team that puts children’s interest at our number one priority. 


Early Childhood Provisionally Certified Teacher

Kia ora!

My name is Lucy Ainsworth and I am an early childhood teacher in our Pukeko preschool room. I have just completed my Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) at Victoria University. Before my studies I lived with my family in China and then Belgium where I attended International Schools and learned about many different cultures. I am now lucky enough to teach in a classroom that is just as diverse! I am interested in culture, theatre and art, all of which I try to bring into my teaching.

As a teacher I try to remain calm and patient, working towards empowering each child to be themselves, and to gain the confidence in themselves and their abilities to reach whichever goal they set. I find working with children to be very rewarding, as each day is full of new adventures and challenges. I have a real passion and focus on the arts, and love challenging the children to experiment with different mediums and techniques. In my spare time I love to read, explore Wellington, cook and bake, and spend time with my family. 


Tui Room Leader

Early Childhood  Fully Certified Teacher

Kia ora,

I moved from Christchurch to Wellington in 2012 with my husband Philip who works at Weta Digital, and began my training in a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Early Childhood through Victoria University.

Throughout this study I found and followed my passion for the care of under two’s and successfully graduated in 2014.

 I love to travel, scrapbook, and spend time with friends and I’m really looking forward to continuing to meet and get to know all of the Tui room children and whanau.


Early Childhood Provisionally Certified Teacher

Kia ora koutou,

 I have recently started as the part time lunch cover role. This means I have the privilege of getting to know and working with all of the tamariki at Island Bay Childcare. I love their energy, the positive vibes and the children’s curiosity for all things. 

 Last year I graduated with a Bachelor of Teaching (ECE). During my studies, I developed a passion for the ‘environment as a third teacher’ concept. Being a part of all three rooms has given me the opportunity to continue designing aesthetically pleasing spaces to challenge the children. This year, I continue to further my own learning by attending night classes to learn te reo Māori. I look forward to be able to share this with you all. 

Before I started teaching here, I managed a local kennels and cattery. Yet another place full with love and attention. Never a dull day…hairy, but never dull. 

 At home, I am raising two inquisitive children of my own. They are both great guinea pigs for trying out new resources and activities to bring in to the classroom 😉 My whanau love the outdoors, playing sport and getting out and about in the city. 

 Ma te wā