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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 some of 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.


Teacher in Training

*on maternity leave



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


Pukeko Room Leader

Early Childhood Fully 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.





Tui Room Leader

Early Childhood  Fully Certified Teacher

Kia ora koutou whanau, my name is Robbie Lowe and I have a Bachelor of Teaching from Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand which I graduated from in 2015. I have a strong background in education having had worked in Primary as a team teacher in Montessori, Early childhood throughout my studies and as a reliever and the arts having tutored at Inverlochy Art School. I am passionate about supporting our tamariki to reach their full potential and encouraging the love of learning through exploration.


I am a happy fun loving person and building meaningful relationships is very important to me. I enjoy all sports, the arts, travel and good food and love bringing my knowledge of these into my daily practice. I am continuously building my knowledge around Te Ao Māori and Te Reo Māori which I really enjoy sharing and learning alongside the centre community.


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



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.


Kiwi Room Leader

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