Our Little Minds team

We are a dedicated and passionate team consisting of 7  Qualified and Certified ECE Teachers,  2 teachers in training and 1 unqualified support staff.  Our Teachers and staff  have all been carefully chosen, not only for their qualifications and experience, but also for their passion to make a positive difference in the lives of the children they teach.

Kia Ora Whaanau,

My name is Sharon Lewis and I am the Centre Manager at Little Minds Early Learning Centre.

I am a qualified and fully certified Early Childhood Teacher with over 19 years experience in teaching and managerial roles in both Centre based and home based childcare.

Although I am originally from England I have lived in Te Awamutu for many years now, and I have two grown up daughters.

My passion is to provide quality early childhood education and care to all children. I believe it takes a big heart to teach little minds and we have carefully chosen Teachers that have really big hearts :)

I have many hats at the centre; I am a Teacher in the Koru room aswell as being the Manager and Administrator of the centre. So you will see me everywhere at Little Minds, but my favourite place to be is with the under twos. :)

Kia Ora my name is Marie Muir, and I am the Head Teacher in the Fern room

I'm a passionate teacher with 25 amazing years under my belt.

I always knew as a child that I would become a teacher of some sort so it was no suprise to my family and friends that I took this journey in life.

I love empowering and working with and alongside children as they make discoveries in an environment that is both natural for them to exlore the world around them and that is stimulating to help extend on their interests and personal learning journeys!

Kia Ora, my name is Row

And I am thrilled to be part of the team here at Little Minds. 

I have four years experience in early childhood education, and completed my Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) at the University of Waikato last year.

I put a lot of value on relationships with whaanau, tamariki and kaiako, and work hard to establish and maintain meaningful interactions.

I have a pedagogy of love, and strive to help tamariki feel that their centre can be their second home. I work to support children's interests, and love to provide experiences that provoke inquiry.

I have a passion for Te Reo Maori and am always trying to learn more of the language and kaupapa.


My partner and I live in Hamilton, with our two dogs and three cats, I am a kaitaki for animals and have rescued most of our pets. Outside of work, I enjoy walking our dogs, creating art and spending time with my family - I have a 5 month old niece who I love to spend time with! I love being part of the team, and am excited to continue my learning journey as a Teacher.

Kia Ora,my name is Natalia,

I am so excited to be a part of  Little Minds, getting to know the tamariki and whaanau while working alongside a great teaching team.

I have over eight years experience in early childhood education and hold a bachelor of teaching (Early Childhood Education).

I have been an Early Childhood Teacher for 7 years and am fully qualified and certified in this field.

Through getting to know the whaanau and establishing a loving and caring relationship with your child I aim to provide a fun, meaningful and authentic learning experiences for them.

My hobbies include the outdoors, family, friends, netball and adventuring. I also have a five year old daughter, Kiana who motivates me and keeps me busy.

Kia Ora,

My name is Rayleen Diedericks and I  joined the Little Minds Whaanau in February 2020

My husband, Josh, and I live on the outskirts of Te Awamutu with our little girl, Rylee.

I have been an Early Childhood Teacher for 7 years and am fully qualified and certified in this field.

My passion is to see the children explore in nature and further their own imagination. I also really enjoy being creative, seeing and supporting children to thrive in a great environment and reach their milestones. I love nurturing and ensuring children's needs are being met, creating that home away from home kind of environment. I see children as capable learners and love supporting their interests and providing opportunities for them to further themselves.

I am so excited to be part of Little Minds and look forward to meeting you all.

 Kia Ora, my name is Emma Sands and I am the Head Teacher in the Koru room

I moved to Te Awamutu 13 years ago with my now Husband, Scott. We have 3 children aged 7yrs, 4yrs and 2yrs.

I completed my Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood in 2014 and with over 10 years working in Early Childhood Education. I am forever learning and being inspired by children’s learning and development and the differing theories that are out there to support them.  My passion is working with babies, infants and toddlers and I am love working in the Koru room.


Kia Ora my name is Emma Reader.

I am a fully qualified and registered teacher, with a passion for working with infants and toddlers.

Since graduating with my Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) in 2014 I have worked specifically with this age group and believe it is a privilege to be a part of your child's learning journey. This journey involves knowing each child and delighting in every wonder they discover as they play


Kia Ora my name is Jordan.

I live in Te Awamutu and am I am a teacher in training studying towards a Bachelor of Teaching (ECE).

I am a mother of two children, Miah is 5 and Carter is 3. I love working with children at their level and assisting them to explore their interests, embrace their strenghts and help them to thrive.

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Little Minds Early Learning Centre follows the New Zealand Ministry of Education, Te Whariki Early Learning Curriculum.

ECE funding available

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