Our teachers are trained professionals dedicated and committed to children's learning. As life-long learners we stay up-to-date with current curricula, attending regular professional development courses. We make learning exciting and interesting for your children.

Victoria Howard - Director/Teacher

ToriVictoria Howard established Aubrey ELC with co-owner/director Tim Howard. Victoria is a teacher and administrator at the centre.

The establishment of the early learning centre at 71 Aubrey Rd has been a culmination of my dream, after 30 years in the
early childhood education field. I originally started teaching kindergarten at 19, after graduating with the Diploma of Kindergarten Teaching. I had my first child at 24 and became involved in playgroups, Plunket and play centre, although all my children did attend kindergarten. I have been involved in educating preschoolers in a range of capacities. In 1992 I finished my Bachelor of Arts in Education and English. In 1999, I began in tertiary education, teaching early childhood trainee teachers, and in 2000 I completed the Advanced Certificate in Adult Education. In 2006 I completed my Postgraduate Diploma in Early Years education. I worked 2-3 days a week as an early childhood lecturer in the Degree of Teaching (ECE) at Manukau Institute of Technology, until I resigned from this position at the end of 2008 to devote more time to the centre. Until 2013 I was a part time evaluative lecturer for AUT.

I have a ‘blended family’ of 4 grown up children--Alexander, Gemma (mother to Latiea Rose), Natalia and Conor. My husband Tim and I have restructured our lives and worked hard to provide an optimal early learning centre for the community of Stillwater and Hibiscus Coast. We want to provide the children with exploration experiences in the rural environment and farm animals, with an emphasis on a learning through play philosophy. We both have an active role in the centre. We look forward to getting to know your child and their family.

Qualifications; Diploma of Kindergarten Teaching
Bachelor of Arts (Education and English)
Advanced certificate in Adult Teaching
Postgraduate Diploma in Education- Early Years
Full Teacher Registration No; 301473

Tim Howard

TimTim Howard established Aubrey ELC with co-owner/director Victoria Howard. Tim is financial administrator, maintenance man and groundskeeper for the centre and 5 acre block.

There are few words to explain the joy I am experiencing from creating this centre. I have always loved spending time with children, as I appreciate their totally frank, and honest opinions of whom and what they experience. I have often been involved in our children’s sport, and extra curricular activities, and believe that the opportunity to make a child smile, should never be missed.

I have been involved in service industries most of my life, after leaving school at an early age, and becoming a federated farmers cadet, through my love of the land and animals. So it is great to have a piece of land to shape my own way.

I have experienced seeing the benefits afforded to children through a broad based and supported education, and have listened to Victoria’s passion to achieve a centre, where children have the freedom to explore, and get grass under their feet.

I look forward to spending part of my week with the children, passing on my hands on attitude, and giving them the chance to enjoy the animals, and land around them.

I would ask a few things of those visiting or bringing children to Aubrey. Please respect the nature of the environment that surrounds us, the people, & animals that dwell within it, and be appreciative of the opportunity, and effort that allows your children to experience a little bit more of what being a Kiwi is all about.

Linda Locker - Centre Manager

LindaI am a foundation teacher at Aubrey, starting as centre manager in early 2008.
I believe that quality early childhood education is the foundation for future learning, success & well being in later life. In early childhood, children have a greater capacity for learning, discovery, exploration & acquiring of new skills & attitudes than at any other time in their lives.

I believe quality care & education exist within a centre that provides for every child, every day, regardless of ethnicity, gender, ability, age or background. Therefore the environment should be safe, secure & be stimulating, where the children & their families/whanau can feel relaxed & accepted & at all times treated with dignity & respect.

By providing effective communication & partnerships with parents & whanau, I believe it will promote & extend each child's learning, development & potential. My belief is that childhood centres should provide a learning space where all cultures & social diversity can be shared, experienced & valued by all.

I am extremely blessed to have a very supportive husband & 3 very active children. In 2012, I welcomed my first granddaughter Indie, who also enjoyed spending nearly 5 years at Aubrey. We live on the Hibiscus Coast & enjoy the wonderful experiences that it brings.

Qualifications: Dip Teaching ECE, Full Teacher Registration; 309416, First Aid Certificate

Mia Te Whata - teacher

MiaKia Ora to the tamariki, parents and staff at Aubrey Early Learning Centre. I started working at Aubrey in August 2010.

My name is Mia Te Whata and I’m one of the lucky people in life, because I know early childhood is my chosen vocation. I discovered my passion for teaching infants and toddlers many years ago and absolutely love it. I have completed my certificate in early childhood education.

I enjoy gaining a deeper understanding of all the children at Aubrey. I find working beside the other teachers and your little darlings an absolute pleasure, and I can honestly say I love coming to work everyday. In 2015 my son Hemi was born and now he also attends Aubrey.


Nicky Anderson - teacher

NickyI started working at Aubrey Early Learning Centre in April 2012.

I grew up on a farm in a small town in the Wairarapa. After I finished school I went to Teacher’s College in Wellington. I graduated in 1995 and went to work in a kindergarten in Hawera. After two years I left and went travelling for 2 ½ years, mainly around Europe. I met my husband over there and we came back to New Zealand and settled in Johnsonville. We also lived in Palmerston North and Raumati/Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast. In 2007 we moved to Pakuranga, Auckland and then in March 2012 we moved to the Hibiscus Coast.

In 2005 our daughter Neve was born.

I have worked as an early childhood teacher in kindergartens, childcare centres and as a nanny. I really enjoy watching the children learn, grow and develop. Every age has it’s own challenges and rewards for a child. I enjoy developing relationships with the children, as well as with the parents and the other teachers.

Qualifications; Dip Teaching (ECE). Full teacher registration; 188792, First Aid Certificate.

Miranda Robbins - teacher

MirandaI am married with two children, Ella and Flynn. I started working at Aubrey in February 2012.

I believe that every child is a unique individual, who comes from a different background, who has their own experiences, interests, values, and ways of seeing and experiencing the world around them. Therefore, I aim to facilitate a collaborative learning environment where all children can feel a sense of belonging where they will be valued contributors and co-constructors of knowledge. This can be achieved through modeling and by helping children to develop their social skills such as cooperation, sharing, relationship building and appreciating diversity and others opinions, which will create a greater sense of community. I also strongly believe that children need to gain the skills to manage themselves and show resilience as they progress and develop throughout the year.

I aim to create a buzzing learning community by creating interest and using creativity. I strongly believe that learning needs to be based on children's own experiences and interests to be engaging. Content also needs to reflect prior learning and show that learning areas are interconnected, so children can make sense of their learning experiences and construct new knowledge. Furthermore, I think that a day of learning needs to be balanced, providing a variety of physical, hands-on, cognitive, relaxing and artistic activities.

As a teacher, I am aware of my own personal values, culture and background and how these will reflect in the learning environment. This will also enable me to appreciate and reflect the children's values in our environment, enabling them to feel proud of who they are as unique individuals. Overall, I hope to promote each child's self-esteem, so they grow up being proud, responsible individuals, who have respect for themselves for others and our world.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Teaching Early Years (0-8), First Aid Certificate, Full teacher registration: 335438

Olivia Schalkwijk - teacher

I started working at Aubrey in June 2013.

I am blessed to be part of the teaching team here at Aubrey's - a place where I can help children learn in a fun, creative and safe environment.

After volunteering at a north shore centre I decided to make a career change and devote my time to nurturing young minds. I am passionate about contributing to the intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of young children . I believe that the quality of education a person receives in early life is indispensable in bringing out that person’s potential, and that all children should have access to quality learning and care.

I grew up in Rotorua where I developed a respect and appreciation for other cultures at an early age. I feel it is important for children to have the opportunity to observe and participate in other cultures language, beliefs and customs. To immerse themselves in New Zealand's rich and unique history, also our multi cultural and diverse present.

To further my knowledge and provide the best possible care for your children I started my teacher training in 2016.

Annie Martin - relieving teacher

I have been teaching at Aubrey since July 2013. Now after 2 periods of maternity leave I am a relieving teacher at Aubrey

I live in Helensville with my husband Jeremy and our sons Keith and Quinn. After finishing high school, I knew that I wanted to work with children, but was unsure of the right field of study, so I took a year off and spent some time in a children’s summer camp in Russia, teaching classes about basic health and hygiene, the Bible, and gymnastics to a group of children from local orphanages. I thoroughly enjoyed my time over there and upon my return to NZ, enrolled to do a Bachelor of Primary Teaching and Worldview Studies through Laidlaw College. I completed my degree at the end of 2011, knowing that I wasn’t passionate enough about the NZ primary schooling system to teach there. A friend suggested that I try relieving at the Early Childhood Centre where she taught and after my first day there, I loved it so much that I began to apply for jobs in Early Childhood.

I am passionate about the outdoors and wide spaces so that children can explore their physical abilities and I am so glad to be a part of a centre that has such a unique area to use and explore. I believe in fostering imagination and encouraging creativity as I believe that through play children are able to learn many essential skills for life, such as working together, including others, modifying play for others with different skill levels, problem-solving, and motor skills.

Qualifications: B Ed (Primary). Provisional Teacher Registration: 335613, First Aid Certificate.

Sarah Smith - teacher

Sarah I was born in England and moved out here to New Zealand 20 years ago with my family. I currently live out at the end of Whangaparaoa in Army Bay with my parents and younger brother.  

I have always had a passion for working with children ever since high school where I would often babysit in the weekends. It wasn’t until I attended Camp America in 2007 that I found the career in which I wanted to follow. I have always enjoyed working with children and I find it to be such a rewarding job, so I enrolled into a course to help start my career.

In 2012 I completed my Level 5 certificate nanny certificate at Ashton Warner Nanny Academy in Stanmore Bay. I then went on to be a nanny for a family of 5 who I still currently work for part time.

I started studying with New Zealand Tertiary College in April 2015, where I am doing a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education. I am lucky to have the opportunity to work as a student/relieving teacher at Aubrey Early Learning Centre and have it as my home placement whilst I study with NZTC. I hope to have completed my Bachelor by the end of 2017 where I can then be a qualified Early Childhood Teacher.

Thilo Pillay- teacher

I live in Gulf Harbour, at the very end of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. I came to New Zealand in 2003 with my husband and 9 month old baby. I now have 2 sons and I couldn’t be a prouder mother.

I have been relieving in Aubrey Learning Centre since March 2014. I’ve also worked at several other learning centres around the North Shore and Whangaparaoa. I am so grateful to be working in an environment with such a supportive team that provides high quality care and learning opportunities for young children.

Children are extremely inspiring. There’s always something new to learn from them everyday. It’s completely rewarding to watch as they develop skills and positive attitudes needed for their next stage of their lives.

In 2016 I started my teacher training with NZ Tertiary College, which has enhanced my knowledge of child development and informed my practice in relation to how children learn through a play based curriculum.