Juliette Thompson, Centre Manager
What inspired you to work in ECE?
When I was growing up, I always wanted to work with children and be a preschool teacher. I had younger siblings and I loved helping with them! When I was old enough to babysit, I had several regular babysitting jobs which I loved. I couldn’t wait to start training to be a preschool teacher.
How long have you been working in this sector?
I have been working in this sector for 20 years! As soon as I graduated with a Diploma of Teaching (ECE), I started my first job working in the nursery of a busy preschool. Two years later I moved to an assistant supervisor position at another preschool, working with a small group of toddlers. I worked my way up to a supervisor role and a year later became the centre manager at Lollipops Blighs Road and have been here for 10 years!
What do you love most about what you do?
I love getting to know families and helping them with their childcare needs. I love seeing children move into the preschool until they are ready to start school and knowing that they have had the best possible opportunities here.
What are three things that set your centre apart?
The team here sets us apart! Everyone is passionate about what they do and works hard to build genuine relationships with the children and their families.
We are helping children grow up healthy and happy – we provide nutritious meals and lots of opportunities for physical activity as well as mindfulness!
Our Nursery area is the perfect home away from home for babies to grow and learn in!
What is your favourite time of year at the centre?
I love Christmas! The centre is transformed into a Christmas Grotto by the awesome team, there is Christmas music playing, decorations everywhere and everyone is so happy! We have a fantastic end of year Christmas Party with our preschool families.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family (I have four children, so life is very busy)! We like going for walks, bike rides and working in the garden so we love sunny days!
Diploma of Teaching (ECE) – Honours, Registered Teacher, First Aid Certificate
John Robins, Kiwi Room Teacher
My four beautiful children inspired me to pursue a career in Early Childhood and now I’m studying for a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education. I believe all children should be treated with love and respect, and I really enjoy working in the Kiwi Room with children aged 2 – 3.5 years.
In my free time I love spending quality time with my children, going to the gym, taking my dog for a walk, learning about World War Two history, and doing building and woodwork.
Simon Christensen, Pukeko Room Teacher
I love teaching children and implementing the pathways for them to learn skills for life, and respect for others. I have a big enthusiastic heart and I’m a big kid stuck in a responsible adult’s body – so I know this is what I need to be doing! I’m currently studying for my Bachelor of Early Childhood Education through Open Polytech by correspondence.
In my spare time you’ll find me walking our dogs, visiting a park or pool with my fiancé and beautiful daughter, or hitting some drums at private events or pubs. My main hobbies include sports and music and I’ve enjoyed great success in both. I can’t wait to share my knowledge with your children!
Sara Hill, Team Leader - Tui and Kakapo rooms
Kia ora everyone I am Sara and I’m the Team Leader for the Tui and Kakapo rooms (Under Twos), as well as being 2IC for the centre.
I am passionate about this age group and love my job so much! Building beautiful relationships is so rewarding at this age and I just feel very lucky to be able to be a part of the learning and development of these very special tamariki! A bit about me: I was born and raised in Pukekohe, which is a small town in South Auckland and moved to Christchurch in early 2019 and started working at Lollipops in April/May. I live on a 10acre lifestyle block in Sefton owned by my in-laws. My partner TJ and I live in a tiny house (20 square metres) on the farm with our 1 year old pup Skye and a kitten called Ash. Also on the farm live TJ’s dad, step mum and her brother with three dogs in the main house and TJ’s step brother, sister in law and their toddler Gabe and their three cats and one dog in another house. We also have 4 cows, 8 sheep, 3 geese, 2 alpaca, 1 llama, 20 turkeys, 10 chickens, 3 barn cats and one duck so it is always all go out there! My parents and sister still live in Pukekohe and I miss them terribly but we love living down here! I am super passionate about the environment and living sustainably, animals and being creative!