Our People

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Anita Vohra , Centre Manager

What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?

I have always loved children and when I came to New Zealand I relieved in a few centres and decided to study early childhood. I’ve been working in early childhood for over 15 years now. I think it is such a rewarding profession - the smile on a child’s face says it all.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love working with children and now that I am in a centre manager role, I also get to run the operations side of it.

What sets your centre apart?

The top thing that sets my centre apart is the staff. They are a group of very dedicated individuals who work as a team for the best outcomes for children. The planning and assessment of children is also high on the list and each team strives to portray the interests of the children. Our centre is also very multicultural which allows us to celebrate cultural diversity to its fullest.

What is your personal ECE philosophy?

I believe that each child is unique with their own strengths and abilities. I believe that children learn through hands on experience and our job as teachers is to facilitate children’s learning to reach their maximum potential. I believe in having a strong relationship with parents and whanau and building connections with them. I also support a bicultural approach to learning as well as believe in celebrating cultural diversity.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to go on long walks, play with my dog and read books.

Bachelor of Education – ECE (New Zealand)
Bachelor of Home Science, Bachelor of Education, Masters in English Literature (India)

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Karishma Handa, Head teacher - Toddlers room

My name is Karishma Handa. I am happily married with one daughter. I have been in ECE since the last 7+ years after completing my Graduate Diploma in ECE. I have been working with Lollipops since 2013 and have recently undertaken the team leader positin. My utmost priority is to maximise and maintain collaborative relationships with parents, whanau and caregivers. I also like to provide opportunities where children can feel safe, happy and enjoy the learning experiences.

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Caroline Yu , Head Teacher - Preschool Room

Kia ora, my name is Caroline Yu and I am the Head Teacher in the Preschool at Lollipops Millennium. I hold a Bachelor of Education (ECE) and have over 11 years’ experience in the Early Childhood field. I believe the environment of childcare centre acts as a third teacher. It can be safe, challenging and nurturing. I treat all children with respect and appreciate them as a gifted, worthy people. I like to collaborate with parents, teachers and children in the process of learning. I believe in respecting individual children’s feelings and interests and building enduring relationships with their families/whanau. My passion includes thinking and exploration through the curriculum.

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Monika Aggarwal, Team Leader - Infant room

I am Monika Aggarwal, currently working as a team leader in Fantails room. I started working as a teacher at Millennium Lollipops since 2017. I am a graduate in teaching and have got a teaching experience of more than 10 years. I am an affectionate and empathetic human being. These strengths of mine help me to form a strong relationship with my learners. I strongly believe that the young children are future of any country therefore it is very crucial to support our learner’s holistic development. I support my learners to become competent and confident and to develop a secure sense of belonging so that they may make a valued contribution to society. I also feel that it is my professional responsibility to develop meaningful relationships with parents/whānau and respect their aspirations for their children.  

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Xenia Xiong, ECE Certified Teacher

Kia Ora, my name is Xenia. I am studying for graduate diploma of teaching in early childhood with New Zealand Tertiary College and I will graduate in 2022.

 I am a caring and responsible person and enjoy working with children. I feel blessed to become a teacher and be part of children's learning journey. My patience and affection allow me to quickly build a strong relationship with my learners. I believe that every child is special. I also believe all children are like little seeds just waiting to be loved and nurtured so that they can grow and develop. I am eager to create a sense of belonging in my learners and support them to become competent and confident. I shall endeavour to build trustful, responsive, and reciprocal relationships with the children, parents and whānau.

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Sharvani Dhond, ECE Certified Teacher

I am Sharvani Dhond, currently working in the Fantails room. I started working at Lollipops Millennium as a volunteer in June 2020, then as a Reliever since July 2020 and am working as a permanent teacher now. I hold a Bachelor of Education degree from India and have an international teaching experience of 2 years. I will be starting my studies in New Zealand in ECE from August 2021.

 As an early childhood educator, I feel that children must be given endless opportunities to express themselves. I believe that family, educators, and environment play a significant role in the growth and development of children. My aim is to provide a safe and secure environment for the children so that they can develop the tools and confidence to be lifelong learners.

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Shahirose, ECE Certified Teacher

Tēnā koe e hoa, my name is Shahirose, and I love to be part of pre-school team. I hold an AMI diploma in Montessori. I have been working as an ECE teacher over fifteen years now. Being a teacher is such an important and rewarding job. For me, it is all about recognising each child's individual needs and strengths and giving them the support, they need to build on it. I also realise the importance of a strong foundation, so I want to provide them with important tools to develop their skill sets which will result in confident and compassionate individuals in the future.