Our People

Rachael Hart, Centre Manager

What inspired you to work in ECE?

Working with families and their children, providing support to whanau, and being involved in children’s learning, development and education. The first 1000 days are the most important.

How long have you been working in this sector?

Since 1992.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love helping to bring out the personal strengths within each teacher and I am passionate about extending their skills. I have an appreciation for diverse cultures, values, perspectives and ideas, and believe it’s important to build strong relationships between the centre and the community, families and whanau and to acknowledge and support their aspirations.

What sets your centre apart?

Our spacious and natural environments, our philosophy, and our relationships and partnerships with whanau, who we collaborate closely with to assess children’s learning and individual pathways.

Where can we find you when you are not at work?

At home spending time with my son Felix. We also love making the most of the great outdoors, exploring our local beaches and rivers.

Bachelor of Education (Teaching) ECE, Diploma of Teaching ECE, Full Teacher

Lauren Shugg, Team Leader

Lauren begun working in early childhood education in 2003 and completed her Diploma of Teaching (ECE) in 2006.  Lauren holds full teacher registration.  Lauren joined Lollipops Petone in September 2013 and with her strength and passion for mentoring and leading teams Lauren moved into leadership. 

Lauren lives in Lower Hutt with her husband and Samoyed dog. Family and friends are important and in her spare time she enjoys movies, shopping and renovating their house.    

“I love working with children of all ages and experiencing the fun and challenge each day brings however my real passion and expertise lies with infant care and education.  I have targeted my knowledge and teaching practice to ensure respectful practice and positive outcomes for children and get inspiration from RIE Pickler and Reggio philosophy”

Emilee Dalton, Team Leader

Emilee found her passion in working with children in the early childhood sector when she left school. Emilee holds a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) ECE, a Diploma of Teaching ECE and full teacher registration. As an experienced early childhood teacher with an interest in leading teams, Emilee joined Lollipops Educare Petone in January 2015. 

Emilee lives in Lower Hutt with her partner and young son Jack.  She enjoys DIY around their home and spending time outdoors at local parks and the Hutt River with their dog.  Emilee has an interest in travel, especially within Aotearoa and enjoys spending time at the mountains in winter. 

“I have been fortunate to be able to work with children of all ages and this has built on my knowledge and teaching philosophy.  Working alongside families and whanau to build on positive outcomes for children is my passion and with my interest in leadership and mentoring I feel inspired as a Team Leader.”

Samantha Ives, Team Leader

Samantha begun working in early childhood education in 2008 and never looked back.  Graduating from Victoria University in 2011 and holding a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) ECE and full teacher registration, Samantha has worked with children all ages under five years and joined Lollipops Educare in June 2015.

Samantha lives in Maungaraki Lower Hutt with her husband and young daughter Harper.  Being a home owner there is plenty to do around the house which is also home to their two dogs and cat.  Sam loves adventure and there is always a place to be out having fun with family and friends.  As a keen netballer Samantha’s leadership skills are extended in her work with her team. 

“My passion lies with working with all young children, I love watching them grow, learn, explore and discover the world around them.”