Our People

Carla Ornelas, Centre Manager

What inspired you to work in ECE?

I value and respect each child and see each one as being unique. I enjoy seeing children develop at their own pace taking into account their cultural heritage.  I love connecting with people and building valuable relationships with every child and their family.  Working in early childhood education promotes a sense of community and teamwork, which I value as I work alongside parents, teaching staff and agencies to do our best for each child at our centre. By doing this, I believe I am making a difference and contributing to a greater purpose and creating security and growing humanity through love and strong attachments.

What do you love most about what you do?

I enjoy the relationships I create with parents, children, staff and the wider community.  I enjoy growing my knowledge through professional development workshops and readings, engaging in professional conversations and collaborating with my team. I am motivated to work with my team, discussing with them what is important to ensure we continue to give the best education and care to each child. 

What sets your centre apart?
The environment at Lollipops Takapuna is warm, welcoming and respectful.  Ours is a centre where children’s self-identity is valued, their culture is celebrated, and strong attachments are established. It is a second home for our children and families.

What is your favourite time of the year at the centre?

Christmas time, because our children enjoy preparing for our nativity play. This has become the highlight of our year. We have now had ten years of presenting this play to our parents and whanau. Our toddlers and older children rehearse 12 songs together, learning to sing to piano accompaniment. They have learned many skills as a result of these experiences and these have been carried through into primary school, where teachers recognise children with good social skills, confidence and resilience.

What do you do when you are not working?

I enjoy reading books about teaching, learning, social issues, growing empathy and attachments. I really love being outside, especially going for walks on the beach and in the bush. I also like keeping up with current and international news.

Bachelor of Arts, Higher Diploma in Primary Education, Graduate Diploma in ECE, fully registered teacher.