Our Team Melissa Cooper Owner / Director / Educational Leader I am one of the owners of mi kids as well as the director and educational leader. Originally I started my working life as an engineer. But after university, I did some volunteer work in Costa Rica – teaching English at the local school – and it was here that I discovered my passion for teaching! I feel in my element in the classroom and have pursued a career in education ever since. When I returned to Australia I undertook a Post Graduate Diploma in Primary School Education and worked in state and private schools before taking some time out to have my own three boys who are now all at school. In 2014, I completed my Diploma in Early Childhood and began work as an Early Childhood Teacher in G8 Centre’s as well as Cherry Bridge Station at Warriewood. All three of my boys also went through child care and it was these experiences which inspired me to create my own unique Centre which is true to my ethos. Why did we call our centre mi kids? It’s not because I can’t spell – the ‘mi’ stands for multiple intelligence which is an educational theory upon which this Centre is inspired. The theory, by Howard Gardner, recognises different learning styles in children and encourages teaching environments which cater to these. With three boys of my own – all with different talents and styles of learning – I realised the need for a system in which the learning needs of all children are met. Which is why I created a Centre driven by the same philosophy. I look forward to welcoming your family on this journey with us! Isara Crea Owner / Cook / Support Educator I am another owner of mi kids as well as the cook and support educator in the Tiny Tots rooms. Originally from Thailand where I worked in administration. I married Melissa’s brother Robert and moved to Australia to start a family 7 years ago. After having my own two boys I wanted to work in the Early Childhood Sector which inspired me to complete my Certificate 3 in Early Childhood. I love seeing children grow and develop especially in the early years where there is so much growth. I love cooking and I can not wait to have the children participate in my daily cooking program and taste the variety of vegan/vegetarian meals which mainly feature in my weekly menu. Julie Centre Director My name is Julie Anderson and I will be joining the MI Kids team on the 8th April as the Centre Director. Let me tell you a bit about myself, I am originally from the UK and moved to Australia in December 2017 with my husband and 2 children. I qualified as a Diploma Educator in 1996 and completed my Degree in Young Children’s Learning and Development in 2010 Childcare is my passion and I have loved every minute of my 23 years working in the childcare industry, every day is different and been able to play a part in a child’s learning and Development is so rewarding. Please feel free to come and say Hi, I am so looking forward to meeting you all in the next couple of weeks and becoming part of the MI Kids Family. Jing Mandarin Language Eductor Jing Gandy had been lecturing Economics in Liaoning University of Technology for 5 years in China and received ‘Excellent Young Lecturer Award’ from the university in 1995. She migrated to Australia in 1998. In the year 2000, she completed a postgraduate degree in Accounting at Macquarie University and CPA Program afterwards. She worked as an accountant until 2010 when she had her daughter, Priya. From 2013 to 2016, she studied Visual Arts at Sydney College of Arts, The University of Sydney. In 2015, she completed a Certificate in Language Teaching course with High Distinction through The University of Sydney. She is also a volunteer Ethics teacher at Mona Vale Public School. Her passion for teaching, love for kids and talents in Arts and singing have made her a wonderful language teacher. She is the founder of Lotus Mandarin and will be a wonderful addition to our educational team at mi kids. Stani Art Educator / Atelierista My name is Stanislava (Stani). I am originally from Bulgaria and I graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Preschool and Primary School Teaching from Sofia University. I have been working in the childcare industry for six years. During my career so far, I have gained a large amount of experience in all ages of Early Childhood, including being a Nursery Room Leader. I have a strong passion for arts, music and movement, which makes me very excited to take on the role as Atelierista. My focus will be using my passion to inspire the children to learn and expand their creativity in these areas! Toonie Yoga Instructor Hi I’m Toonie and I have a Diploma in early childhood and am a certified Yoga teacher. I believe that yoga practice is the best tool to bring mindfulness and kindness to children. In Yoga for Kids classes, there is a balance between spontaneity and structure, so that children learn to listen to each other as well as express themselves creatively. We believe that children learn best when they are having fun. So Yoga for Kids classes interweave story, song, games and poses, allowing children to learn in a multi-sensory environment which explores kinesthetic, visual, aural, inter-and intra-personal learning. Through yoga and mindfulness, children maintain mind-body health and experience a greater capacity for kindness and compassion. Hannah Toddler Room Educator My name is Hannah and I am currently holding a Diploma in early childhood education. As an educator, I believe in taking on new ideas and opportunities to continue to develop my teaching skills within the industry. I am a strong believer in play-based learning and have had lots of experience in working with toddlers. I was the room leader at my previous centre, and look forward to bringing strong leadership and positive ideas to mi kids. “In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn,” – Phil Collins. Renee Toddler Room Educator After spending 11 years travelling the world as an international flight attendant, I decided in 2017 to change my career and follow my passion for the care and education of children. Now with my Diploma and the opportunity to be a part of this new family, I am excited to build relationships while supporting the minds, emotional growth and child-led learning of the next generation. I also have a beautiful son, and value and appreciate the other role I’ve been blessed to have in my life, being that of a mother. Kellie Nursery Room Educator My name is Kellie, through my 13 years of early education experience, and raising my own two children, my career has turned into a passion. I believe learning is happening all the time and is interwoven through all developmental domains and my goal is to nurture the whole child. I guide children into the next stage of development with confidence in themselves, and an excitement for continued learning. The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery. Shan Nursery Room Educator My name is Shan and I’m one of the experienced educators at mi kids. I’ve been working with children for over 20 years in a variety of settings. I’ve run my own family daycare, been a private nanny, and worked with high profile clients, children with special needs, and children who are ‘on set’. I’m a very creative and passionate person, and when I’m not working with children, I’m a Mum to my own two children. I also have my diploma in make-up art and special effect – and love to use my skills during Halloween and other special events to bring fun, creativity, and beauty to children’s lives. I’m a huge supporter of discovering a child’s personal strengths and showing them how they can use that to grow and develop into confident members of society. Molly Pre-School Room Educator I’m Molly and I’m in my second year of University. I originally enrolled in a Bachelor of Education (0-12 Years), but within my first week of placement in an Early Childhood setting I knew that the early years was where I belonged. I believe that the first 5 years of a child’s life are the most important they set the groundwork for their later years. I have had experience with children across all age groups, and from this came to really enjoy working with the pre-schoolers. I will be working in the preschool room and am very excited to share my beliefs with the children and the staff. I believe children learn best when they are engaged in meaningful activities where they are able to communicate and build upon their previous knowledge. Through these activities, the children are able to develop important skills that will benefit them in their later years. Lauren Pre-School Room Educator My name is Lauren and I have a diploma in childcare. I have been in the industry for 13 years. I have a strong passion for children and their education and learning. I believe that each child is capable at anything they put their mind too. I love watching the children grow and teaching them to learn. I have mainly taught in a 2-3 years room, but I am very excited to be embarking on a new journey to teach in the preschool room at mi kids. I’m open to new ideas and love working as a team. I also love travelling and another passion of mine is makeup. I’m excited to teach and meet the children and go on this adventure with you all. Kaylee Munch & Move Outdoor Program Educator Kaylee will be assisting on a part-time basis this year, before commencing in January as our Munch & Move Outdoor Program Educator! More details soon! Sacha Music and Movement Educator Sacha will be assisting on a part-time basis this year, before commencing in January as our Music & Movement Support Educator! More details soon! Melissa Inclusion Support Educator Melissa is a specialist in providing support to those children with particular needs. More details soon!