Inspired Minds Early Learning Centre

 Learning For Life................


At Inspired Minds we believe our role is to help children reach their full potential through love and education. We want children “to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society”.

We aim to provide a child-initiated programme to encourage each individual child’s development. We want to encourage children to become lifelong learners by developing intellectual curiosity and a thirst for discovery and achievement. We hold key dispositions such as confidence, curiosity, independence, creativity, perseverance and empathy in high regard and as the tools for lifelong success.

 To help shape the positive dispositions of our Tamariki we will engage in positive, respectful relationships with the children and whanau.  Children will feel valued and will be able to express their thoughts, ideas and feelings to interested and caring adults. We want children to feel Joy, Love, Peace and Happiness while they are in the Inspired Minds environment. Friendships, kindness, social competency and positive communication will be emphasised and role modelled by adults.

Parents and whanau will be our partners in the enabling process of care and education.  We strive for face to face communication with whanau. We respect the Treaty of Waitangi and understand its significance in Aotearoa where a bi-cultural and multicultural society are embraced and celebrated in its entirety. We will uphold te Tiriti o Waitangi through protection, participation, and partnership with the Tamariki, whanau, te reo Maori and environment . 

We understand that the environment the children are in shapes their learning. We will allow children to take risks, challenge themselves and discover personal success. We understand the importance of nature in children’s learning. We will enable them to develop their own relationship with nature and a respect for it.  We will support this connection to nature through learning to care for the environment and their surroundings.


Our Fabulous Teaching Team

We have an amazing team of teachers. Check out their profiles.............


Kia ora

I am originally from the beautiful Waitakere City (west Auckland). I have been working in Early Childhood for the last 12 or so years in Auckland.  I was lucky enough to stumble into Early Childhood education while doing my Bachelors of Education Primary.  Because the early years in a child’s development has such a huge impact on a child’s life I was determined to play my part as teacher and I knew I could do more as an Early Childhood teacher rather than a primary teacher. 

 My parents  and a few awesome teachers have taught and role modelled to me the importance of respect, imagination, and patience. I do my best every day to role model that to my 4 year old son and 17month old girl and all the children under my care at Inspired Minds. At work I love having the opportunity to watch and be part of the children’s natural development and see them developing their skills for life every day. 

Before starting Inspired Minds Early Learning Centre I have worked as a teacher, team leader and the last position I held was a Centre Director in Auckland for a large Early Childhood centre. 

In my spare time I love to keep active.  As a new member to the beautiful northland community my wife and I like to take our son to the different beaches, parks and walks in Whangarei.  I like to fish and was playing rugby up until moving to Whangarei this summer.    I keep a friendly blue dragon under my house the children like to hear stories about.  My favourite superheros are Wolverine and Scrooge McDuck.  I can’t wait to get to know you and your child more.  

Favourite Quote "Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!" Dr Seuss


Karina started in Early Childhood Education as a volunteer in 2006. In 2007 she began her journey to become qualified starting the Bachelor of Education. She works in early childhood education because of her passion for teaching and caring for young children and supporting them in their growth and milestones.  When Karina is not at work she is spending time with her Family ,one loving cat Nigel, her husband and 2 beautiful children. Karina loves shopping and likes going out for meals with her favourite food being pasta. Karina also spends her time out of work watching her husband compete in rally car racing events.  Karina is inspired by her family and says “because of them I know the person I want to be and where I want to be”. Her heros are her Nana and Grandad as they have taught her about respect, dreams and ambitions. Something she wants to teach her own children and the children at Inspired Minds.  At work one of the things Karina enjoys is the planning and assessment. She finds it rewarding being  part of their learning and development and seeing them reach their goals.

Karina says “this job is so rewarding because everyday is different and you cant have a day without laughing or having fun!”








Hey guys. My name is Shelley. I live here in Whangarei with my partner. Before becoming a member of the amazing team here at Inspired Minds Early Learning Centre I worked down the road at another centre for 6 years. I have two older sisters and I am a pretty cool Aunty to two adorable nephews and one beautiful niece. My favourite thing to do is jump in the car and just cruise. We always end up at the beach or find a stunning bay to admire. My family is everything to me. The majority of the time we are spending time together having laughs, making memories and eating food. Nearly seven years ago I became a teacher because I found out that my love for children was a passion for children. I felt like I could make a positive influence in their live. It is such a great feeling knowing that the children are gaining new knowledge about themselves. Not only are they learning everyday but also they are teaching me. Watching the children try new experiences would ave to be the best part of my day. I work with such an amazing team who I learn so much from and inspire me.  We all work extremely well together and I couldn’t ask for anything better. My favourite colour is yellow. I love to swim. Bacon carbonara is my go to food and Winnie the Pooh is my childhood favourite character. I am a very bubbly person who loves to have a whole lot of fun and laughs I cant wait to meet you.

Favourite quote “a teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart” 


I have been teaching for close to 11 years now and I still wake up each morning excited about what the day will bring.   When I’m not at work I spend my time at a local powerlifting gym training.  I live by the motto of fit health and strong at any size. If I’m not at the gym covered in chalk, I am actively involved in promoting body positivity, I am a plus sized model and was on Survivor NZ promoting the message that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.  I have a unique dress sense that promotes my outlook on life. My biggest passion is promoting the message that no matter what you look like or how you dress you are special, and you are unique and you belong in this world. 

The early years of development are critical for children developing a love and passion for lifelong learning. I view every child as competent, creative, curious and full of potential. My role in this self-discovery process is that of a co-learner who observes and facilitates learning respectfully and learns alongside the children. I am committed to professional and ethical practice that fosters an inclusive, respectful environment for all tamariki. I will respect and support the individual needs and rights of both tamariki and whānau as I believe culturally responsive partnerships are paramount to positive outcomes for all tamariki.

Establishing relationships with tamariki and whānau based on trust and respect is at the core of my teaching philosophy. I place a high value on both whanaungatanga me manaakitanga, these tikanga Māori principles not only guide my every day teaching practice but also underpin my teaching philosophy. I believe that fundamentals such as communication, confidence, journey of learning and a strong sense of belonging stems from the foundations of reciprocal trust and respect.

I have a passion for helping young children discover and define their voice, this drives me to cultivate a child-centred learning environment, one that supports individual learning and group learning goals. Not only do I strive to create an inquiry-driven curriculum with children at the centre of their own learning. I am also highly motivated to research and reflect on my own teaching practices by continually seeking out opportunities to build my professional knowledge and skills.

I place a high importance on manaakitanga and the critical role it plays in developing authentic, reciprocal relationships with whānau in order to maintain and strengthen ongoing positive relationships.