Educators & Staff

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Nikki Bland
Nikki Bland

Educational Leader and 4 year old teacher

Nikki completed a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at Monash University in 1995 and has worked in a variety of settings since; from Primary Schools to childcare and sessional kindergarten. Nikki began with us in 2002 teaching both a four year old and three year old group. As an educator, Nikki believes that children are all individuals and learn best by doing. Activities and experiences provided in her classes are open ended, hands on, challenging (yet achievable), with each child receiving a balance between child initiated and adult supported experiences. Nikki believes that children learn through play; forming concepts about their world that become the stepping stones for future learning. Nikki has lived on the Mornington Peninsula all her life and is married with a son.

Emma Casey
Emma Casey

Nominated Supervisor and 3 & 4 Year Old Teacher

Emma has a has Bachelor of Arts (Early Childhood). Emma has worked in the childcare and education industry for over 25 years and commenced her kindergarten teaching career in 2003. Emma believes that as the children are investigating, exploring, learning and discovering, it is her role to help facilitate and extend upon that learning, asking questions to further deepen their thinking and ideas, providing resources, props and an environment that is inspiring, challenging, super fun, messy, open-ended, natural and reflects the children’s passions and interests.

Kelli Holloway
Kelli Holloway

4 Year Old Teacher

Kelli completed a Bachelor of Education at Monash University and has worked in a variety of teaching settings since 1991, working with both three and four year old children. Keli joined us in 2014. She vehemently believes that all children are individuals and deserve to be treated in this way. As an educator she feels it is important to provide opportunities for children to participate in open ended activities which allow them to make discoveries, learn and practise a variety of skills and acquire knowledge which they will use on their journey through life. Kelli has lived in the area for over twenty years and has three adult children.

Kathryn Howe
Kathryn Howe

4 Year Old Teacher

Kathryn trained at the Institute of Early Childhood Development in the late 1980’s obtaining a Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood). She has experience working as a teacher in schools, childcare and kindergarten settings both in South Gippsland and here on the Mornington Peninsula. Kathryn commenced with us in a relief capacity in 2008. She has since had roles leading our Explorers program, three year old Bilby Group and currently teaches the four year old Kookaburra Group. Music is one of Kathryn’s passions and she regularly plays guitar in her class, providing the children with a rich musical experience. As an educator, Kathryn provides a fun, safe, secure and stimulating environment and her programs are play-based with a focus on open ended activities. Kathryn’s classes also emphasise socialisation, emotional development and learning to become part of a group.

Shelley Duyvestyn
Shelley Duyvestyn

3 Year Old Teacher

Shelley commenced teaching at BKCC in 2016. She has a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and has 10 years' experience in the sector. Her personal philosophy is centred on the importance of play-based and child-centred learning and aims to facilitate this through providing an environment that is challenging and open-ended, which combines both child-initiated and teacher-supported experiences.

Nicole O'Connell
Nicole O'Connell

Explorers Progam Leader

Nicole has a Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary Teaching (Honours), and has been an employee at BKCC since 2018. Nicole has worked with children of all ages (from Kindergarten to Primary School age) for over 5 years. She believes children are eager to learn and that learning is a lifelong journey. Nicole works hard to enure that that children know that they are valuable and worthy members of their family and society; that they will be nurtured, encouraged and made to feel secure in their learning, and that they will know and understand that each child is special in their own right and that no two children are the same.

Karen Tomczak
Karen Tomczak

Kindergarten Educator

Karen is an educator in both our three and four year old programs. She holds a Diploma of Early Childhood Education & Care and a Certificate of Education - Integration Aide. Karen began her career in education in 1997 and joined our kindergarten in 2000. She is passionate about supporting and nurturing all children to develop social confidence, emotional development and self-esteem; so that each child feels safe and secure in the kinder environment. Karen has lived on the Mornington Peninsula since 1978, and together with her husband has raised their three children and now are enjoying the next chapter in their life as a family –enjoying their grandchildren!

Gillian Wildish
Gillian Wildish

Kindergarten educator

Gillian holds a Certificate III in Children's Services and has been an employee at BKCC since 2014. She has a passion for natural play spaces, creative use of handmade, recycled and sustainable resources and loves 'messy play'.

Amanda Scott
Amanda Scott

4 Year Old Kindergarten Educator

Amanda obtained her Diploma of Community Services (Child Care) in 1996. Since then she has worked in long day care, family day care and two local kindergartens. Amanda commenced with us in 2009 running the occasional care program (now known as Explorers) and is now one of our four year old kindergarten program educators. Amanda believes children are individuals with different needs and strengths and that as early childhood educators it is our role to foster and nurture their early education.

Emma Boyes
Emma Boyes

3 & 4 Year Old Educator

Emma commenced permanent employment with BKCC in 2016. She has completed a Diploma in Early Childhood Education. Emma believes that each child is unique and needs encouragement and affection to assist them to enhance their special talents and self-esteem. She helps to provide a welcoming and natural environment.

Sarah Briggs
Sarah Briggs

Explorer's Educator

Sarah began with BKCC in 2016 and has many years of experience in early childhood centres. She is an advocate of play-based learning and developing positive relationships with those around her.