Educators & Staff


Nikki Bland – Educational Leader and 4 year old teacher

Nikki completed a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at Monash University in 1995. Nikki commenced work at BKCC in 2002. As an educator, Nikki believes children are individuals and that they learn best by ‘doing’. Activities provided in Nikki’s class are open-ended, hands on, challenging yet achievable and each child receives a balance between child-initiated and adult-supported experiences. Nikki believes children learn through play, forming concepts about their world that become the stepping stones for future learning.


Emma Casey - Nominated supervisor and 3 & 4 year old teacher

Emma has a Bachelor of Arts (Early Childhood). Emma has worked in the childcare and education industry for over 20 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 that learning, asking questions to further extend on their thinking and ideas, providing props and an environment that is inspiring, challenging, super fun, messy, open-ended, natural and reflects the children's passions and interests.


Kelli Holloway - 4 year old teacher

Kelli has been teaching since 1991, working with both three and four year old groups. Kelli started teaching at BKCC in 2014 and is very much part of the Baxter and wider Mornington Peninsula community, having lived in the area for nearly 20 years. Kelli believes that all children are individuals and deserve to be treated in this way. Kelli provides many open-ended opportunities for children to make discoveries, learn and practice a variety of skills and knowledge to help on their journey through life.


Kathryn Howe - 4 year old teacher

Kathryn trained at the Institute of Early Childhood Development in the late 1980s and has experience working in schools, childcare and kindergarten settings. Kathryn’s involvement with BKCC commenced in 2008/09. 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 socialization, emotional development and learning to become part of a group.


Shelley Duyvestyn - 3 year old teacher

Shelley commenced at BKCC in 2016 teaching a three year old group. She has a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and has more than five 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, open-ended, combining child-initiated and educator-supported experiences.


Nicole O'Connell - Kindergarten educator

Nicole has a Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary Teaching (Honours), and has been an employee at BKCC at the commencement of 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. That children must 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, that they will know and understand that each one of them is special in their own right and that no two children are the same.


Karen Tomczak - Kindergarten educator

Karen began working at BKCC in 2000 and has over 17 years experience in the early childhood sector. Karen is also a local and Mornington Peninsula resident. Karen feels very fortunate to work with such a great teaching team, in a friendly and happy centre.


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 - 4 year old Kindergarten educator

Amanda obtained her Diploma of Community Services (Child Care) in 1996. Since then Amanda, has worked in long day care and also as a carer with City of Casey Family Day Care. Amanda commenced working at BKCC in 2009 as the Explorers Coordinator. Later, Amanda became one of the 4 year old Kindergarten educators. Amanda grew up on the Mornington Peninsula and is part of the wider community. Amanda left us for short period of time, but has rejoined our team for 2019 and beyond.


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 - Explorer's educator

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