Staff at Rainbow Learning

We believe in providing quality care and education. Three of our four teachers are qualified and registered, and have a tertiary qualification in Early Childhood Education. Our fourth part time teacher has a NZ Certificate in Early Childhood Education (Level 4) and 20 years experience.

We offer a high teacher/ child ration to allow teachers to spend time in small groups with the children.

All of our teachers attend regular professional development courses in early childhood education through out the year to learn new skills and ensure their teaching is current.

Teaching staff

Penny Burgess - Head teacher

I am thrilled to be one of the newest members of the Rainbow teaching team. I am passionate about ensuring that the tamariki and their whanau who attend Rainbow have the opportunity to be a part of an small and amazing like-minded community.

I have been teaching for 20 years and am a Mum to two wonderfully spirited boys. I love that I am able to share my whanau and our adventures with the whanau and their tamariki at Rainbow. It is a joy and privilege to support and scaffold others' tamariki as they grow and learn.

I am a passionate and committed teacher who really enjoys seeing children delight in the world and experiences around them. I love to be able to offer them fun experiences to explore and help them to develop their own understanding of how things work and the world around them. I enjoy being silly, dancing, music, getting outside and being creative.

I am a big believer in teaching from the heart and as a leader, kaiako and parent I understand the importance of ensuring that whanau are included in all of their tamariki’s learning. Maanakitanga and Whaungatanga are very important aspects of my teaching, ensuring that we develop strong responsive, reciprocal and respectful relationships at Rainbow between each other.

I continue to develop my knowledge and understanding around te reo and te Ao Maori and keep working with whanau to be able to support the tamariki as they form their own understanding of where they come from and how everything links.

Sonia Belsham

Working at Rainbow with the children is very important to me. To me it is more than a work place.

I began working at Rainbow Early Learning Centre in 2004 while completing my Bachelor of Education (Teaching Early Childhood) at Victoria University.

My decision to become involved in Early Childhood Education stemmed from my experience in raising my own children and the joy I experienced through being involved in their own ECE experience.

It is my goal as a leader and teacher to promote and work together with whanau and children to provide a caring, responsive and intentional curriculum that empowers children to grow and lead their learning.

I get excited about seeing childrens creativity in action, I love how they surprise us with new ideas and innovations, making the most of their environment.

I enjoy sharing my own ideas with the children to develop and create challenges. I treasure the childrens relationships with each other and the relationships we build as a teaching team, with the whanau and their children as well as relationships that grow between children over time.

In my own time I enjoy reading, baking, exercising, spending time with family and with friends. I have travelled extensively and I love meeting families from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Robyn Pearce

As a teacher and a parent I love getting to know the children and discovering their unique personalities’. Its exciting and a privilege being on the journey with children and their families as through experiences they develop and extend their existing skills, give new ones a go and discover “I can”.

I see Rainbow as a community with teachers and families working as a team to enable children to be involved in safe, happy, fun and quality learning experiences. At Rainbow we nurture children, value, extend and marvel at their creative ideas. We also actively encourage children to learn with and from each other.

Our natural environment allows children to be involved in growing the food they will eat, to discover and follow the lives of bugs, butterflies and birds. Gardening and its connection to our lives and the world around us is a passion of mine.

I value the diversity that different cultures bring to the centre and believe that we can continue learning from each other throughout our lives.

After working part-time for many years in Early Childhood Education, I completed my degree in ECE and hold a full teachers registration.

Lorina Blair

I joined Rainbow Early Learning Centre in 2011 and completed the New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education (level 4) in 2011.

I am passionate and dedicated about contributing to the intellectual, emotional and physical needs of young children. For 18 years I have been teaching Sunday school and am excited to watch children grow and flourish.

I come from the Philippines and have two school age children.

Support staff

Sarah Todd

I have been involved with Rainbow Early Learning Centre since 2005 as an owner and started working in the office in 2009. I have three school age children and work in the office part time. I have a Bachelor of Property Administration.