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

Nicola Jones - Head teacher

Tēnā koutou katoa
Ko Tararua ngā pae maunga
Ko Ōtaki te awa
Ko ngā tangata o Aotearoa te iwi
Ko Nicola Jones toku ingoa

Formerly a secondary teacher in New Zealand and Australia, I have worked many years in both public and private schools where I taught English and English as a second language. Those years in teaching provided me the opportunity to work with diverse learners of all ages from around the world. I have had exciting and varied teaching experiences, from teaching in Japan, designing academic English programs at Waikato Polytechnic to developing holiday programs for gifted children at the University of New South Wales. 

After such success in the gifted education program working with three to five year olds, my teaching took a new direction. From my first experience working with young children, I knew it was my passion. These last ten years I have built on my experience and knowledge through a unique role which enabled me to work for seven years in several Kindergartens. I also gained a deeper understanding of working with children with special needs at Conductive Education in Naenae.

Experience has taught me that children thrive when they are cared for by mindful and respectful teachers, where teachers take the time to get to know children and whanau and support their interests and aspirations through a rich and varied curriculum. I believe that relationships are at the heart of all learning and value trust, respect and integrity. I work to promote inclusion, positivity, a culture of inquiry where children are excited about learning and happy to come and learn. Furthermore, I would like to acknowledge and feel fortunate to be in a professional, experienced and caring team at Rainbow.

E koekoe te tūi, e ketekete te kākā, e kūkū te kererū.
(A whakatauki that celebrates diversity).
No reira, tēna koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

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.