Staff

We have three staff with Master Degrees and two with Honours Bachelors. On staff are three Early Childhood Teachers working with the preschoolers and Diploma qualified Educator leading the day care. Our staff are permanent and we don’t use casuals. The Director holds two Masters, Post Graduate Diploma of Education, Bachelor and has some 25 year experience in Education from a teacher to a lecturer, author of text books and designing statewide curriculum. All of us here at Merewether Day Care share a passion for working with children in small groups where individuals can be heard and assistance can be given to promote the uniqueness in each child. All the staff also share a common attitude towards children to facilitate healthy choices and positive respectful interactions with everyone. We all seek to create a calm, peaceful environment where children can learn to explore and make friendships in this home away from home, educational setting where their contribution is valued.


Robinanne – Nominated Supervisor, Owner
Masters of Educational Management
Masters of Business Management
Post Graduate Diploma of Education
Bachelor of Economics
Certificate III Early Childhood
30 years experience

“In the 1980s I was one of the first people to start a family day care in the Hills of Perth after having my own son at home and a friend asking me to also mind their one year old. As I got more requests I decided to formalise this arrangement and ended up with 5 children under the age of 4. It was a wonderful time where my son had little friends to play with and being a qualified teacher I was able to teach through play. We had a great bush block with a creek and lots of wildlife. All the children would pop in the car and I’d take them to ballet once per week, to the local swimming pool for lessons and even on the train to the Royal Show!

When my son started school I went too! As a teacher I taught primary school but mainly high school and ended up the Head of Department of Business and Social Sciences and then the Director of Upper School. I also worked as a contract lecturer in Business, wrote a number of text books, and worked for the Law Society as their Legal Education Officer for WA located at the Supreme Court Perth. I completed a Masters in Educational Management and when I moved back to NSW undertook a Masters of Business Management and lectured for the University of Sydney at the Orange campus.

Moving to Newcastle and wanting to work from home, leaving the busy professional life, I went back to my roots, and started up a Family Day Care again with my daughter-in-law Natalie. This has blossomed and now we have 20 children attending daily with 5 full time equivalent staff daily. As the centre grew I wanted to stay true to my philosophical base that I know children learn best a) learning through play, b) in small learning groups c) with highly qualified, enthusiastic, dedicated teachers and d) going out into the real world to experience life. I’ve always felt children should have a beautiful space with access to nature and trees that we have at Merewether Day Care. Here a child is an individual and not a number.” –Robinanne

Gianne
Gianne – Director
Diploma Early Childhood
20 years experience

“Merewether Day Care is such a unique place to work. 20 children a day allows for educators to have the opportunity to get to know and spend quality time with each child and form meaningful relationships with the families. A special part of Merewether Day Care is the twice weekly excursions. These are an important part of the program and allow educators and children the chance to be part of the wider community.

I have been working in the childcare industry for 18 years. I was born and raised in Newcastle and have Diploma in Children’s Services. I have always enjoyed working with young children and over the years have had a variety of different roles from room leader to centre director. Spending time with my family, my dog Coby and friends is also important to me.

I believe every child is unique and deserves the very best we can give them. I enjoy seeing children grow and develop. I believe in interest based play that allows children to create their own learning journey, and this can be facilitated even more within a small group setting like Merewether Day Care.” –Gianne

Nicole
Nicole – Trainee Nominated Supervisor

“I have been working in the childcare industry for 23 years. I have been so fortunate to have held many different roles during my career. These included childcare educator, special needs support, room leader, scheme coordinator, assessor with TAFE, and as a family day care educator of which I operated my service for 10 years, caring for 76 beautiful children in that time. I have a Diploma in Childrens Service, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and Certificate 3 in Children Services.

I believe that all children can grow, develop skills, explore and play in the right environment. I am passionate about play in the natural environment, loose parts and all play outdoors.

I was captivated by Merewether Day Care for its unique perspective for embracing the whole family network. A beautiful setting with everything perfectly and so thoughtful designed for children’s quality care and education. Every detail thought of including the family and the connection with the community.

My husband and I have two beautiful daughters. We all share the love for the outdoors, beaches in summer and the snow in winter.” –Nicole

Rachael
Rachael – Montessori Specialist
Currently on maternity leave
Bachelor Early Childhood with Honours
15 years experience

“Merewether Daycare is one of a kind! With only 20 children a day and small groupings it really gives educators the opportunity to truely get to know and spend quality time with each and every child. The children themselves also build wonderful bonds with one another, it is so rewarding to see these relationships develop. Twice weekly excursions, to a variety of places including parks, libraries, art galleries and current exhibitions, also allow educators and children the chance to be part of the wider community and experience the real world which is so very rare in a regular daycare setting.

Robinanne has an eclectic approach to education and in my time at Merewether Daycare the program has been enhanced by the likes of ballet teachers, yoga instructors and the amazing Fairy Anna who takes the children on the most wonderful imaginative journeys. I personally have been able to use my training and experience to provide a Montessori influence. I am very passionate about Montessori and have so enjoyed running baby, toddler and preschool Montessori sessions, all completely inspired by the interests and needs of the children.

I am currently on maternity leave and very much enjoying this special time with my 10 week old little boy. I also have twin girls who have just turned 6 and started primary school. In my spare time I love spending time with my family, going to the beach and just enjoying the simple things in life!” –Rachael

Wendy
Wendy – Art Specialist
Certificate III Early Childhood
4 years experience

“I have been working in the childcare industry for 4 years. I hold a Certificate III in children’s services. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

I was drawn to Merewether Day Care, because of its calmer, less hurried atmosphere. Being a smaller centre makes your time with the children, staff and families more personalised.

I believe every child is unique and I’m passionate about seeing children grow and develop in every area of their lives. It is a privilege to work alongside children and families, building trusting relationships with every individual and being involved in the development of every child.” –Wendy

Rebecca
Rebecca – Daycare Room Leader
Diploma Early Childhood
10 years experience

“Finishing my Diploma in Childrens Services in 2011, I have worked with all ages of children from 0-6 years old; loving different aspects with each age group. Here at Merewether Day Care, I am Room leader of the Baby Group. This makes coming to work so very busy but also so much fun. No two days are the same. I love how at Merewether Day Care, I am able to  watch my babies grow up and move onto each room, and still be involved in teaching them, in this family like environment at this centre.

Having previously worked in a very commercial daycares, I found these centres became more about the profits than anything else. When I came to Merewether Day Care I found the children came first not profits! With the smaller, intimate groups, this provides a much high quality of care and education.

Merewether Day Care has become like a family to me, with the teachers, director, children and their amazing families providing a sense of community. The chance to take children out in the community and teach them valuable life skills, is very rewarding as a teacher as we often have members of the general public come up and say how well behaved the children are. This strikes a sense of pride in me, as if they were my own children!” –Bec


Melanie – Daycare Educator
Bachelor of Law
Diploma of Legal Practice
Bachelor of Business
Certificate III Early Childhood
Studying
2 years experience

“Working at MDC has made me in to one of those people who say “they love their job” and as corny as it sounds I truly do. I work in a beautiful environment, with the centre and backyard feeling like a little sanctuary, and the team at MDC are like a tight knit family rather than just colleagues. Robinanne is always available and provides amazing support and developmental opportunities. The high standards that are set only push you to become the best educator you can be and there is a complete focus on the children, their development and welfare.

I have always had a passion for working with young children. Children have the ability to provide you with absolute honesty which is refreshing and rare. The relationships that develop are so special, you are always guaranteed a smile and a laugh and children are such a joy to educate with their willingness to learn and experience new things. The wonder and awe on their little faces when they see or experience something for the first time makes it all worthwhile. Working in this sector and knowing you are helping shape the lives of these little humans and are a part of their crucial formative years provides amazing job satisfaction.

I was born and raised in Newcastle and attended Newcastle University where I completed a Bachelor of Business and a Bachelor of Law. After working in the corporate world in Sydney for 10 years I decided to finally follow my true passion and am currently re-training in early childhood education. I am a mother of two beautiful children, a vivacious 4 year old daughter and an already strong willed 8 month old baby boy, both of who keep my husband and I very busy!” –Melanie


Amelia Brinkman – Early Childhood Teacher
Bachelor of Early Childhood

“After completing 2 years of a degree in midwifery I realised my passion was for babies and children, especially development and education. I therefore switched over to Early Childhood and Primary Education at ACU in Sydney which I completed in 2015. Since then I have held a variety of Room Leader roles in a couple of different day care centres, working with children and infants of all ages. At the moment I work two days a week for KU across the Newcastle region. This compliments my day a week at Merewether Day Care as I get to develop and source ideas for learning and teaching from a variety of places. I love going on the learning journeys with children and being a part of those moments when they discover something for the first time.

I recently moved to Newcastle with my Husband after spending 2 years in the UK and Europe. Whilst in the UK I did some teaching at a primary school as well as worked as a Nanny for a family with three children. Now that we are back in Australia, we are acclimatising to the Newcastle lifestyle and are enjoying the beach and the great weather. My passions include outdoor play and adventure (e.g. climbing trees, digging, building forts and wildlife watching), travelling and eating all sorts of cuisines.

I was very grateful and excited to be invited into the Merewether Day Care family and I am looking forward to seeing where this opportunity takes me and the amazing children I get to learn with.” –Amelia


Jordie – Preschool Teacher
Diploma Early Childhood
Studying Bachelor course
3 years experience

natalie
Natalie – Administration/Website/Design
Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting Major) with Honours
Diploma of Visual Art
10 years experience

“From its humble beginnings to the inspirational centre it has become today, it is very moving to see the love and compassion still sky-rocketing within Merewether Day Care and its community of families and friends. It is a pleasure to work with Robinanne and the families, through enrolment processes, administration, website maintenance and to produce the annual portfolios of our much adored children.” –Natalie


Aimee – Yoga Teacher

“Hello, I am Aimee! I am the creator and founder of Happy Little Yogis.

I’m a passionate Yogini and heart-centered Mama. I believe that yoga has
something to offer everyone and kids are no exception! Yoga has not only changed
my life, but has been a source of great joy and nourishment for my children. In
my experience, the earlier we get on the mat, the better!

The benefits of yoga for children are abundant and include:
~ Gentle guidance to help them live in their truth, from the heart
~ Encouragement of mindfulness in daily life
~ Simple strategies for slowing down and unwinding
~ Easy, fun tools for grounding and centering
~ Socialising with other kids and families in a nurturing environment

With all this in mind, I have created ‘Happy Little Yogis’; a dynamic, vibrant,
fun-filled class for children (and their parents too!).

Happy Little Yogis classes are designed to help your little ones develop
self-confidence and self-love through self-awareness.

The classes are physically energetic and animated to begin, incorporating
exciting elements of music, dance, drama and lots of active imagination!

We then slow down our flow to emphasise breathing, relaxation and intuition.

Happy Little Yogis classes are full of fun, profound lessons on love, respect
and connection with people, nature, animals and our beautiful world.

Because yoga isn’t just for grown-ups!”–Aimee

Anna
Anna has been engaging and entertaining children and their families for over 15 yrs across Newcastle and the Hunter. Anna trained and worked as a Captain Starlight in John Hunter Children’s Hospital where she performed, engaged with children and families and managed a team of 8 Captain Starlight’s for 7 years. She also assisted in the development and mentoring of the national team of Captains to learn to engage and connect with youth, particularly the most vulnerable. With her upbeat energy and passion for empowering children, she brings 10 yrs of working in media and the arts together with 10 yrs of training and working with children and adults from all over the world in the personal development field into her business Inspired Play.

Her purpose is to support consciousness to awaken, her passion is working with children and their families to connect and grow and she chooses to do all of this through her values-based educational entertainment sessions. Cultivating gratitude, connecting to self and others, mindfulness and group work…..combine this with fun upbeat music and activities for under 6 yr olds and you have Inspired Play!

Anna is so grateful and happy to be a part of the Merewether Day Care Community.