The Team!

Lisette Sheehan

Centre Director and owner


I have been an Early Childhood Educator for 20 years and hold a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education). My true journey towards understanding how, what and why children need a certain type of environment to truly fly began with the birth of my own 4 children. I believe in teaching from the heart and I believe in the importance of authentic, respectful and loving relationships.


I have always imagined the perfect place for children and that dream now comes to life at A Childs Place. It’s a place where children have uninterrupted time to freely explore and test their working theories. It’s a place where their voice is heard and understood. It is also a place where the family are heard and supported in their journey too.


I look forward to meeting the families in our new community and joining in you and your child’s journey with us.

Megan Browne

Centre Director and owner

With over 20 years’ experience in the Early Childhood Sector, I have a wealth of valuable knowledge, skills and experience.  I am totally committed to ensuring we provide the type of environment that children feel happy to come to each day and that our Centre lives up to its philosophy.

I love seeing children explore, develop and grow in a safe and stimulating environment.  “I believe children need long periods of uninterrupted play that is initiated, guided and directed by them”. 

As a mother, myself I can identify and relate to the challenges parents face today.  My warm, caring and friendly nature is welcomed and appreciated by whanau, colleagues and children who find me approachable at any time, and willing to go the extra mile. I look forward in having the privilege to be a part of you and your child's learning journey at A Child's Place.

I have a Diploma of Education (ECE) and a Bachelor of Education (ECE).

Rita DuPlooy

Team Leader - Tawa

My name is Rita and I am the team leader for the Tawa room. I have over 10 years experience working with toddlers and I am very passionate about their learning.

I believe that warm, open relationships in which we all feel valued, respected and loved, form the foundation for deep and meaningful learning. Warm, trusting, reciprocal relationships promote joyful moments, inspire collaboration and build respect for new and different ways of seeing and doing.

It is my goal to create an environment for toddlers, where positive relationships can flourish between children, teachers, whanau and the community. This will create a safe place where our toddlers will feel confident to take risks, explore and test their theories about the world around them.

To be entrusted with laying the foundation for your little ones development is a privilege and I am looking forward to working with you.

Abby Benson-Cooper

Teacher - Tawa

I enjoy teaching children independence, exploration and creativity. I am motivated as a teacher and Mother by watching children grow, experiment and explore their ideas and working theories for themselves. I believe in trial and error by the learner and guiding and supporting as a teacher. I embrace children's home language and have done so in teaching my daughter language from her heritage. I believe language is the key to everything so learning with and alongside children language of their home and families is a key passion of mine. 


Above all, I am a caring, empathetic teacher but I also love a good laugh. I enjoy the way children see the world and can't wait to be part of their world whilst at A Child's Place Huapai.


I have been working with children for the past 15 years, whilst working in an early childhood setting for over 10. Primarily my experience is with infants and toddlers and I am truly passionate about this age group. I draw a lot of my personal philosophy on how infants and toddlers are best nurtured and supported in an early childhood setting from the workings of Magda Gerber where children are seen as capable and competent with an innate desire to learn and when they are ready, they will do so at their own pace. This ability to learn and explore the environment is only possible with a secure, responsive and respectful relationship with their primary caregiver and other educators they come into close contact with. I am new to A Child’s Place and have chosen to bring my two young children with me because of the obvious passion for the children and want to provide quality care both Lisette and Megan show. I’m excited to start this new journey here and getting to know all of your beautiful children. 


“Childhood is not a race to see how quickly a child can read, write and count. It is a small window of time to learn and develop at the pace that is right for each individual child. Earlier is not better” ~Magda Gerber~

Briahna Sheehan

Teacher - Tawa


Kia Ora my name is Briahna, and I am a teacher in the Tawa Room. I have recently finished my Bachelor of Education in Primary and am now working towards becoming a fully registered teacher. I fell in love with toddlers through doing relief work here at A Child’s Place for the last two years and am honored to be a part of the Tawa team.


I am passionate about this amazing age group and its important to me that toddlers are supported and nurtured through their emotional development. I believe that strong relationships are the core to everything. These relationships are built through trust, respect and love.


I believe in creating an environment that allows all children to have their needs met through communication and understanding. This allows that child to feel emotionally satisified and will enable them to fully engage in the surroundings around them.


I look forward to getting to know you and your toddler throughout their journey here at A Childs Place. 

Nicola Smith

Team Leader - Totara


Kia Ora, 


My name is Nicola and I have a huge passion towards working with children. I have lived in the community since I was young and still live locally with my family. 


I have been in the Childcare Sector for 15 years and enjoy working alongside tamariki and educators to create a warm, nurturing and loving environment where we can all grow and learn by creating an environment where we are all respected and learn alongside one another. 


I look forward to my Journey here at A Child's Place and getting to know you and your families


Nicola X

Arna Pidgeon-Dalzell
Teacher - Totara


Kia Ora, my name is Arna and I am new to the team here at A Child’s Place. I am super excited to come on board at this lovely centre and learn from the great teachers around me. I have been involved with Early Childhood Education for over two and a half years now and I love being a part of creating an engaging, nurturing and fun learning environment. I believe in trying to create a life-long love of learning by encouraging our tamariki to express themselves and to explore their own strengths and talents.


One of the things I love most about being a teacher are those moments when I get to see the enjoyment of a child grasping a new idea, perfecting a new skill, or creating something they are very proud of. Having fun with educational arts, crafts, games and imaginative play are some of my favourite parts of the day.

I am looking forward to getting to know the children and their whanau 

Pauline Hodder

Teacher - Totara

I've been working with children for over twenty years now and I consider my role in teaching to be a calling and a duty in helping children to grow into compassionate, empathetic and confident grown ups.


I attained a B.A degree in Social Anthropology (study of human behaviour in societies) and Education and consider these foundations to underpin my philosophy and teaching practices.


I believe that children should always have a strong voice and it's up to us to guide them in the ways of becoming good humanitarians in any community. If we teach children how to love with a generous and caring heart we can never go wrong

Kristen Day

Teaacher - Titoki


Kia Ora I'm Kristen

I hold a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and have 16 years experience in the sector.

Caring for children and watching them learn through play is a passion of mine. I truly believe in the importance of learning through play for children to develop crucial foundation skills to be life long learners. 

I have experience with all age groups from 3 months to five years. My most current roles have been with Infants. 

I have two beautiful boys of my own a 9 year old named Koby and a 3 year old named Asher. 

My interests out of work include DIY projects, Sewing, The beach and most importantly family time. 

I look forward to getting to know you all.

Kristen xxx

Tash McDonald

Centre Cook, Reliever


I'm 30 years old, married and have two daughters aged 9 and 6. We live locally in Waimauku and love the close-knit community.

My passion for cooking started as a young child, making dinners with Mum or baking with grandparents was a favourite thing to do. I have been in the food industry for 15 years, Including Cafes, Restaurants, Home delivery cooking and Childcare centres.

Cooking healthy, tasty and homely meals for the children is important to me because I believe eating should be a time to gather and enjoy each others company and to share and reflect with one another.

When I'm not in the kitchen I love spending time with the children in their rooms, watching them explore and thrive in the environment around them. 

Building a special bond with the kids makes me really happy, especially when they are delighted with the food we prepare.

See you all around 

Tash :)