Our Team

Kate - Centre Manager

After advancing my professional career in many different roles in the Early Childhood sector since mid 2000, I joined the Samantha’s team in early 2017 and continued to practice my personal philosophy of ‘making each child’s day the best it can possibly be’.

I pride myself on leading a team to success by empowering them to achieve their own personal and professional goals which in turn creates an atmosphere where educators are engaged, children have meaningful and respectful relationships and an environment where families have confidence in those caring for and educating their children.

I have held many different roles within the Early childhood field including Outside School Hours Care, Room Leading, 2IC roles and then moving into the Tertiary sector as a Trainer and Assessor for Early Childhood and Community Sector studies. Missing the families and children I transitioned back into a centre-based role as Manager and then mentor for sister centres in a larger company for over 5 years before beginning my role as Manager at Samantha’s Childcare and Kindergarten.

I hold multiple qualifications in Early Childhood, Counselling and Management, and these have been important in guiding my knowledge I do also believe that Early childhood educators learn from those around them including the children and that we never stop learning.

I look forward to meeting and welcoming you into the Samantha’s community where you and your children will always feel safe, nurtured and ready to embrace the learning opportunities surrounding us.

Sharon - 2IC and Support Educator

I started my Early Childhood career as a 19-year-old straight out of high school when I completed my Nursey School Teachers certificate in Cape Town, South Africa. I worked in various schools around the Cape Peninsular and with children from different socio-economic back grounds and it was the beginning of my career which spanned over 30 years.

I’m married to the love of my life, David and we have 3 daughters who are all grown up and doing their own thing with only the youngest, Lauren still at home. David and I immigrated to New Zealand and I continued my career educating young children in Christchurch and Dunedin and kept my qualifications current by New Zealand standards by attending professional development courses through Christchurch Teachers College.

After 12 years in New Zealand we decided to give Australia a go and we’ve been in Melbourne from last 20 years. It was with great disappointment that I discovered that my South African qualifications are not recognised in Australia so in 2011 I retrained and completed my Diploma in Early childhood and then an Advanced Diploma.

When we first arrived in Melbourne, worked through agency for 5 years while the girls settled into their new schools then local council for 12 years and now at Samantha’s as 2IC. I am loving my position here and we have a great team, professional and we have fun along the way while educating and caring for children.

Daisy - Nursery Room Leader

My name is Daljit but everyone calls me Daisy; I lead the Nursery team here at Samantha’s Glen Iris.
My heritage is Indian however, from a young age until I was 20 years old, I lived in Italy and so I resinate well with both cultures.

After leaving high school, I began studying marketing and finance, leaving these studies when I moved to Australia and I began studying Early Childhood, fulfilling my passion for educating children. I enjoy being with them and ensure they feel secure and loved when they around me.

My philosophy as an Educator is that every child is unique, and they all have their own way of learning. I believe in supporting children right from their first moment in this world. I teach with the understanding that a child doesn’t understand right or wrong but they understand a language of love and attention and with that no matter what they do, they will do it with confidence.

Amy - Nursery Educator

I joined Samantha's Glen Iris in early 2018 and although I haven’t been working for long as a childhood educator, I can confidently say that it is my passion to work with children. I feel so rewarded to see them grow and learn as human beings and be a part of their development.

I have a Bachelor of Social Welfare which I studied for in my home city in Korea. When I moved to Australia I studied a Diploma of Early Childhood and Care.

I live with my fiancé in Melbourne and I love to spend time with him and catch up with our friends. I love to watch movies a lot and go to the park to walk around as I love nature and walking because it’s so peaceful and relaxing for me.

What I enjoy about being a part of Samantha's Glen Iris is the beautiful environment for both the children and the educators. We become very invested in teaching the children, so our groups of children feel like a small family to us.

The other educators have made me feel so welcome and a part of this family. Working somewhere I am treated with respect and professionalism and where I can develop; but also a space where I can also create new relationships with the people around me.

Lee- Toddler Room Leader

My name is Leeanne (Lee) and I am a Diploma qualified educator here at Samantha's Childcare and Kindergarten.  I come from a retail and education background, with experience working as a Nanny and in OSHC (out of school hours care).

In 2014, I studied my Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care and have found my home in early education.

I believe in providing children with a safe, engaging, fun and creative environment, where they are encouraged to explore nature and the outdoors; also developing kindness and compassion in children, is just as important as language, motor skills, and all other aspects of children's development.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world" - Albert Einstein.

 

Tanya - Toddler Educator

I have being and Early Childhood educator for over 3 years and I hold my Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care. My family heritage is Russian and I speak the language fluently. My drive to engage and teach young children stems from my experiences as a single mum to a now teenager.

I am very passionate about working with children, caring and nurturing them for their social, emotional, physical and educational needs in various age groups. Creating a safe and comfortable learning environment is critical for both families and Educators and it allows best outcomes for children.

I enjoy educating and caring for children and shaping young minds to become valuable members of society.

I believe that having a dedicated and passionate team is important when working with children and I am very grateful to be part of the team at Samantha’s Glen Iris. "Early Childhood Education is the key to the betterment of Society " - Maria Montessori

Shruti - Toddler Educator

I came into the childcare sector due to my love for children. Before starting in Early Childhood, I was working in the retail sector. After having my first child, I realised my true passion for children and hence began my journey to become a Diploma qualified early childhood educator.

After achieving my qualification, my first role was in a casual position. I loved the opportunity to work different hours on different days at various childcare centers. I enjoyed being able to work and connect with children of all ages.

Joining Samantha’s Glen Iris, I moved from a float role to a supportive role in the Kinder room and after learning many new aspects to Early Childhood, I have joined the Toddler room.

I love working at Samantha’s Glen Iris and alongside the educators and the Center Manager who all support each other and make each day a new learning experience. My philosophy in life is to provide every child with an opportunity to grow, learn and develop through various activities, resources and learning environments based on their individual needs. My aim is to provide children fun, safe and positive environments where they are able to express and communicate their feelings confidently. I also believe in working in collaboration with the child’s families so as to achieve the best results for every child as input from families is very valuable.

Pamella Seton- Support Educator

Hi, I’m Pamella and I’m a Diploma qualified educator who is also partway through a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education.  I believe that all learning occurs through meaningful relationships, which makes my relationships with children, families and educators are paramount.

I take pride in knowing that children can bring their home culture into the classroom to share with their friends and feel that it is valued. I love to celebrate and show respect to everyone’s identities and cultures, including that of our indigenous peoples; which I have helped embed into practice within the daily routines at the centre.

I arrive at the centre everyday with wonder and excitement of where the day’s adventures and the children’s interests will take us today.

 

Jasmine - Pre Kinder Educator

Hi, my name is Jasmine  and I have been working at Samantha’s Glen Iris since  2014. I have had a passion for children since I was a young girl when I baby sat a family members' baby daughter on multiple occasions, I was 8 years old.

Later in my teen years and in my early 20’s, I volunteered at a church where I could care for the babies and young children. This was something I very much enjoyed and that was when I realised that I should be doing this is a professional career.

Therefore, I completed a full-time course in Certificate III Children’s Services and I came across Samantha’s Childcare and Kindergarten here in Glen Iris. I have never looked back since and I am grateful for this amazing career of mine. I am now continuing my studies with the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

My passion for children comes from my happy childhood memories, when life was simple, and my imagination was limitless. It was an adventure to explore the environment, it was inspiring to create pieces of art with my hands, it was magical to use my imagination in play, and it was eye opening to absorb new and exciting information. I strive to create this kind of excitement and experiences to the children in my care so that they can have the best childhood in their early years as possible.

I receive a huge amount of love in return each day as I step into the centre and have the privilege of experiencing life through the children’s eyes. Children are what push me to do better in my professional life as well as my own personal life. I wouldn’t trade this passion of mine for the world!

Brooke McMillan- Educational Leader and Pre-Kinder Educator

My name is Brooke McMillan and I have been privileged to work within the Early Childhood sector for the last 10 years. I first started in 2009 as a trainee studying my Certificate 3 in Children’s Services. This gave me the opportunity to study while working within childcare centres as I established my foundations and philosophy of teaching children. Later in 2013 I continued to pursue my studies and completed my Diploma in Early Childhood of Education and Care.

Within those 10 years I have worked in the capacity of an assistant, Room Leader, 2IC, Centre Manager and now more recently as an Educational Leader for Samantha’s Childcare Glen Iris. Also during this time I was also able to pursue my passion for travelling. For 18 months I worked abroad as a nanny in New York City. This allowed me to continue both my passion for working with children and exploring the world.

My passion lies within the spontaneity of children. I love that every day brings something new and different. As educators we have the privilege of building a child’s confidence and self-worth which I believe to be the most fundamental part of early childhood education. Watching a child become their own person and finding their place in this world is a proud moment as an educator and those are the moments I strive to achieve when delivering a program for children.

 

Meital - 4 year old Early Childhood Teacher (ECT)

What motivates me in life and as a teacher are growth, building healthy supportive relationships and having open lines of communication.

I have worked with children in a variety of settings for the past 8 years. I feel blessed to be part of their learning journeys and supporting their growth through encouraging them to explore, be themselves and find joy in learning through play, experimentation, movement, song, dance, art, group and individual expression in whichever way the child chooses.

Having studied a Bachelor of Science (Physiology) at The University of Melbourne and a Master of Teaching (Early Years and Primary Education) at Monash University has allowed me to hone in on my interests and skills as an open-minded and inquisitive ongoing learner.

I believe that nurturing each child's strengths and working together with families to create safe and consistent home-centre connections are key to enabling positive learning. I look forward to working with your family and being but a small part of your child's journey.

Lilis - Centre Cook

Hi, I am Lilis. I have been in Childhood Education for six years and hold Certificate III in Patisserie, Certificate II in Kitchen operation and a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

I have worked both in the kitchen as a cook and as educator in the room over my career.

At home I have three children of my own and have always had a passion working with young children.

Seeing the children having a good balanced meal at early stage give me satisfaction and encouraging them in healthy eating as we discuss their meals is always an enjoyable part of my day.