"The educators are EXCEPTIONAL, they love and care for every child and their uniqueness."
 

- Renee, Yarra Warra parent.

Our Educators

The Yarra Warra Preschool & Bush Kinder team are enthusiastic about early childhood education and working with the families in our wonderful local Warrandyte area.  They are community minded and are Warrandyte and Nillumbik locals.

 

Our teachers are passionate and many maintain long standing tenures at our centre.  Each kindergarten teacher brings a variety of skills to the kinder, that is joined as one to make the team a cohesive unit.  The combined years of experience, coupled with the love and admiration of our preschool children produces a centre of excellence that many kinder’s can only aspire to.

As far as preschool teachers go, we have the best!  Here is a little about them to introduce you to the amazing team we have at Yarra Warra.

Connie Solty

Teacher in Charge (Exemplary) and Educational Leader

4 year old Teacher

Connie is the Educational Leader at Yarra Warra. She enjoys the respect of her co-workers and the admiration of the children

 

Connie is an experienced early childhood teacher who has worked in a number of local preschools before joining Yarra Warra.

 

Connie is passionate about keeping up with the latest research in early childhood and different pedagogical influences and integrating them into our local learning community.  Whilst on an overseas trip, she took time to visit Reggio Emilia and has adapted some key ideas to the kinder.

 

Connie has the rare classification of ‘Exemplary’ for teachers, through the VETASSESS’ Early Childhood Teacher Validation Department.  She attained this qualification in 2007, reflecting her dedication and achievements in early childhood education.

 

All three of Connie’s own children attended Yarra Warra Preschool & Bush Kinder before moving to a local primary school in Warrandyte.  She is a strong advocate for community involvement and credits the strength of the community as fundamental in the Kinder’s success.

 

Carla Tice-Hay

4 year old & Bush Kinder Teacher

 

Carla is our Bush Kinder Leading teacher and has a wonderful ability to create learning experiences in nature.  From edible plants to fire pits, from mud-pits to building forts, the open ended learning opportunities are endless in Carla’s classroom.

 

Carla began her educational career as a Primary School Teacher. She taught 2 - 8 year olds in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. for 6 years, before returning to Australia.

Driven by her love of teaching the younger levels and passion for play based learning,  Carla decided to complete a Post Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching.

 

Carla enjoys outdoor learning spaces and understands the importance of educating children about their natural environment and the world around them. She has undertaken further studies in this area.

 

“I am inspired by the Danish Forest schools where children are outside most of the day, sometimes all day and are connected to their natural environment. As a teacher I see the importance of educating children about their  environment and the world they live in.”

 

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Michaela Richards

3 year old Teacher

 

Michaela is the three-year-old teacher of the Possum group.

 

Michaela brings an amazing skill set to Yarra Warra Pre-school. Michaela attended the Steiner School in Warranwood and has taught at Geelong Grammar, St Margaret’s and St Leonards and has extensive experience with Reggio Emilia, the P.Y.P program, Kodaly Music and positive psychology.

 

Michaela has a Master of Teaching (Research title: "How do Early Childhood Educators Understand and Practice Children's Wellbeing)

 

Michaela understands that children learn best when they feel safe, secure, and supported. That children can learn through discovery and interactions with others and recognises the importance of the environment as the third teacher.

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Sorrell Robinson

3 year old Teacher

Sorrell is the three-year old teacher of Wallaby group.

Sorrell has worked in a variety of educational settings since becoming a kindergarten teacher in 2005. Beginning in sessional kinder she moved on to working at Independent schools, most recently at Billanook College. It was the pull of strong community and Bush kinder which drew her to our kinder.

Sorrell returned to study in 2016 to complete a graduate diploma in Arts Therapy. With a passion to support children from the ground up, building emotional intelligence and a strong sense of self, this additional training draws on her strengths in a kinder environment. 

"I'm a passionate teacher of little minds, learner of great crafts and come with open eyes ready to explore and provoke wonderment in our beautiful centre here at Yarra Warra."
 

Kym Poole

3 & 4 year old Educator
Extended Care Leader

 

Kym has been a much loved educator with Yarra Warra since 2009.  

 

Kym has the privilege of working with all the children at the kinder.  Her time is spent with both the 3 year olds and the 4 year olds in the kinder room, but she really enjoys in getting dirty with in bush kinder [link].  

 

“I love everything about my role(s) and am particularly passionate about seeing our beautiful children get excited and interested about the world!“

 

Kym has furthered her education to qualify for her Diploma of Children's Services. Kym is the Leader of the Extended Care Program, providing a calm and fun session after Kinder hours.

All four of Kym’s children came to Yarra Warra, and they were all fortunate enough to be taught by the Yarra Warra team!

 

Kym has been a Warrandyte local for years and participates in other community initiatives, including band management at the Warrandyte Festival.

Kaye Versteegen

4 year old Educator & Administration Officer

 

Kaye is one of our 4 year old educators and is very loved by all the children.  

 

Kaye joined the amazing Yarra Warra team with the Enrichment Program.  

Before long she transitioned to the role of 4 year old educator.

She loves the individuality and independence of this age group, supporting children as they learn to experiment, create, express themselves and make sense of their world through play.

Every day brings new learning !

As Kaye holds a Commerce Degree she also performs many of the administration tasks for the kinder.

 

Kaye has also been involved with many aspects of the Warrandyte community over the years through her children's activities.

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Madeleine Wintle

3 year old Educator

 

Madeleine Wintle has worked as a co-educator in our Extended Care program and is also the co-educator in the Possum Group.

 

Maddy’s warm smile, understanding, and care for all children make her an outstanding team member and educator at Yarra Warra Pre-school.

Maddy continues to extend her knowledge and understanding of early childhood education and is presently studying for her Bachelor of Education.

This ongoing learning keeps Maddy and the staff at Yarra Warra aware of the latest trends and learning in early childhood.

 

 

Belinda Gray

4 year old Educator

After working in the corporate world for sixteen years, Belinda decided to follow her passion of working with children and returned to study last year. In 2021 she was excited to secure her ‘dream job’ at Yarra Warra Preschool, helping kids along their early learning pathway. 
 
Working with Carla and the children in bush kinder brings back wonderful memories of the fun and adventures she had as a child living in the Yarra Valley with so much to discover and explore.  
 
Belinda also gets to work with Kym in extended care where the kids get to unwind and have fun with their friends after a busy day at kinder.  
 
Belinda is married and has two beautiful boys currently at primary school, who keep her busy when she is not at the kinder, racing to sports and activities on weekends.