Our Team

HomeLillian Thomson - Director / Teacher

Lillian Thomson

Lillian has been involved in Preschool care and education for more than 20 years whilst also bringing up her family of 3 with her husband, Andrew. She began her training through Playcentre, then completed her Diploma of Teaching (ECE) in 1999 and has worked in a number of settings since which have all influenced her teaching practise and philosophy.. Being introduced to the Waldorf/Steiner Philosophy several years ago brought about a profound change in the way she understood what it is that the young child needs in those first 7 years.

Children’s Circle Early Years Centre is the result of her vision to provide a quality childcare and education service in Tauranga which truly honours the holistic nature of childhood and the way in which the young child learns and grows by providing a beautiful, peaceful, harmonious environment and caring, nurturing teachers who support the unfolding child to grow.

She believes in the family/whanau and appreciates the wonderful and often times challenging role parents and families have in raising their children. As the saying goes "It takes a village to raise a child" and it is a privilege to work alongside the parents/ families/whanau of the children in our care.

Ruby Grace - Teacher

Ruby Grace

BA, Dip Teach (Prim.& ECE), Cert Steiner Ed, Cert TESOL

As a teacher of young children, Ruby likes to recognise the wonder and richness that is ever present in our day to day lives. Within the daily rhythms and routines there is a simplicity that allows for a sense of security and belonging for our children. I am grateful to be involved in a centre that reflects my own values, and that encourages creative and imaginative play, and retains a core connectedness to our Mother Earth and all its Universal forces.

Suzan van Geneijgen - Teacher

Suzan van GeneijgenSuzan has a Diploma of Teaching ECE and is working towards her NZ Steiner Teaching Certificate Early Childhood. She believes it is important for children to be children. Children’s Circle is a place where children have time and space to explore and develop in the natural world that surrounds them. They are encouraged to help in the daily routines of the centre where they are learning skills for life. She loves that this is a small centre where it really does feel like a home and that the main focus for children is learning through self directed play.

Corné Potgieter - Teacher

Corne Potgieter

Corné has a Graduate Diploma of Teaching ECE. Childhood is precious. She believes children should have time and space to be children. To belong to a place where they can play and develop at their own pace. She thinks the best way for children to learn to socialise, is within a mixed age group with adults supporting them. During her time at
Children’s Circle, she has seen how strong rhythms and routines give children a safe place to learn and explore. She enjoys observing how the natural environment and play materials enable children’s magination and ability to play to develop. Children’s Circle is a place where she can support children to develop holistically through play, in a natural homelike environment, to become true human beings.

Te ara o tukutuku
The pathway of the spider.
Said in praise of something intricate and beautiful. (Trad.)