Our Team

Lillian Thomson - Director / Teacher

Children's Circle 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.

Sue McGeorge - HeadTeacher

Children's Circle Sue headteacher Sue has been involved in the preschool years for over 25years and has a varied base of experience including Playcentre, a Diploma of Teaching (E.C.E.) and a Diploma in Steiner Education .

She has a love of children, a belief in child led, self- initiated play and delights in a child’s ability to imagine, create and learn through imitation and exploration. She recognises the importance of allowing children to have the time and space to explore and experiment within the natural environment. 

"I have always felt privileged to be involved in the pre-school years where I continue to learn alongside the children and have a genuine interest in providing an holistic approach to learning. This includes forming relationships with the children, parents and whanau so that there are strong connections between home and the early learning environment. These relationships strengthen positive learning outcomes for children and parents are involved in their child’s learning.  Working with children, their families  and colleagues is still my passion.

Robyn Baker - Teacher


Robyn has a Bachelor of Design, Grad Dip. in secondary school teaching, Grad Dip. in early childhood education, Grad Certificate in Steiner Education and has been working at Children's Circle since mid 2019.  She enjoys living in the sunny Bay of Plenty where she grew up and her whanau are all still living. Her favorite activities are going to the beach and climbing Mauao. Health and well-being are important to her. "Hauora and over all holistic well-being is maintained, in my experience by supporting children’s strengths and allowing them to shine. I like to focus on providing healthy meals, a safe and natural environment, and the building of relationships. Tuakana – teina or peers learning from one another, works particularly well with our mixed age groups. I enjoy supporting the natural progression of learning as children demonstrate their interests and choose to apply themselves. All within flowing routines that provide familiarity and comfort."

 Emma Groucott - Teacher

emma.jpgEmma has a Bachelor of Teaching ECE and has been working at Children's Circle since early 2018. She values the secure, homelike environment that Children’s Circle has to offer. Emma is passionate about holistic education and care for infants, toddlers and young children. She believes that it is vital for children to learn to take care of and respect all living beings and the environment. Emma is passionate about self-directed play, daily rhythms and open-ended natural resources for children’s wellbeing and development. She looks forward to supporting your child in their unique learning journey. 

 Billie-Jane Dawson - Teacher In training

emma.jpgBillie immigrated to NZ from South Africa in 2017 with her husband and children. She worked for the Roseway Walfdorf School in Durban, where she completed a Foundation Course for Teacher Development in Waldorf Education.  She has been working at Children's Circle since May 2018 alongside working towards her Bachelor of Education ECE.  She has completed her first year gaining her level 5 Diploma of Education ECE. At Children’s Circle, she values that all children live in the movement and enjoy an unhurried childhood, children thrive on routine and rhythm and are gaining the experiences they need to become healthy, competent and confident learners while in a safe, nurturing and secure environment. Billie is passionate about education, culture and the wellbeing of all children, she feels this is portrayed in the centre’s ethos.

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 imagination 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.)