Co-owner / Manager
Originally from Chester in the UK, I moved here in 2005 with my family, so luckily I have them on hand most of the time. Prior to opening Tots on the Rock, I studied, travelled and worked in admin and hospitality. I feel fortunate to be able to work and live on beautiful beautiful Waiheke (and also not have to face a choppy commute!). I also love the challenges that come with operating Tots and being kept on my toes. For me though, my daughter Jasmine is my highlight, getting to spend time with her every day, watching her learn and grow is amazing. In the small amount of spare time I have, I love to read, go to the movies, travel, walk the dogs, oh and shop (as most of the team here will tell you!).
Co-owner / Manager
Hi I’m Danielle Farmer, and I work alongside my sister Hayley as co-owner/manager of Tots on the Rock. We established Tots in 2012 after having children, and discovering that there were not enough childcare options available on the island. Originally from the UK, I settled here with family over 11 years ago, and met my partner Geoff. We are the parents of two wonderful children, Madison and Logan, who are our world. I love the beauty of Waiheke and this is where I now call home. I look forward to meeting you and your family at Tots on the Rock.
Kia ora koutou, ko Debra taku ingot. I moved to Waiheke Island in 2012, having had an association with the island for over 20 years. I was born and bred in Auckland, and am of mixed Maori, Chinese & Pakeha heritage. My iwi are Ngati Raukawa and Ngai Tahu (Oraka Aparima). I live locally in nearby Blackpool with my partner Tyrone and our daughter Anahera. I have been in ECE since 1997; when I returned to study to gain a Diploma in ECE as an adult learner and have now been working in early childhood centres for over 20 years. I enjoy working with children of all ages and believe in an ethos of 'lifelong learning' in conjunction with other staff, parents/whānau and tamariki. My practice is influenced by Kate Birch's positive parenting programme, whilst my work with infants and toddlers is guided by Magda Gerber's RIE principles. I love our unique community on Waiheke Island and am passionate about respecting the bicultural heritage of NZ as per the ECE curriculum, Te Whāriki. I have worked at Tots on the Rock since the year they opened starting as a teacher and now I am employed as the Head Teacher. I look forward to working with your children and aim to establish respectful reciprocal relationships with our tamariki and whānau.
Kia Ora, My name is Amy Robinson. I have been brought up on Waiheke Island since I was a 1 year-old. My nana and mum both were brought up on Waiheke as well, but I was actually born in Australia! I Love the ocean and the land I enjoy fishing, mountain biking, being around children, I have a very close and big family. I am one of four siblings, I have an elder brother and two sisters as well as 4 step brothers. I have completed a 3 year Degree in Early Childhood education and graduated in March 2015 as an ECE Teacher. I am so happy to be a part of Tots on the Rock. I started here in January 2013 (after my practicum in the previous November 2012) and I am so glad I made the move. I feel the Philosophy here has made me the teacher I am today, I am continuously growing as an educator and professional. I started in childcare in March 2011 and have not looked back, it was the best decision I have ever made.
Kia Ora whānau. My name is Natasha, I was born in Argentina.
Growing up surrounded by nature and having the opportunity in life of being in contact so closely to led me to my passion of becoming a biology teacher.
Working for many years as a teacher and a trekking guide, reinforced my idea of how important is to grow up in contact with nature, a beautiful opportunity that our children of Waiheke also have.
My personal philosophy is to believe that every child is special and very child is unique, and as educators we are just guides to help children to develop their own personal interests and skills.
I also believe children are great teachers, and every moment spent with them is nothing other than reciprocal learning, in essence "children help us to improve ourselves ".
I'm pleased to be part of the early learning journey of children and look forward to meeting with you all.
Hello, my name is Nina and I have lived on Waiheke Island for 24 years. I really enjoy living in such a unique and beautiful place. Over the years I have been a nanny for five different families and I have really loved watching the children grow and evolve. But, as they are all reaching intermediate and high school age they no longer need my care. I have decided to focus my career towards younger preschool aged children and I am really enjoying it! I have a passion for arts and crafts and have certificates in art design and animation. I really like to encourage children to be creative and express themselves through art, learning and play. I enjoy traveling and have been over seas to Germany several times, as I have family there. I have also traveled to Holland, Greece, turkey, Singapore, Australia and Japan. However, it is always such a pleasure to come home to such a beautiful country like New Zealand. In my spare time I am a radio DJ at the local Waiheke radio station. I host my own fortnightly show and love the freedom of playing all of the music that I like. I’m really enjoying working at Tots on the Rock and I am very keen to study for my diploma in ECE. I hope to further my skills and I am ready to embrace an exciting career in early childcare.
I’m Martha, 27 years old and grew up on the North Shore. It is with great delight that I am living now on Waiheke (a dream come true). I come from a family of five children; 1 sister and 3 brothers, myself being the middle child. I have 2 nieces and 2 nephews, with another one on the way. I completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Psychology and Sociology) and a Graduate Diploma in ECE from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Teaching children has always been something close to my heart. I have been teaching since 2011. Throughout my teaching experiences; strong relationships, respect and child’s individuality are a few things that strongly influence my practice and are goals I work towards. Relationships take a while to form and thus I give children the space and time to get to know me until they are comfortable to trust me which leads us to developing and forming a good relationship. One thing I value from my overseas experience is that children, no matter where they come from, want to do is play and that is the best way they learn. I look forward to meeting you, your child and the whole whanau.
Hello, my name is Celene. My husband Craig and I moved to the Island in 2013. We both love living here as we both come from up North and like the small community feel. We have a new baby girl Mia born on the Island in 2016. I have been working with children for the last 11 years, either in a childcare setting or as a nanny. My personal philosophy is based on Magda Gerber and the RIE principles. I feel children need respect and time to develop in their own way. I enjoy watching them solve their own problems and see to see them feel that achievement when they do. I enjoy working with all age groups, I like the way the younger children rely on us and the relationships we have with them and also the way the 2 to 5 years olds express their imagination. All of which is a pleasure to be part of. I really enjoy my job at Tots on the Rock and the team of staff I work with. I am looking forward to getting to know you more and working alongside you and your children here at Tots.
Hi my name is Rachel, I have lived on the island for 10 years now although I am originally from the UK where I worked as golf professional, teaching all ages and levels of ability. I live with my partner Clayte and our sons Carter and Benji in Shelly Beach Road. We love spending time at the beach (which is just over the road) and catching up with friends. I have been working at Tots since 2014. Prior to that I worked in hospitality on the island, but since having my first child, Carter, I have found a passion for working with children. I am a naturally outdoor, sporty person so I love running around outside with your children and seeing how good their ball skills are. I look forward to playing, learning alongside and getting to know your children and of course you.
GAYLE DE JAGER
Hi there, my name is Gayle De Jager. I am originally from South Africa, and have lived in New Zealand for 18 years. I have two grown up children and six grandchildren. I am a fully registered teacher, I graduated from MIT in 2006 with a diploma in Early Childhood Education and topped this up later to achieve my Bachelor of Education. I was very excited to join the team at Tots at the beginning of August 2014 after 10 years at the University of Auckland. It is great to be able to work on the Island and not to commute any more! My personal philosophy for teaching and learning values the importance of respect, relationships and joy. I believe children learn and develop through reciprocal and responsive interactions. I am looking forward to meeting you all and being part of the community at Tots on the Rock.
Hi, my name is Susan Rutter and I have lived on the Island for 27 years. I completed my Diploma of Teaching ECE after training with Te Tari Puna Ora O Aoteroa in 2003 and have full registration.
I have two awesome grown up kids; Jessica, who has a Degree in Social Practice and works at Unitec and Leon who works at Extreme Edge.
I love animals - over the years we have had many in our home - and at the moment I share it with my two character-filled bantams. My down time is usually spent in the garden, reading or with my Auckland Natural and Historical Walking Club.
I really enjoy working with young children because they are funny, happy, unpredictable, energetic and always inquisitive, but most of all I feel privileged to be working with them and their families. I have a huge passion for the natural environment and sustainability which I strongly reflect in my work with children. I look forward to meeting new children and their families and welcoming you to the Tots on the Rock whānau.