Educators are an integral part of who we are at Zero2Hero.  Our educators are self driven with a passion for making a difference in a child’s life. Educators who are also willing to learn and grow themselves as professionals.


Zero2Hero value their Educators and offer individulised support where possible to enable them to be the best they can be. We want Educators to be shining examples for our tamariki, to learn and embrace life in a positive and caring way.


Zero2Hero  Educators are 'heros' themselves as they too recognise the importance of child development at such a young age. They give so much of themselves for the benefit of our tamariki but the reward this career gives them when they see the children they care for, rise up, become confident and competent learners, who are in tune with the world around them - it is well worth it!.


Take a look at some of our current Educator hero profiles, you too can be a 'hero' to our little ones and a member of our small whanau team where learning is recognised, professional support and knowledge is nurtured and personal growth is encouraged.


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Veronica van der Loo


I am Veronica van der Loo, migrated from South Africa with my husband and son in September 2015.  Joining the Early Childhood Education was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life as part of my career. 

I have been in Early Childhood Education since February 2016 and since that time I have cared for many children and babies. My care children become part of my extended family and I give them 100%. I have also done my Updated Child First Aid. Besides being a Photographer, I love working and spending time with kids, helping them learn about our outside worlds with all its beauties. Seeing the parents and kids happy is absolutely amazing and achieving goals with the littlies is even better. To see what they are capable of and helping them with their development.

I choose to further my education towards working with children.  My positive and caring influence on children and my wanting each child to strive to achieve their best for success is my main focus.  I want to have an impact on children’s lives and help them succeed to achieve success and to meet their goals and dreams for the future. 


I also want to be a good role model for children and to understand that any dream or success is achievable when you put your mind on something. During this time, I am learning a great deal about child development and learning many new skills. I am learning a great deal about developing activities for children that are developmentally appropriate for their age and setting routines for the children to develop consistency. 


I believe that as an Early Childhood Educator in the field of education you always acquire new skills and continually learning in the profession. We need to build on the strengths of our programming and children’s interests and reflect on what we can do better to improve it so we meet all children’s learning styles. 

Heather O'Neill

Heather O'Neill


Hi, my name is Heather! I live in the Whangarei area with my husband and daughter. 

What I love most about caring for young children is learning about and encouraging their individual interests. Watching them grow in confidence and develop friendships. A passion of mine is the natural world, this is something special I enjoy sharing with my care children. Spending time outdoors together and learning to respect and admire all living things!

I am a qualified kindergarten teacher with a Diploma in ECE. I have worked in the home-based sector for over 10 years in New Zealand, prior to this is spent three years as a home-based Educator in Canada. 

What does a regular week look like for my care children and I? Venturing outdoors every day is a must! Yes regardless of the weather! There is always a chance to rug up and enjoy a walk to the park, stretch our legs and catch some fresh air. In my home there is always arts and crafts, music and dancing with CDs and instruments. We bake at least once a week and sometimes the children like to help with cooking meals such as casseroles and soups. 

Debra Dickson

Debra Dickson


Hi, my name is Debra. I live in Whangarei with my nine-year-old son and our friendly Maltese/Shih Tzu dog. I have been an Educator since 2004, 10 years in a centre environment and the latter in home-based education. I am a fully qualified and registered Early Childhood Teacher.

Hi, my name is Debra. I live in Whangarei with my nine-year-old son and our friendly Maltese/Shih Tzu dog. I have been an Educator since 2004, 10 years in a centre environment and the latter in home-based education. I am a fully qualified and registered Early Childhood Teacher.


I love home-based childcare for the opportunities it opens up to follow children’s interests and to create new adventures for the children. Recent trips have included a trip up to Kawakawa to follow up an ongoing interest for trains my children have, a bus ride around Whangarei stopping in town for a picnic, and a hunt for dinosaurs in the bush near my house. My children are happy playing at home but we also really enjoy getting out and about in the community. We enjoy bush walks, visits to the park, and other spontaneous play as it arises.


I also love the close bonds I make with the children and their families that are in my care. It is rewarding to watch the children develop and grow into confident children, I support them as they form friendships and have fun playing together.


A typical week in my care consists of gymnastics and playgroup. Recently we have been visiting local Rest Homes for music and movement sessions with the residents. The smile on their faces make it all worthwhile. We have made some lovely relationships with the residents enjoying the children’s energy and sense of fun.  


Home-based education gives me the flexibility to choose the activities depending on how the children are feeling, stay home if they are tired, or out and about if they are rearing to go.   

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Aneliese Campbell


Hi, I’m Aneliese, I’m a Mum of 6 and I enjoy working with children.

I feel privileged to be able to offer a home away from home, in a nurturing and caring environment where children feel a sense of belonging and acceptance.

We attend gymnastics, mainly music and playgroup regularly, and often go to the park where the children can explore their surroundings and feed the ducks.


At home I believe in allowing children to learn through play and at their own pace. In my home children have large spaces inside and outside to explore freely.

Sharon Rodgers-Tana

Sharon Rogers-Tana


Tena Koutou, I’m Sharon from Moerewa. I have been a Home-based Educator for many years now.

I have a nurturing heart and want to offer my whanau and tamariki a stable and loving environment where they can feel comfortable in my home.

My home is a place where we can discover and learn about each other, the world around us, and being out and about in the community.


Wilmarie Jansen


I migrated from South Africa with my husband and daughter in 2017. We now also have a son.  I enjoy working with children, to watch their imaginations grow.  I will educate and care for each child in my care as my own.

My goal is for each child to strive and achieve their goals no matter how big or small they may be, as each child has a different way of learning skills. I also enjoy seeing what they are capable of and to help grow their development.

I would like to further my studies in Early Childhood Education, as there is always new skills to be to learned. It will help me support children to achieve all their dreams and to let them know that they can dream big!

I can support each child grow in confidence and be happy with who they are. I like to focus on all the positive that the children do and learn.


Manu Johnson Peake


Kia ora, I am Manu. I'm a kaiako based in Kamo.  I am married to Tim and we have two children who also enjoy our home-based way of life ~ this is our 10th year of working within this unique and blessed environment.

My passion and aroha has always been working with children and their families and I have many treasured experiences over the years, both here in NZ, and overseas.


Spending time with tamariki and offering opportunities to learn and grow, as well as being open to individual needs, are very important to me. I work holistically and sensitively alongside children and their families, sharing a wonderful mix of fun, warmth and kind experiences.


We actively explore our community weekly, as nature is incredibly grounding and enriching, and learning alongside others helps us to better appreciate who we are, where we are. Ours is a shared journey and I treasure every step. Kia ora, Manu.

Susanna Schollum

Sharon Chapman


Hi, I am 55 years old but don’t feel it! I have spent all my life around children they keep me young.  I am married and have 2 adult children and 5 grandchildren.

We have a lovely home in Mangawhai that I share with my husband, son and grandson, 2 cats and 2 dogs.


I offer a loving and caring environment for my care children and have a great range of resources such as, books, puzzles, family play, music, playdough, paints and we indulge in the arts n crafts often.  In my spacious outside area, we often enjoy picnic lunches, we use the bikes and scooters, water and sand play, and we keen explorers of the natural world - gardening, insects, walks around the local community to the Domain, the library and we attend Mainly Music on a regular basis. Sometimes we have the pleasure of play dates with other Educators too. 

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Shaz Austin


Hi, my name is Shazia, everyone knows me as Shaz. Sorry I can't accommodate you for care right now, I am leaving to go on maternity leave at the end of April 2019. Once we are all settled I will be back to provide care for families.   

I am married, have two children and have previously worked in a childcare centre in Mangawhai.

I love getting out and about in the natural environment with children, going for walks, at the beach collecting natural materials to take home and be inspired to get creative, or being at the park kicking a ball around.

At home we get involved in reading, playdough, arts and crafts, sand and water play amongst other games and puzzle time.