Our Team

Centre Management

At Shore Kids we pride ourselves in our high ratio of qualified staff to children. We work well as a team ensuring a friendly, fair and secure environment. Regular training courses are attended by all members of staff to guarantee that our qualifications and knowledge is up to date, enabling us to provide the children with the highest standard of care and supervision during their learning. We have regular staff meetings to enable us to converse our thoughts and ideas and plan future events.

Gail Menkin

Owner / Director

I have been in the Early Childhood Education sector for the last 30 years and am passionate about the care and development of little children.

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I am a fully qualified and registered Early Childhood teacher with a Bachelor of Teaching Degree (ECE) NZ and a Diploma in Montessori Education [years 2 to 6].

We purchased our first Centre in 2003, Mariposa Kids in 2010 and Shore Kids in 2014.

I have two children of my own, now grown up – Alexandra (32) and Robert (29).

I love spending time with my family and when time allows I enjoy reading, music and going to the movies.

Sarah Hansen

Centre Manager

I have a Bachelor of Education (ECE) through Auckland University of Technology which I completed in 2012 and have gained my full teacher registration.

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I worked at Mariposa Kids for four years before moving in 2018 to Shore Kids to take on the managers role.

I see my role as a teacher as someone who supports each child as they learn about their surrounding world and discover new interests and ideas while being valued and respected. I feel it is vital to build a strong relationship with the child and their family, so they feel safe and comfortable and enjoy every day at their school. Being a teacher is very rewarding and knowing I have played a part in a child’s development and learning makes my job all that more fulfilling.

Family means a lot to me as I come from such a big family.  I have a beautiful daughter named Holly (now at Primary School) and a baby son named Jordan who also attends Shore Kids.

Pipi Room

We have a wonderful and privileged opportunity as Pipi teachers to build relationships and create trust with our infant age group. It is a time to have fun and enjoy rich conversations with our littlest learners.

We keep our room largely undecorated, knowing that infants can easily become over-stimulated by ‘visual pollution’, and you will notice it is more homely than class-roomy. To keep up with best practice we engage in ongoing development to best understand the nature and development of this age group. We have a specialist approach to infant care that is unique to our room and based upon the simple principle of respect. Your baby will be actively listened to, responded to, and loved.

We understand that infants are driven by an innate need to self-educate, and simply require us to support their natural curiosity and exploration by ensuring that their environment offers them possibilities and opportunities. We respond quickly to their cues, assure their wellbeing and belonging, and they naturally gain confidence to learn.

Parents and family are the experts on their children, and we encourage and facilitate open communication to enable us to know your babies and their individual needs and preferences so that their care is specifically tailored to them.

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Shuwen Tang

Pipi Room Teacher

Watch this Space !

Leanne Bain

Pipi Room Teacher

Hi my name is Leanne. I have been married for more than 30 years and have 3 beautiful children.

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I live on the Hibiscus Coast beside the sea where I walk my 2 dogs every day. Young children make me laugh and I love watching them learn and discover things about themselves and the world around them. I teach because it makes me happy and hope that I can influence just a small part of their lives.

Claire Robinson

Pipi Room Teacher

Kia Ora. My name is Claire Robinson. I have just completed my Bachelor of Education from AUT.

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I have a true passion and desire for teaching children. I view teachers to be like a gardener, where my role is to nurture the young minds of children and create an environment where they can flourish.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading, playing the guitar and going to the gym.

Paua Room

Welcome from the Paua room team, where we take over the nurturing and development of your young child and start them on the road to becoming fully active members of society. This is the age of discovering independence, and as such providing our children with a sense of wellbeing and belonging is paramount within our Paua room giving them the confidence and safety to explore this growing sense of self.

Through watching, listening, copying and lots of trial and error Paua children are mastering so many new skills. Our Paua room is set up specifically with this learning in mind, with ample space and resources providing plenty of time for uninterrupted play and learning. Resources provide opportunity for children to mimic and explore ideas through imaginative play becoming mothers of their own “babies”, firefighters on their bikes, or tigers in the jungle enabling them to make sense of the world and their place within it, learning how to work with and alongside others as they play.

Paua teachers are a vital resource themselves at this highly influential age, and pride themselves in role modelling positive social interactions, encouraging language development and literacy through stories, rhyme and song as well as allowing children to copy and try out “jobs” such as gardening, animal care or baking to name a few.

Repetition is key for children of this age so resources and activities are constantly available, many of which utilize the same skills but in different contexts allowing for practice, practice, practice until our now very independent Pauas are ready to start their next journey to primary school.

Once your child turns four, we provide a special transition programme in collaboration with the new-entrant teachers of our local schools. Special attention is given to not just word recognition, numeracy and vocabulary but also concentration, working in a group and routines. We encourage aspects of learning and behaviour that will prepare them well for their move to ‘big school’.

Cathy Choi

Paua Room Teacher

I am from the Philippines, I immigrated to New Zealand with my son in 2009. I was a University Teacher back in the Philippines with a degree…

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… in Computer Studies. I wanted to continue teaching when I enrolled at AUT University for Post graduate studies but got interested and shifted to Early Childhood Education. I earned my Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE) in 2013, and I am currently working on my full teacher’s registration. I love having conversations and playing with little children. I spend my free time watching movies and reading books.

Lisa Anderson

Paua Room Teacher

I started working in Early Childhood Education in 2002, after having my first child and becoming really interested in how children develop & grow.

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I have my Diploma of Teaching (ECE) and hold my Full Teacher Registration. I am Mum to my 15-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter who my world revolves around. I love to cook and enjoy encouraging the Preschool children to get involved with this too. As well as helping children to develop the foundations for future learning, my main goal for the children I work with is for them to develop a healthy self-esteem and confidence in themselves and to learn to treat others with kindness and empathy.

Catherine Edwards

Paua Room Teacher

Hi, I’m Cathy

A little bit about me: I grew up in Whakatane and moved to Auckland in 2006 to study, gaining a Bachelor of Education degree.

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I have 3 older brothers who have given me 3 nieces and 3 nephews who I adore and love spending time with. Some of my interests are baking and cake decorating, dancing and spending time with friends and family. I have worked in childcare for 9 years and love watching and guiding children as they develop into competent and confident learners. My little boy, Finlay, attends Shore Kids in the Pipi Room.

Relief Teachers & Support Staff

Shore Kids relies on a group of well trained, reliable and professional Relief Teachers to step in at any time we require their services. We ensure that they maintain our high standards and have been Police vetted.

Shore Kids provides children with morning and afternoon tea and a nutritious lunch every day and we are fortunate to have our own full-time cook. This key role requires weekly menu planning, ordering, preparation of meals and some superb baking as well as keeping everything hygienically clean.

Our regular maintenance jobs around the Centre are professionally taken care of by Joey and Clive.

Arceli (Celi) Ruas-Villamor

Centre Cook

Hi – I am Celi the Centre Cook and Cleaner. I have a husband Joey and we have been married for 18 years now.

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We moved to New Zealand in 2016 and this has been quite a culture shock for my family, however, we were looking for a new and better way of life.

In the Philippines I worked at a Preschool as a reliever and looked after my family at home. Since joining Shore Kids I have really enjoyed working alongside different people and cultures and watching the children grow and learn.

I am also happy to be cooking healthy and nutritious meals for them and keeping the Centre clean and tidy.

Qing Zhang

Relief Teacher

My name is Qing Zhang. I was born in Shanghai, China and immigrated to New Zealand in 2001. I graduated from Children Normal School, East Normal University in Shanghai, Beijing Normal University in Beijing…

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…and University of Technology in New Zealand, with all my majors in Early Childhood Education.

I have worked in pre-school education for over 30 years.

I am interested in reading, music, cooking and travelling.  Apart from that, I am always happy to meet new people, to know and learn about their culture.

My husband works in Agriculture and my son qualified as an Engineer at Auckland University.

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday
7.30am – 5.30pm


09 444 0709

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9 Barbados Drive
Unsworth Heights
Auckland 0632



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