About us

Tiny Nation is home-based care and education with a difference. We believe that children have the best chance to flourish when they have secure attachments and a strong sense of belonging in their early years. This foundation is key to emotional, physical and mental growth and wellbeing. From this nourished beginning, happy, healthy and well-adjusted young adults can grow.

Our vision

To empower a nation of children to reach their full potential

These are our guiding principles

LEADERSHIP
ĀRAHITANGA

We encourage, empower and inspire our educators and teachers to contribute to our thinking and re-define what leadership looks like in early childhood education.

RELATIONSHIP
WHANAUNGATANGA

We are founded on consistent, familiar and nurturing relationships. It’s vital to take the time to understand, relate to and acknowledge each other as relationships are the soil from which everything else grows.

PARTNERSHIP
WHAKAHOAHOATANGA

We are collaborative and work in partnership with parents and whānau, educators, the community and other like-minded services so that they can participate in and contribute to our journey.

These are our values

AUTHENTICITY
MANA PONO

This means being real and accountable. We partner with people who are aligned with our principles, values and beliefs so that we can all show up for our children in meaningful ways.

BELONGING
NŌ KONEI HOKI

We affirm the identity, culture and language of our community and ensure staff, children, families and whānau know they have a place with us. Our environments and programmes are inclusive and our transitions are thoughtfully planned.

COMMUNICATION
KŌRERO

Reciprocal and responsive communication allows us to express ideas and feelings. We’re as passionate about listening as we are about being heard. We model effective communication so that our children become capable and confident communicators.

Meet the Tiny Nation team

Tiny Nation Headquarters

ERIN MALONEY

Kia ora, I’m Erin Maloney, Founding Director of Tiny Nation. I founded Tiny Nation to influence change through education and to create a new model that makes home-based early learning the obvious choice for parents of pre-schoolers.

As a mum myself, choosing the right person to leave my children with when I couldn’t be there was the most important decision of all. That’s why Tiny Nation sets itself apart from other providers by only selecting educators who are trained.  We’re about empowering like-minded educators and teachers to deliver high quality early learning services from their homes, using the community as their playground and the Tiny Nation team as their support network.

I’m no newbie to the sector – I’ve spent 15 years’ in education management and delivery in early childhood, secondary and tertiary sectors. I’m passionate about using current theory and research to be innovative and create new ways of learning and leading.

Of course, my most important gig is being mum to Jack, Gus and Ella. They teach me patience and gratitude every day and are the driving force behind why Tiny Nation exists. Read more about My Why here.

Wendy White Tiny Nation

WENDY WHITE
Diploma of Early Childhood Education; Child Protection Advisor

Person Responsible for Hawkes Bay 47761 

Hey there, I’m Wendy White, General Manager at Tiny Nation. I’m a passionate early childhood teacher with over 20 years’ experience. I’ve worked right across the sector – in kindergartens, childcare centres and, most recently, in home-based services.

I’m also an accredited facilitator for the Incredible Years® Programme, with extensive experience in inclusive education and child protection. I know what works (and what doesn’t!) when it comes to delivering high quality outcomes for children. As a facilitator and tertiary trainer in early childhood, I’ve developed a keen interest in the first 1,000 days of life and how connected and nurturing relationships wire up the brain. I’m now committed to working alongside other educators and teachers to support ongoing training and professional development.

As mum to Lachie and Hattie, I’m also kept busy as a sports coach, chauffeur and laundry lady

CATH SLADE

Hi, I’m Cath Slade, working in a business and finance support role at Tiny Nation. I’ve been working in the early childhood industry for almost 20 years and I’m also a mum myself to Niko and Chantel. I’m here at Tiny Nation to make the lives of educators and families easier. 

We’re all about making the complicated simple. We do this by taking care of payment administration and keeping paperwork and admin to a minimum. We understand that taking the leap to be a self-employed contractor is a big call for educators, so we’re there on the journey every step of the way – assisting with payment information, tax returns and supporting educators to maximise the benefits that come with working for themselves. Best of all, our business and finance services are FREE for all Tiny Nation educators and families. 

It’s exciting to be a part of such an innovative early learning movement.

MCKENNA BREEDS

Hi, I’m McKenna. I have 10 years of experience in finance and payroll, I am new to the ECE industry but am excited to be part of the Tiny Nation Community. I support our educators, families, and the wider Tiny Nation team in managing the administration of enrolments, subsidies, and educator payments.

Outside of work, I enjoy my role as “Aunty Mac” to my nieces and nephew, and fur-mum to my big fluffy German shepherd, Kobe.

Hilary_Scott_Tiny_Nation

HILARY SCOTT

Hi! I’m Hilary – Campaign and Brand Manager for Tiny Nation. My role focuses on sharing our ‘why’ with educators and families, so that they can benefit from the Tiny Nation difference. I work closely with our regional teams and educators to provide the tools and platforms they need to showcase their home-based services in their community.

When I’m not wearing my marketing hat,  you’ll find me in Hawke’s Bay with my husband and our two children.
I’m a big believer of the importance of secure, nurturing relationships in the early years, and that’s why I’m passionate about taking the Tiny Nation vision to the masses and creating a movement towards a new model of home-based early childhood education.

BEX FINLAYSON
Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

Hi I’m Bex, Customer Support Coordinator and Relief Visiting Teacher for Hawkes Bay. I have 11 years experience in the ECE industry working within different roles, and also a qualified early childhood teacher. I support all our family and educator enquires, making sure the process to matching families and educators is positive and successful.

I enjoy being able to find the best care for our Tiny Nation families with our passionate and experienced educators. 

In my spare time I am a mum of 3 young children , we enjoy getting out and enjoy the sunny Hawke’s Bay.

Hawkes Bay

TRACY CALDWELL
Diploma of Teaching

Person Responsible for Licence 47761

Hi, I’m Tracy Caldwell and I’m the Visiting Teacher and Facilitator for Tiny Nation in Hawkes Bay. I’m passionate about providing environments for children that give them the freedom to explore and create new meaning for themselves.

My Montessori background means that I’m all about self-directed, hands-on learning and collaborative play, with a genuine love for supporting children and teachers to grow and develop.  I’m trained in the Incredible Years® Programme for teachers and have experience in coaching and adult education roles across the sector. I’m excited to learn and work alongside Tiny Nation educators to enable children to have the best start in life.

I’m also mum to Sienna and Harry. I get the day to day realities for working families and am proud to work for an organisation that solves the childcare problem for parents in an authentic and nurturing way!

Whanganui

JEANETTE BEARD
Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

Person Responsible for Licence 47826

Kia Ora, I’m Jeanette and the Visiting Teacher/Regional Manager for the Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatu region.  I have had many years’ of hands-on teaching experience in both the primary and early childhood education sectors, including time as a Specialist Teacher of Learning and Behaviour in the primary sector.

After teaching in the primary sector for 26 years, I re-trained so that I could enter the early childhood education sector to share my passion for all children to be confident and self-driven lifelong learners through natural play experiences. More recently I have been in coaching and leadership roles, supporting visiting teachers and support staff to enable high quality early learning experiences for educators, children and families.

I am a very proud mum to three children – Emily, Sam and Adam. I also have a fur baby mokopuna, a golden retriever named Ollie.

Whanganui

JANE BOWLER
Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

Relief Person Responsible Cover for Whanganui and Manawatu

Kia Ora, I’m Jane, one of the Visiting Teachers in Whanganui.  I have worked in the early childhood sector for over 18 years with the last eight of those in home-based. I enjoy getting to know children and their whānau, building trusting reciprocal relationships with them. Through these relationships, learning experiences in the ECE setting can reflect and be consistent with each child’s life experiences, making their learning authentic and holistic.

I also enjoy working alongside educators, supporting them to create a learning environment where the emergent curriculum encourages and empowers children to learn through free play both independently and alongside their peers and teachers. I believe that whānau values and aspirations for their tamariki, as well as their contribution to assessment and decision making, is an important part of the partnership between whānau and educators.

I enjoy spending time with my beautiful grown up daughters Sarah, Stephanie and Gillian.

Bay of Plenty

VICKI NIMMO
Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood)

Person Responsible for Licence 48046

Kia Ora! Kō Vicki Nimmo ahau. I am so very proud to be the visiting teacher here in the Bay of Plenty for Tiny Nation. I come with 25 years experience in the early childhood profession, including 10 years experience in home-based as a Visiting Teacher and also as a Regional Coach.

I am a trained Incredible Years facilitator and I love teaching and supporting adults in their role, to engage and teach our future tamariki. I am passionate about spreading the word of Tiny Nation, the vision and movement, bringing awareness to families and showcasing what home-based looks like – how it can easily meet their needs in terms of love, care and quality education for their child. At home, I am wife to Andrew, and Mum to Jordan & Bradley who are both very independent young adults and who are my pure pride and joy.

Auckland

ANDREA COOPER
Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching)

Person Responsible for Licence 45549

Kia Ora, I’m Andrea and I am a part of the Auckland Tiny Nation team. I have been in the Early Childhood sector for 25 years now and for the past 11 years, I have been in home-based as a Visiting Teacher.

I had the privilege of having my children grow up alongside me as an ECE teacher and as such this has solidified my belief in home-based care and education as the perfect start to our tamariki’s life journies. My philosophy is strongly underpinned by whanaungatanga where our children can develop strong respectful relationships with their educators and their whānau is just as loved and respected.

Auckland

SUSAN TAYLOR
Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching)

Person Responsible for Licence 45549

Kia ora. My name is Susan and I’m a Visiting Teacher in the Auckland region. I have been a Visiting Teacher for 14 years. I truly believe the relationships that are nurtured in a home-based setting support successful learning outcomes.

My journey started in primary training, 18 years ago! I saw the light on a new entrant placement, and found my heart gravitated to our littlest learners! My passion is in home education and care, supporting educators and families with creating a ‘love to learn’ environment for children. I have a hands-on approach and always enjoy a play and those special teachable moments.  I have two children, aged from mid-teens to mid-20’s and my favourite pastime is horses!

It is exciting to be part of a team who have tamariki at the forefront of what we do!

Taranaki

JEANNA NEWTON
Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood Education)

Person Responsible for Licence 48021

Kia ora, Ko Jeanna Newton tōku ingoa. I am a Visiting Teacher for Taranaki. I moved back from living and teaching in Taiwan over 12 years ago and this is when I began my journey as an early childhood teacher. My husband is from Taiwan, and we have two children, a daughter who is 14 years old, and a son who is 10 years old.

My passion is teaching and learning alongside adults and young children, where children use their imagination while their play unfolds. I love seeing the uniqueness of each individual child, and the special bonds they have with others. I look forward to working in collaboration with kaiako and whānau to ensure tamariki get the best out of uninterrupted play and foster a great future for all.

Taranaki

SONYA HURLEY
Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

Person Responsible for Licence 48021

Kia ora, Kō Sonya Hurley ahau. I am one of the Visiting Teachers in the Taranaki region. I have over 22 years of Early Childhood Education experience. I have also had some experience supporting children with diverse Learning needs working alongside the Ministry of Education. I have a passion for learning and understanding how children learn best; this has led to my belief that the underpinning of all learning is through respectful and reciprocal relationships.

Strong relationships build the foundations for attachment and connection, trust, social competence and emotional intelligence. This includes the importance of children having a relationship with both people and with the physical natural world. From here, children form the belief in themselves that they are capable and competent learners. I am also a strong advocate for small group sizes as research supports this as being best for the developing brain; less noise and distraction and more time for uninterrupted play. This creates an environment for more authentic and creative learning experiences to naturally unfold. I am excited to have this opportunity to work with and alongside the Tiny Nation Educators to support them in providing the uniqueness of their home environments for young children to learn, thrive and grow in.

I have 3 late teen and adult aged children together with my husband.

Manawatu

EMMA ANDERSON
Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

Person Responsible for Licence 46595

Kia ora, my name is Emma, Visiting Teacher Manawatu. I have taught in many early childhood environments, including as a teacher to under 2-year olds, a kindergarten teacher and now as a Visiting Teacher for home-based education and care.

I believe that home-based care offers a safe and nurturing home-like environment where children flourish in small group settings.

Building positive, trusting relationships with children, families and educators is extremely important to me. I love my role as Visiting Teacher, where I am able to support educators and see the children in their care thrive and reach their potential through a warm home environment, where learning is provided through positive one-on-one experiences.

I look forward to meeting you and your families.

Wellington

NATALIE BUCKLEY
Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) 

Person Responsible for Licence 47891

Kia Ora! I’m Natalie, Visiting Teacher in the Wellington region. I am so excited to be part of the Tiny Nation team! I have been in early childhood education from centres to home-based. My love for home-based care began several years ago when I had the opportunity to explore the Visiting Teacher role.

Working alongside wonderful home educators, families and children has allowed me to gain a deep understanding, love and passion of what home-based care has to offer. I look forward to promoting, sharing and being part of the love, support and dedication our educators and wider Tiny Nation team provide for the children and families in their care.

Wellington

VICKY TE KAWA
Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

Person Responsible for Licence 46980

Tēnā koutou, Kō Vicky ahau. I am a Visiting Teacher in Te Whanganui a Tara rohe. I have 30 years of experience in the early childhood profession. I feel incredibly privileged to work alongside our Tiny Nation educators and the tamariki in their care. I believe children deserve and thrive in an environment full of respect, aroha, security and fun. Small ratios and authentic relationships are some of the benefits of home-based care.

I love how the curriculum of life is throughout our homes and on our doorsteps too! We can connect more deeply with our local, natural environment and build a greater sense of belonging and security while creating lifelong memories. It is important to nurture children’s natural curiosity, wonder and exploration. I live in Te Awakai Rangi, (Lower Hutt) with my husband. I have 3 sons, Keanu, Tama and Makya. We all love the great outdoors, Wellington is a great place for this!

Otago

Morgan Brieseman Otago Tiny Nation

MORGAN BRIESEMAN
Bachelor of Education (Teaching) in Early Childhood Education to Primary Year 3 (0-8 Years)

Person Responsible for Licence 48062

Hi, I’m Morgan, Visiting Teacher for Otago. I have been teaching in the early childhood industry for over 13 years and know how much children learn and grow through the joy of play.

I believe in creating an environment where children can develop trust, confidence, responsibility and security through supportive and respectful relationships with their educators. I love working alongside our Educators and supporting them as they work with our tiny learners and help grow tomorrow’s big thinkers.

Otago

KERRI MANSFIELD-LAWS
Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood)

Person Responsible for Licence 48062

Kia ora, I’m Kerri, a Visiting Teacher for Otago. I have been in the Early Childhood Education sector for the past 15 years and I have worked as a home-based educator, as a teacher and as a headteacher.  I am passionate about building positive relationships and ensuring quality experiences for children. 

I am Dunedin born and bred!  At home, I have my husband Chris, my daughters Savannah and Paris, 2 dogs and 2 cats.

Southland

MEL EVANS
Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

Person Responsible for Licence 47887

Hi, I’m Mel, Visiting Teacher for the Southland region. I have been in education for nearly 30 years first as a primary teacher and then in early childhood after retraining in 2012. I believe that relationships are key to the education and care of tamariki. A strong foundation creates happy and secure children who are able to learn and play freely.

I aim to provide a high quality programme along side my fellow Visiting Teacher that is rich in language and diverse experiences as well as supporting educators to create their own amazing programmes.

In my other life I am a Mum to Annabelle, Brock & Toby who keep me very busy especially with Kapa Haka, football and softball.

Southland

Genna Hayward Southland Tiny Nation

GENNA HAYWARD
Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

Person Responsible for Licence 47887

Kia ora, I’m Genna, a Visiting Teacher for Southland. I am passionate about working alongside educators to create the best possible programmes for the tiny learners in their care. 

I have worked in early childhood education for over 15 years now in various roles and behind the scenes I am mum to Alyssa and James.

West Coast

TRISH BAIRD
Diploma of Early Childhood Education

Person Responsible for Licence 47863

Kia Ora, I’m Trish, Visiting Teacher for the West Coast. I have been working in early childhood care and education for the last 30 years in a number of roles. For the past 23 years, I have been working in the home-based sector which is my passion and what I believe in. 

I believe the first 5 years of a child’s life set the foundation for a lifetime therefore we need to support each child in their early years of care and education to build a solid foundation for them to build on through life’s journey. Home based care and education I believe provides this for children.

At home I am a Mum to four adult children and have four amazing grandchildren.

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