About Us

Giving children the tools to start their own development, learning and unfolding.

Tawa Montessori Preschool is a preschool for children 3-6 years old, based on the guiding principles of Maria Montessori. Through creating and hand-developing our preschool and enviro-nature programme, our preschool has evolved to be unlike any other early childhood centre in Wellington.

We are dedicated to maintaining an enviro-nature character where children experience enviro friendly actions in repurposing, reducing and reusing as well as having access to a natural environment with animals and plants to inspire their outdoor experience.

Our Team

We are a pre-school where children, staff and families feel a sense of belonging and find long lasting friendships. A community place where each member is valued as a unique individual, in a culture of respect.

Our teachers have many roles and responsibilities. They are the knower of the child, the preparer of the environment, the presenter of the lessons, the respecter and protector of the child's learning experiences and the rolemodel in the classroom. We are very proud of our teachers. Our teachers not only help children to become independent, to concentrate, to observe and to form good habits, they also nurture the child's inner core of love and holistic development. They truly are special.

Julia Healey

Helen Champion

Leanne Gehlen

Haruyo Osaki

Jas the Cat

Julia Healey

Julia is our Head Teacher in the classroom. She has over thirty years Montessori experience as a Principal, Headteacher and Teacher.

Julia grew up in Lower Hutt. She now lives with her husband Chris in Churton Park. After training and teaching in New Zealand primary schools, Julia discovered Montessori while living in England, and has been involved ever since as a teacher, a parent, and as a member of the Montessori Association of New Zealand.

Julia has a Diploma in Teaching (Primary), a Graduate Diploma of Teaching (ECE) and an AMI Diploma in Montessori Early Childhood Education.

Helen Champion

Helen assists Julia and our students with the Montessori curriculum both inside and outside.

She has over 20 years experience at all levels of early childhood education and is qualified with a Bachelor of Education - Teaching (ECE) and an Aperfield Montessori Diploma for age 3-6.

Leanne Gehlen

Leanne joined us in early 2016 to guide the students in the deck and garden classrooms.

She spends most mornings with the children leading the animal and garden programmes as well as assisting with Montessori based activities on the deck.

She has both a Bachelor of Education - Teaching (ECE) and is looking to study for her Montessori Diploma soon.

She lives locally with her husband and daughter.

Haruyo Osaki

Haruyo has a Bachelor of Education - Teaching (ECE)

Haruyo worked in a Wellington City Montessori before starting her family and has now joined us as a teacher on Thursdays and Fridays.

Jas the Cat

Jas walked into our lives early 2011 when her family went overseas.

She sleeps on the verandah couch, or wherever she can find the warmest and sunniest spot. Sometimes she disappears for some quiet time underneath the deck, where it is cooler and the only company would be the odd brave mouse!

She prefers to sit on the teacher’s chair, to great hilarity of the children. Sometimes she wanders inside, finds a spot in the middle of where all the action is, stretches out and goes to sleep.

Jas even has her own published picture book “Jas the Cat", by Robyn Lovewell.