Our People

Karmin Marchbanks, Centre Manager

What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?

I was inspired by mother who was a kindergarten teacher.  I spent many hours in kindergarten as a child and then later working voluntarily as an untrained teacher before I became trained teacher. I’ve been working in the sector for 30 years now!

What do you love most about what you do?

The relationships that are built with children and learning that takes place in early childhood education. I value relationships between whanau, parents, caregivers and children that are built on trust and respect. Children learn in an environment that allows uninterrupted play with flexible, child driven routines that support them to become competent, confident and capable learners.

What is your favourite time of the year at the centre, and why?

I love summer time, it is a great time of year to be able to fully make use of the outside area and explore the learning opportunities that take place outside.

Qualifications: Diploma of Early Childhood Education, Current First Aid Certificate.

Antoinette Clark (Annie), Team Leader

Kia Ora, My name is Annie and I am married with 3 teenage children. Originally from Nelson, I spent 25 years in Christchurch, before returning to Nelson in 2012.

I am a fully trained teacher in both Early Childhood and Primary and I have a Degree majoring in Psychology. I also have completed many other courses, as I love to learn and extend my knowledge constantly. It is this continual love of learning, that I am passionate about fostering in the children I work with!

I have worked in a range of settings and with a range of ages, from Respite Care to Schools, Preschools and Home Based Care. I love children and the way they see the world and am constantly learning from them and the people around me. I acknowledge parents as the primary educators of children and believe in working in partnership with whānau to enhance a child’s learning.

I believe that we are all life long learners and that the greatest gift we can give a person, is the support they need to follow their interests, natural abilities and inquisitiveness. This can be done by observing a child’s learning, what their interests are, how they learn most effectively, what learning dispositions they hold and then from this information, provide learning experiences that are individually tailored to each child. For learning to take place a child needs to feel safe and secure in their environment and confident in their ability to learn. I ensure they feel this way and then support them in their learning journey, in whatever way is appropriate at the time.

It is important to allow children to lead their own learning and I believe in 'free play' and 'child directed learning'. Children all have their own prior knowledge, skills, abilities and dispositions. I extend upon these, as well as use this knowledge, to strengthen other areas of learning also. It is through these positive learning experiences, that children gain confidence in their ability to make sense of the world for themselves. This will then promote a love of learning in the child, which they will then take with them throughout life.

Kim Howat , Team Leader

Kia ora, my name is Kim.  I was born in Nelson and have lived here for most of my life except for a six year stint in Dunedin and a year in Australia in 2009.  I have two grown children aged 21 and 17.  I have worked in the early childhood sector for the past 15 years.  During this time I worked as an education support worker for children with special needs and as a teacher aide for the Kindergarten Association.  After a gentle nudge from one of the head teachers I finally decided to study to become an early childhood teacher.  I studied at Te Rito Maioha in Nelson and completed my Bachelor of Early Childhood Degree in 2015.  In April of 2016 I was offered a full time position here at Active Explorers and became the Team Leader of the Tuakana Room in November 2017.

I believe that all children have the right to experience an environment where their well-being is nurtured.  Each child should be supported, by their families, whanau, teachers and the wider community to enable them to grow to their full potential.  I believe children are taonga, they should be valued and respected as individual and kept safe from harm.

Bachelor of Early Childhood
Current First Aid Certificate.