Our Awesome, Suzanne


Tena koutou katoa ko Suzanne van der meys

I am married to Eddie, we have two tamariki and four mokopuna. Sadly, for us they live in Christchurch and Eyrwell, so we don’t get to spoil them as much as we would like.

We own a camper van and enjoy getting away from time to time in it.

I grew up in Winton and on leaving school I became a Karitane nurse.

Australia called and I went to Sydney for a year, working as a nanny at several homes in the area, it was great experience and I just loved my time there.

Marriage and tamariki followed my return and in 1987 I went teacher aiding at a Childcare centre in Invercargill.

When the opportunity came to study for a Diploma in Teaching ECE, I jumped at the chance. I did this part time, at the College of Education, Southland campus and in Dunedin, graduating in 1995.

I taught in Invercargill, before moving to Riverton to be the Supervisor when Riverton Childcare opened in 2003. Earlier this year, I decided to take a step back and am now working as a Kaiako part time.

I consider my strengths are being a good listener to both the tamariki and their whanau. I am empathetic and have a joy of seeing tamariki grow and learn in a fun, safe, caring environment, enabling them to reach their full potential.

Our Awesome, Lynn


lynn swanepoel

 Hello, my name is Lynn Swanepoel and I am a passionate and dedicated teacher. I have a Bachelor of Primary Education from the University of the Witwatersrand. I have been working with tamariki for over 20 years. I work hard to build good relationships with the tamariki, whanau and kaiako. I instil positive values and attitudes by creating a respectful learning environment, where everyone is valued.

It is important to me that the tamariki in my care feel cared for and safe, but most importantly that they are confident and happy. My goal for all tamariki is that they are the best that they can be!

I have recently relocated to New Zealand from South Africa and I am looking forward to learning more about the country, culture and people. 

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and taking my dogs for walks.

Our Awesome, Melissa


Kia ora koutou, Ko Melissa Kelly ahau.

I am a teacher-in-training who has worked at Riverton Childcare since 2009. I love being a part of this amazing community and making connections with the amazing families who live here. I consider myself to be a loving and nurturing kaiako who thrives on making genuine connections with the people I meet. I am passionate about strengthening my use and knowledge of te reo Māori and incorporating this throughout the day, helping to normalize our native language. 

My strength as a teacher is my ability to form genuine, reciprocal relationships with whānau and ngā tamariki. I aim to bring calm and happiness to each day, and to add to the learning environment providing fun and meaningful experiences for all to enjoy. 

Our Awesome, Elspeth


elspeth cameron


Kia ora. I am married with 3 daughters.  I have been an early childhood teacher since 1998, teaching at Riverton Childcare since 2013.

I believe that all tamariki are active learners and teachers should provide experiences that are meaningful to the tamariki that enhance their learning and development, so they are can grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators.  

I feel teachers need to believe in tamariki and encourage the tamariki to develop high self esteem and confidence to be able to achieve what the child sets out to do. 

I feel that the tamariki's learning journey also benefits from positive, trustworthy and respectful relationships.  Through these relationships the child gains a sense of trust and well- being, giving them the confidence to express themselves freely.

I look forward to being part of your child's journey within early childhood education. 

Our Awesome, Cherie


cherie mennell


Hi, I'm Cherie Mennell and I am married to Corey a qualified builder, we live in Riverton.  We have three amazing grown tamariki, Teigan, Tori and Blake.  In October 2016 I accepted a teacher aide position with Riverton Childcare.  

I believe I bring a lot of experience to the team with my years of raising my own tamariki.   At Childcare I really enjoy working with the tamariki and watching them grow and learn.  I feel that every child needs to have a special wee bond with their teachers so then they can feel safe and secure in their surroundings, this will then help them develop confidence to learn in their own way.  The best part of this job is seeing the tamariki's expressions and hearing their excited voices when there is a new activity for them to participate in daily.  I look forward to helping your child achieve the best they can be before they go to school.

Our Awesome, Quin


quin arthur

 Kia ora my name is Quin Arthur and I finished high school in 2018. I had no experience in early childhood when I first started but I have been learning more and more every single day since joining in early 2019. I plan on studying early childhood in the future to further develop my teaching skills. 

My favourite part of working with tamariki is getting to interact with the tamariki by asking them questions and finding out that every day is different for them and that every child has a different day to others. 

In my free time I like to spend time with my friends and family. I am actively involved in the Riverton taekwondo club where I help teach young tamariki the basics and help them develop their skills.