Our educators are fully qualified and very experienced – many have been with us for more than 5 years. They are dedicated to their roles and attend regular professional development training.


Eve Hawkes

Diploma in Teaching (ECE) / Advanced Diploma in Community Sector Management / Cert 4 in Training and Assessment

I graduated Teacher College in 1979. I have been the Director in a variety of services over the years – Community-Based Preschools, Long Day Care, Early Intervention, Campus Based Care, and lastly the Director here at Engadine Preschool Kindergarten since January 1994. I am extremely proud to be the Director of this service and the leader of an extraordinarily talented, dedicated and knowledgeable team of educators and teachers. I was also extremely proud when our service was the first in Engadine to be assessed as “Exceeding” the National Quality Standards by the Department of Education and Communities – a very high honour. I strongly believe in our preschools’ philosophy and base every decision on its values and ideals. I firmly stand behind our services’ values of collaborative partnerships with children, families and the community, inclusion for all children, the care of our environment, individuality, the value of play-based learning and critical reflection of everything we do as we strive to be the best early childhood education and care service we can possibly be.


Helen Douglas

Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood

I have had a permanent teaching position at Engadine Preschool since 1998. My current role at our service is 2IC and Educational Leader. It is my responsibility as the Educational Leader to ensure that age appropriate, play-based activities that focus on the cognitive, social, emotional, physical, spiritual and artistic aspects of learning and development are planned for and implemented each day. It is my personal philosophy that a holistic approach to teaching and learning, which recognises the connectedness of mind, body and spirit, enables every child to grow and develop to their own potential. I also strongly believe in the importance of a play-based approach to teaching and learning in the early years. I love what I do and love watching all the children I've had the pleasure of teaching, grow and develop a love of learning before moving on to the next stage of their education.


Renee Paynter

Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood / Associate Diploma in Social Studies (Child Care)

I completed my Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood) in 1995. I strongly believe in play-based learning and I am enthusiastic about creating learning environments that nurture children’s social and emotional wellbeing. I am committed to pedagogical practices which value and honour relationships between children, families and the community. Every child has a unique style of learning and brings with them their own individual personality. I believe these differences in learning and personality should be respected. In this ever changing and evolving world each child comes from varying backgrounds and upbringings I believe that it is imperative that these differences are nurtured and respected. I maintain that a child’s early educational experience plays a vital role in forming who they are and that every child has the right to have access to a high-quality early education service such as that is offered at Engadine Preschool Kindergarten.


Anita Byers

National Nursery Examination Board UK - Australian Equivalency of Diploma in Children's Services

I was born, raised and completed my child care qualifications in England, before emigrating to Australia in 1987. I have experience working in preschools, long day care, home care, a residential children's home, as well as working with children who have additional needs. I am currently employed full time in the Bilby room.

Growing up, working with children was my dream job and each day I am able to to that, I am happy. I believe in play based learning and our preschool reflects this belief. Each child and their family bring their own story and whilst they are here at Engadine Preschool we get to play a special part in their journey, observe their growth and provide a positive influence to the beginnings of their educational experience.


Stevka Janic

Diploma in Children's Services

My love of teaching was sparked when my youngest daughter attended Engadine Preschool and I began working here as a casual staff member. This gave me the motivation to begin my studies as a mature aged student, completing my studies with my Diploma in Children’s Services and becoming a KU Scholarship recipient. I have been a member of Engadine Preschool since 2007 where I am the full-time permanent educator in the Gumnuts room.

Children have taught me to open my mind and heart to the joys, the innocence, and the diversity of ideas in the world. Because of this, I will never forget how to smile with the new, cherish the old, and laugh with the children.


Danielle Daniel

Diploma in Children's Services

I graduated from my diploma course to the highest possible standard and accolades from Sydney Institute of TAFE. I have worked at Engadine Preschool since 2011. I have a passion for early childhood education and believe that it is the most important stage of a child's life where they are able to have the opportunity to learn through play. My aim is for children to become diligent, respectful and involved members of our community. I also take pride in the partnership of raising children with their families. I believe when a child has that "Ah ha" moment, it's worth more than money and hence that is why I left a financial background to pursue a career in early childhood education.


Jacqueline Bleasel

Diploma in Early Childhood Education ad Care

I was born in the Netherlands. I speak fluent English, Dutch and German. I have been working as a childcare educator in a community-based preschool for 10 years. I have worked at Engadine Preschool since 2012. My personal philosophy focuses on providing children with a safe and nurturing environment in which children and their families feel respected, regardless of their ability, culture, values or religion. My current role as a support educator is to assist children with an additional need with their development through integration within the preschool community. It is very rewarding and satisfying to see children learn, grow and develop to reach their milestones.

Rachel Piper 2017 website_0

Rachel Piper

Diploma in Early Childhood Education

I was born in Sydney and live in the Sutherland Shire. I started working at Engadine Preschool in term 2, 2016. After gaining my Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care, I now work as an Educator at Engadine Preschool. I love watching children grow and learn from their experiences at preschool. It is wonderful to watch them develop great friendships and gain confidence in the classroom. I also enjoy seeing the children explore their environments and take pride in their achievements.