Nature Kids

Nature Kids Kaiako and staff


Kate Whitehead Head Teacher and Supervisor Nature Kids Motueka

Diploma Teaching ECE
Full registration
Current first aid certificate
I have been Teaching for the last 13 years in Wanaka with experience as a supervisor and in the last 4 1/2 years as a Head teacher.

I am excited to be moving back to Motueka to be closer to family and friends and to be working alongside my Mum.

I am passionate about our nature based philosophy and look forward to welcoming children and families to Nature kids.


Bachelor of Teaching
(Early Childhood Education)

Te Tohu Paetahi Whakaaro
(Te Mātauranga Kōhungahunga)

Provisionally Registered

Kia ora koutou!

I am passionate about working with people which previously led me to studying mental health support work. Further down my path I fell into the early childhood world and found out that it was little people I wanted to work with most.

Before I began my study towards early childhood I began my search to find an early childhood center that I could call my home center. Once I came across Nature Kids I knew that this is the place for me. Our Nature based philosophy aligns well with my beliefs, as well as the free play and self directed learning that happens so beautifully and organically at Nature Kids.


Bachelor Teaching (Early Years)
Fully Registered
Current first aid certificate

Hi I’m Michaela, I have been teaching for nearly 10 years. I am the proud mum of two children, Jade and Jacob. Originally from Auckland, I relocated with my family to the Motueka Valley, so we could enjoy the beautiful laid-back country lifestyle.

Working in early childhood is a journey, an experience that has moulded me into the person I am today. My love and passion for Nature based education sees me marvel in delight at the wonderful wholesome opportunities children are given, and inspires me to provide natural experiences for children.

I am an advocate for children. I wish for them to smile, have a love of play, and a passion for inquiry.



As Kate’s partner and part of the family, I have really enjoyed being a part of setting up Nature Kids. I have learnt a lot along the way and have developed a growing interest in Nature Based Education. I have been busy developing and maintaining our natural landscape, regenerating native bush, making natural resources, caring for the Nature Kids animals and involving the children as much as possible. I have enjoyed getting to know the children and their families, supporting children’s learning and most importantly having lots of fun as I’m just a big kid myself!


Bachelor Teaching (Early Years)
Fully Registered
Current first aid certificate

Kia ora, I am Emily I have been a qualified early childhood teacher for three years. From the first day I left university I was searching for an early childhood education centre with a strong nature based philosophy that matched my own. When I saw a position open at Nature Kids I quickly applied, I was smitten. So I left my position in Auckland and moved my life to Motueka so I could be a part of the awesome team here at Nature Kids.
I am passionate about teaching through play in a natural setting and making the most of our unique and special environment here in Aotearoa.


As a self employed business woman, the opportunity to start Nature Kids Pre-school with my daughter has been an exciting concept opening up a whole new world to me.

I'll be in the office, keeping the machine running smoothly, paying the bills, filing the paperwork, designing the ads, editing and updating the website. And helping out with the children when required.

I'm enthusiastic about setting up Nature Kids using sustainable principles, growing food and resources, and working with Kate in a family business and having her close to home again!