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PAUA -Our Story

PAUA (Preschoolers At-home Uniquely Achieving) was born out of a desire to provide a quality home based early childhood education service that would reflect our personal Christian values. Our charter with the Ministry of Education said:

PAUA Early Childhood Home Based Care Service is based on Christian philosophy and will reflect those principles and values. It will seek to provide a quality early childhood service to all families/Educators, a service to any family where a need is identified and where the requirements of the Education Home Based Care Order are able to be fulfilled.

PAUA Early Childhood Home Based Care Service will take particular account of individual family culture and ethics in all aspects of its programme and will seek to eliminate any barriers to enrolment in its service.

17th November 2003 is when PAUA was born in Whanganui, though the first children we enrolled were in Taupo (not part of the original plan… but obviously part of God’s!).

Deb Loveridge was our first Visiting Teacher that we employed in Palmerston North in February 2005; after some time away with family commitments we were rapt that she returned as a Visiting Teacher in February 2010. Over the years, Visiting Teachers in the Palmerston North region have included Michelle Nicholls, Helen Williams, Rose Fowler, Suz McVicar, Nicky Paul and Tina Larsen – we have valued the contribution that each have made. Currently we have Angel Gerrard, Megan Cliff, Carron Crawford and Shu-Fei Lee working in Palmerston North/Horowhenua.

February 2005 was when Robin Fay was employed in Taupo as Visiting Teacher. With her vision and ability the Taupo/Turangi region grew with Educators and children. She left in July 2007 to fulfil her vision of working with children in East Timor. Currently in 2016 we have Sarah Infield, Toni Mitchell and Katie Mawson as Visiting Teachers from Turangi and Taumarunui to Taupo, Tokoroa and Rotorua.

In January 2007 Brenda Cooper became our Visiting Teacher in Pahiatua, and the area grew with Laura Crocker joining her at the end of that year. Mary Morris followed in 2008 working in the Woodville/Dannevirke region, and Colleen Barr started in Waipukurau/Hastings in February 2010. The current team includes Brenda and Mary, along with Karen Gorton, Kelly Maugatai and Karen McCormack. We currently have Educators from Hawkes Bay down to Featherston on that side of the North Island.

Melody Nightingale joined us in April 2008 and her move to Tauranga meant that PAUA was moving in to the Bay of Plenty. Currently we have Katey Craig working in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato. Also in mid-2008 we moved down the Kapiti Coast, firstly with Erika Langenhoven as Visiting Teacher. Sarah Hargreaves now covers that region.

October 2008 also saw Pauline Barnett move from being a PAUA Educator in Taihape, to a Visiting Teacher! The Manawatu, Rangitikei and Ruapehu districts are now covered by Cassie Evaroa and Amie Vine.

February 2009 saw PAUA move into South Taranaki – Ngani Ngatai was our first Visiting Teacher there. Victoria Mills and Sharon Radford are now our Visiting Teachers in Taranaki.

The move to the South Island began in July 2009 with Erin Bradley employed as a Visiting Teacher, Gillian Wait joined her in February 2010. Christchurch and North Canterbury now has three Visiting Teachers, Lea Gardner, Billie Morgan and Annie Fechney, with Kim Steetskamp on maternity leave.

Poppetts, our Auckland-based nanny and babysitting service, joined the PAUA whanau in 2012, and is now looked after by Andrea Farmer. Our other Visiting Teachers covering Auckland are Donna Prichard, Liz Lam Sam and Lynette Franklin.

In 2013, Ngahuia Cassidy, a Tauranga Visiting Teacher, moved to Northland to set up PAUA there. She has since been joined by Brooke Jackson and Elaine Jecentho.

Meanwhile in Whanganui we’ve had Melanie Peters and Shelley Kyle working alongside Raewyn over the years. Currently we have Sandra Watson, Kellie Dawson and Leanne Chapman looking after all the Educators in the region.

All the way through, Raewyn’s passion for quality resources has meant the sourcing of high quality products has been really important to her. Educators and parents started asking to buy these resources for their families. This led to our first “Christmas Buying Evenings” being held throughout the PAUA world in 2008. A PAUA Products store opened in Whanganui in 2009, followed in 2010 by an online store, and in 2013 by PAUA Poppetts store in Auckland so that more Kiwi children can enjoy the educational benefits of these high quality toys and resources.

In late 2015, the Whanganui shop and PAUA head office moved to bright new premises at 9 Park Place.

So where to next? We aren’t 100% sure, but one thing we do know…. God does and He’ll let us in on the secret in due course!!

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