About Stems

Stems is locally owned and personally operated in East Auckland by two New Zealand trained teachers with a passion and fire for making a positive difference in the crucial early years of the development of our babies, toddlers and young children. Quality childcare with a loving, in home educator, Stems FROM HOME.  2016 brings about some new changes with our Christchurch branch starting.

Emma McAlister (BTchLn)

“A person’s a person, no matter how small”.
This quote from Dr Seuss fundamentally underlies everything I believe about working alongside families to design the most nurturing non-parental care environments for their little ones. In-home Child Care is the fastest growing sector within Early Childhood Education in New Zealand. Helping families to be part of this in Howick and East Auckland is very important to me.

I have worked with children and their families for many years now, in many different scenarios including as a primary teacher, nanny and education marketing consultant. I have seen first hand the incredible benefits quality, In-Home Child Care with a sensitive, secure Educator offers our New Zealand families today.

It is vital that our smallest members of society have the opportunity to develop secure attachments with their primary caregivers, so that they may develop a healthy, balanced sense of themselves and their relationships with others. These foundations, stemming from healthy early brain development, will set them off on their life journey as confident, capable, contributing individuals, no matter where that journey may take them. In East Auckland and beyond!

At Stems we value healthy uniqueness in both our incredible in-home Educators and our supportive families. As Directors and Educators, both Stephany and myself are available to chat with Educators and families at all times, to ensure that communication lines are always open so that we may all work together as a team to provide the most exciting and interactive learning programmes for our babies, toddlers and young children.

My role as a Director of Stems FROM HOME, is to bring passionate, energetic and nurturing Homebased Educators to as many of our young, local families in East Auckland and Christchurch as I can. You will find me out regularly visiting In-home Educators and families in their own homes, listening, discussing and understanding the needs of each person involved in the care scenario. You will also find me accompanying families on visits to the homes of our local Stems In Home Educators to ensure the transition process from their own homes to our Stems’ homes are as smooth as possible for our young children. The children’s learning and development, as well as their secure attachment to their In-Home Educator, is paramount at all times,

Residing in Christchurch with my own young family, I  enjoy attending our regular Playgroup sessions with our Christchurch team Stems team, spending time discovering exciting new things with the children daily as well as ensuring everything in our Stems office runs as smoothly as possible for both our Stems Educators and families within the East Auckland and Christchurch regions.

Stephany Wofinden (Dip ECE)

I have worked in Early Childhood Education throughout my working career and I have been privileged to work in the UK as a Nanny and also within the home based childcare  sector there. Upon returning to New Zealand, my family and I settled in Howick, East Auckland. I completed my Diploma of Early Childhood Education and have enjoyed working in many different child care environments available to children here in NZ, including daycare and in home  childcare environments.

Home based childcare is my passion and I personally believe that children should be cared for in small groups and have individual learning opportunities available to them. Building a secure attachment with an experienced and loving, home based Educator helps pre school aged children’s early brain development. Being cared for in home also minimises the risk of cross-infection from childhood illnesses. I am so sure that this is the best childcare option available in society to today that my own daughter is a prime example of a child who has received quality, nurturing home based childcare before beginning primary school.

My role at Stems is to support the Educators with their individual  programmes and education planning for each of their Stems children as well as any area of child development which may need to be explored.

I also run our local Stems pre-school Playgroup and Music and Movement Sessions for the young children and Educators on our network. I love this time every week where I get to see the Educators in action with their Stems children in an environment other than their own homes.

An area that I really enjoy is providing Professional Development for our Educators on various subjects to help extend their own learning. I believe that we are all lifelong learners and enjoy travelling along my own learning journey with such inspirational people. Early Childhood Education is a way our home based Educators can make a real difference in the lives of our preschool babies, toddlers and young children.