Our Teachers 

Our teachers are caring qualified teachers who provide opportunities for all children’s learning needs to be met.  Children’s ideas are valued, their creativity to be inspired and interests to be supported.   Our teachers work alongside your child in their play and skillfully extend and stimulate children’s thinking.

We have a stable workforce with long standing staff.  They work diligently to create a challenging, nurturing environment for all children that attend Natural Steps.

Trained in caring for infants, we embrace The Pikler Approach which is based on a respectful relationship between an adult and infant, through choreographed tender care moments, that are enjoyable and unhurried.  Older children experience teachers who a inspired by the Reggie Emilia Approach.

Supported by management and a robust appraisal system teachers are constantly evaluating their practice and seeking improvement to improve children’s learning outcomes.

Our teachers are supported by the owner, Maria Anstis (DipTchg(ECE)) and the Manager, Emma Horne (BEd(ECE).



Emma Horne - Manager
Kia Ora, I am Emma Horne, the Manager of Natural Steps Ellerslie Village. My husband and I are loving parents to our daughter Natalia and son Braxton. I hold a Bachelor of Education (ECE) and have over 11 years experience in Early Childhood. I believe that quality in ECE is essential and are lucky to work with a team of teachers who hold the same belief. Together we work with families to provide the best possible education and care for children in our centre.

Avie Niko - Head Teacher Preschool Villa
Kia ora, my name is Avie Niko and I am the Head Teacher in the Preschool Villa at Natural Steps Ellerslie Village. I have over 18 years experience in the Early Childhood field. I hold a Bachelor of Education (ECE) and I am dedicated with nurturing the young minds of children in my care. My passions include literacy and exploration through messy play and I enjoy weaving fun through the curriculum.

Natasha Wallace - Head Teacher Piccolo Room (Toddlers)
Hi, my name is Natasha Wallace and I work at Natural Steps Ellerslie Village as the Head Teacher in the Infant and Toddler Villa. I hold a Bachelor of Education (ECE) and have over four years’ experience. My fiancé Shane and I are the parents of two wonderful children Me’a and Jacob. I am dedicated to providing a loving and nurturing environment for all children in my care.

Enrol today

We would love to have you and your child as part of the family.  Enrol with us today and start your child's Natural steps into early childhood education.