Mountainside Educare

Early Childhood Centre

Teachers / Kaiako

Liz Hale

Centre Owner / Office Administrator

Grad Dip (ECE), B Arts

I began teaching in 2010 and gained a Graduate Diploma in ECE teaching in 2011.

I am originally from Auckland but moved down to beautiful Wanaka with my parents and family in 2003. I completed a BA at Otago University and then went travelling for a few years before coming back to Wanaka and settling into life as a teacher.

My parents built and opened Riverside Educare, which is where I worked and gained my Grad Dip. They then went on to set up Mountainside Educare in 2016. I continued to work at Riverside for many years as a teacher and then Head Teacher and then Centre Manager. I have worked in all age groups - infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

My husband and I bought into both Centers in 2018 and then in October 2021 all four of us sold Riverside Educare and my husband and I bought my parents out of Mountainside Educare.

I absolutely love owning and working at Mountainside Educare and I feel very proud to be a part of the wonderful team here. All of our kaiako are absolutely amazing and everyone brings something different to the team. They are all so full of passion and love teaching and caring for your children.

Jacqueline Macdonald

Centre Manager / Lead kaiako

B Arts, Grad Dip (Pri), Grad Dip (ECE)

I began teaching in 2009 and since then have gained a Bachelor of Arts majoring in music, a Graduate Diploma in Primary and a Graduate Diploma in ECE.

I moved to Wanaka from Katikati in 2013 and since then my husband and I have settled in Lake Hāwea with our two girls Mila and Eliza. I started teaching at Riverside Educare in 2016 and have had a variety of roles between Riverside and Mountainside from being a teacher to head teacher and centre manager at both centres. I am currently covering the position of Centre Manager whilst Amanda is on Maternity leave.

I absolutely love spending time with your tamariki and leading such an amazing team of kaiako who are passionate and dedicated to their career. The aroha that is felt on a daily basis at Mountainside is incredible.


Assistant Lead Kaiako

Grad Dip (ECE), B Arts

I moved down to Wanaka, from Auckland, at the end of 2015 and was lucky enough to get a job with the Mountainside team.

I originally graduated in Auckland with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Event Management. As I have always wanted to work with children I then went on to complete my Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education in 2015.

I worked in ECE in Auckland for a couple of years, before deciding to move down here with my partner.

I love working as an Early Childhood teacher and am proud to be a part of the children's development and growth.

I started at Mountainside when it opened in February 2016.



B Ed (0-8 years)

I have recently moved up to Wanaka, from Dunedin. I have a Bachelor of Education from 2008.

I have worked in many ECE centres and Kindergartens during my time as a teacher, in Balclutha, Milton and Dunedin. My most recent teaching experience was spending 3 months in 2018 teaching in a Summer School in Turkey.

The moment I walked into Mountainside I knew this is where I wanted to work. The teachers, children and whānau are what makes this place so special.

I started at Mountainside in November 2018



B Ed (0-8 years)

I feel very fortunate for being able to work back in Wanaka and at such a special Centre. My family moved here when I was 12 and after completing my Bachelor of Education in 2007 at Otago, I came back to Wanaka to start my ECE career. After two years I moved to Nelson where I continued my passion working in Early Childhood.

My husband and I have now settled back in Wanaka, with our gorgeous girl named Harper and son named Finn.

I enjoy creating art, cooking, and gardening and love sharing these interests with children. I believe in building strong relationships with children and I am passionate about helping children find ways to express themselves as they continue their journey to become confident learners.

I began at Mountainside Educare in August 2017. ​



B Ed (ECE)

I am originally from Tutukaka, just out of Whangarei, Northland. I have worked with infants and toddlers for almost ten years now, and completed my Bachelor's degree from 2012-2015 through the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.

I love anything outdoors, so Wanaka was the obvious choice when making a decision to leave Northland. I moved to Wanaka mid 2019 and absolutely love it here. I strongly believe that kind, caring relationships are key to learning. Having an environment like Mountainside, that is not only warm and loving for the tamariki, but also the whanau is truly special and the foundation for rich learning experiences.

I started at Mountainside Educare in March 2020

Jane Mawson 


Grad Dip ECE

B Ed (Primary) 



B Ed (ECE)

Originally from Masterton I finished studying in Wellington in 2014 where I gained a BA in media studies and Bachelor of Teaching. From here I moved to Auckland where I taught in a Centre for two years before returning home to teach in Martinborough.

Wanaka was always a place I wanted to come to. Since moving here in 2018 I have loved it so much!

The opportunity came to join the team here at Mountainside and I feel so lucky to be a part of such an amazing team and environment!

I started at Mountainside in September 2021

Rose Jamieson

Centre Chef

I've been a chef for 20 years. I moved back to Wānaka this year after working in

Auckland. I love cooking for younger children, cooking delicious food and encouraging them to try new dishes. I believe it is important from a young age to establish good eating habits they can take into adulthood. 

In my spare time I enjoy outdoor adventures, especially road trips to new places and camping. Poi is a passion of mine, either with ribbons, LED or fire, its great

exercise and a lot of fun!

I look forward to my new venture at Mountainside Educare and hope to meet you at drop offs or pick ups! 

I'm always keen to try new recipes so feel free to share any favourites you make at home!

I started at Mountainside in May 2022