Small Miracles

Early Childhood Education, St Heliers

Our Small Miracles preschool is owned and operated by the St Heliers Presbyterian Church and Community Centre.

We provide Early Childhood Education in a caring, nurturing, happy, creative, inclusive and supportive environment and quality facilities that promote physical, emotional, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development.

We are licensed for 30 children aged two to five years with a high ratio of four staff to 30 children.

Visit our website online at Small Miracles


Our Programme

As a fully licensed preschool, Small Miracles follows Te Whariki, the recommended curriculum for early childhood in New Zealand. Te Whariki seeks to provide excellence in education with an emphasis on children learning through play. Children are valued as individuals and nurtured in a warm and caring environment that encourages them to share and develop their interests and ideas.

Contact Us

Phone: 09 585 4006

Te Whariki is founded on the following aspirations for children:

“To grow up as confident and competent learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society”

Hours of operation

  • Morning session: 9.00 am to12.00 pm
  • Afternoon session: 12.30 pm to 3.00 pm
  • Full day session: 9.00 am to 3.00 pm
  • Monday and Friday afternoon sessions are reserved for our “Little Explorers”, a programme designed to prepare our older children for school
  • We operate during the four school terms and close during school holidays

Our Day

Throughout the day our environment is set up to promote fun and active exploration to build on the children’s interests.

9.00 am:        Greet and free play (indoor/outdoor flow)
10.00 am:      Optional group time
10.15 am:      Morning kai time
10.30am:       Free play (indoor/outdoor flow)
11.45am:       Leaving group time
12.00 pm:      Kai time
12.30 pm:      Free play (indoor/outdoor flow)
2.45 pm:        Leaving group time
3.00 pm:        Session ends

Little Explorers

Little Explorers is a programme designed to support tamariki as they prepare for school including:

  • Further developing children’s curiosity about life and equip them with the skills to inquire and investigate.
  • Developing social competencies and self-help skills to support children embark on their next learning journey.

Our “Little Explorers” have opportunities to develop literacy and numeracy skills through art, storytelling, music, games, and construction. There are also opportunities to develop early writing skills and letter recognition within the context of the programme and according to the child’s readiness.


On occasion, we will take a small group of our oldest children on local excursions to expand their knowledge and appreciation of their community and environment.

Our Miracle Workers


Ingrid de Villiers

Ingrid is the Small Miracles Team Leader. Originally a secondary school teacher, Ingrid re-trained in the early 2000’s to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education.  She has been teaching at Small Miracles since 2005 and is passionate about Early Childhood Education and her role at Small Miracles.

“I believe in providing a nurturing environment where each child is encouraged to develop to their fullest potential so that they will thrive and become confident, competent learners and know they are valued.”

Sophie Lewis - cropped

Sophie Lewis

Sophie is a qualified and registered early childhood teacher from England. She began her teaching career as a secondary school teacher in London and has also worked as a primary school teacher. After attending Playcentre she became a qualified early childhood teacher, completing a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE) in 2017. She has taught in both kindergarten and crèche environments in Auckland. Sophie has lived in New Zealand since 2005 and is married with three school aged children.

"I believe that children thrive in rich learning environments where they are treated with respect and are encouraged to pursue their unique learning journeys."



Caroline Richardson

Caroline has being working in childcare and education for over 10 years in New Zealand, Britain and Europe. She has a Bachelor of Education.  She is the newest member of our team.

The rapid growth and development of preschool children has always fascinated me. It’s so exciting to watch children learn with such curiosity and excitement. I strive to create a stimulating environment in which children are inspired to learn through play and exploration.


Sharon Blackman

Sharon has 30 years’ teaching experience and has worked in the early childhood sector in New Zealand for 19 years.  Sharon previously ran GymbaROO, a neurodevelopment programme for children from birth to 5 years. Sharon is passionate about supporting children to develop to the best of their genetic potential.  She believes that sensory and perceptual motor development is key to promoting body control, coordination and intellectual functioning and that insufficient motor development can cause learning hiccups.

"My goal is to support whole child development by providing opportunities for each child to experience success so that they can grow their confidence- and emotional intelligence in order to develop physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually."


Rachel Doyle

Rachel has been teaching in the Early childhood Sector for over 20 years. She has a diploma of teaching.

"I love teaching, and I am passionate about children learning. I enjoy working collaboratively with our wonderful Small Miracles team of teachers.”

Miracle Stories

We love Small Miracles preschool. The teacher’s ability to warmly welcome each child into their environment is very reassuring. Each day there are new and exciting activities set up for the kids to explore and develop their learning in fun and interesting new ways.”  The McGregor Family

It has been so reassuring for our little girl to join such a nurturing and caring environment. The team at Small Miracles have an incredible amount of experience and every week they provide something new for the kids to explore and learn about. Every day our little girl comes home invigorated and inspired!”  Tracey Armstrong

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