Owners of Imagine are fully-trained ECE teachers Julie Kydd and Kay McAlwee and, looking after the business side, Mike Heath. Julie has over 25 years early childhood teaching experience both in NZ and the UK, and has two daughters of her own, while Kay came to the profession 20 years ago after raising her four children.
In 2010 Julie and Mike spied the property at 77 Hutt Road – originally built and owned by well known Jackson Street Chemist RW Toomath whose son, well known Wellington architect Bill Toomath, was born there – so they knew immediately it was just what they had been looking for to start a small, family-friendly, home-like early childhood education facility. The deal was done and the plan, along with Kay, was to have the centre up and running by 2011 – however, council constraints, building requirements and tough financial conditions meant that the dream took a little bit longer. None-the-less the dream was realised on 13 July 2012.
As a result we have created a quality play environment that capitalises on the natural beauty of NZ. Children are supported and encouraged to explore the natural surroundings as if they were in their own back yard – an oak tree, lemon tree, established shrubs, sandpit, and playhouse (to name just a few) are there to challenge their natural curiosity and risk-taking dispositions. Alongside these natural features are a team of dedicated, trained and passionate teachers who will provide the support and encouragement necessary to ensure healthy development and independent, life long learning.