Our Team

Our incredible team of teachers is passionate, dedicated, experienced and most of all caring.

Our unique and close-knit environment supports strong relationships between teachers and families – we are all part of the Step Ahead whanau – and your beliefs, culture and expectations will always be valued by our team. We look forward to meeting you.

  • Carolyn Davis - Step Ahead

    Carolyn Davis


    Carolyn’s career in early childhood has spanned the last 16 years in both early childhood teaching and management roles within Whangarei and Auckland.

    Carolyn has twin girls who have had their own unique journey having been born prematurely at 27 weeks. Having spent time with them in hospital, along with her extensive experience in the childcare sector, Carolyn recognises the importance of early childhood development.

    Carolyn’s vision is to provide a ‘home away from home’ with specialised care in a nurturing environment.

  • Laura Stevens

    Head Teacher

    Laura joins the Step Ahead as Head Teacher, having worked in Kindergarten for over 10 years.

    She has a strong belief in children as capable and competent and encourages children to be independent learners.

    Laura is inspired by the Reggio philosophy and that the environment should offer an invitation to children to explore, learn and play.  She also has a strong belief in the environment as the third teacher, setting up inviting areas that encourage and support the children to pursue their interests and explorations without the interaction or direction of a teacher.

  • Dawn Haora


    Dawn joins Step Ahead Early Learning Centre excited about being part of a beautiful learning environment where children are respected and considered to be capable young people.

    Her love and respect for not only her own children and grandchildren, but also that of others, coupled with the right and necessity for children to be allowed to play inspired Dawn to study and obtain her degree in Early Childhood Education.  Her own love of nature transpires to her teaching practice where Dawn actively advocates for children to explore outside, encouraging that sense of wonder and connection to the natural world, ensuring the connection is not lost.


  • Sophie Colburn


    Sophie is a passionate, caring and creative member of the Step Ahead teaching team.

    Sophie graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education. She joins the Step Ahead team from Auckland, where she has had extensive experience working with 2 and 3 year old children. Her interest in felting, sewing and knitting brings a creative aspect to Step Ahead team.

    With Sophie’s 8 year’s experience with 2 year old children, she is our specialist for supporting children in the transition from Baby Steps to Step Ahead.

    Giving children the space and time to follow their interests is a large part of Sophie’s philosophy. She really looks forward to building relationships with children and their families.