Our Educators


Nestlings/Blue Heron

Marley Butler (co-owner) is a Montessori Preschool Educator from Vancouver Island who has been working with children for 10 years. She completed her Montessori Preschool training in 2014 and received her Early Childhood Educator Diploma with a specialization in Inclusive Care (Special Needs Educator)in 2019 and her Infant and Toddler specialization in 2021. She has worked in a variety of school settings, from large private institutions to small in-home daycares. Through this experience, Marley has discovered what really works for children and what needs to evolve in order to continue offering “best practice” in education.

Marley is committed to the families and shares her knowledge and insight into the child’s world with home caregivers. Marley has had experience working with children from all walks of life, and she has always been able to connect, support them on their personal journey to reach their goals, and provide unconditional acceptance and love.

Marley is also a multi-talented educator, who brings life and excitement into the classroom through sharing her passion for verbal story-telling and performance. She has taught classes of the arts for children and enjoys incorporating this element with weekly opportunities for the children including dance, music, theatre, and multi-media art. Marley shares her knowledge of the French and Hul’qumi’num languages with children in the form of games, songs, and stories.

Marley is currently at Nestlings full time, however in September 2022 she will transition to working at both centres each week.


Blue Heron

Kayla is away on Maternity leave until September 2023.

Kayla McBride (co-owner) was born and raised on the island. It brings her great joy to watch children explore the world through natural discovery of their environment, while following their inner guide. With her love for gardening, sewing, and baking, she is always eager to find a way to incorporate her hobbies into the children’s daily learning.

Kayla has been providing care for children ages 3-5 for the past 12 years. She graduated from Camosun College in 2010 with a certificate in Early Childcare Care and Education.  In 2017 she received her credentials in Montessori Early Learning through Age of Montessori. In 2021, Kayla completed her Montessori Infant and Toddler training. Kayla has been an educator at a large Montessori private school for the past 8 years. During this time she took on many different roles such as classroom assistant, CASA directress, and pre-school directress. Through this she has experience in time management, classroom management, scheduling, and curriculum planning. During her time as a classroom assistant she has worked alongside children with higher needs such as Down’s Syndrome, Autism, and learning differences.

Her love for each child and their family is always shown by creating strong personal relationships that include open communication. She sees each and every child as their own special being and is always observing them to help foster their interests and support their needs.

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Blue Heron

Caitlyn Neufeld is an Early Childhood Educator Assistant who is passionate about providing children with a nurturing, loving and inclusive learning environment. She was born and raised on the mainland and island trips from her own childhood formed her love of Vancouver Island at an early age.

After receiving her credentials from Camosun College, she continues on her own educational journey with a dedication to expand her formal practice. Caitlyn has a multifaceted background, receiving a diploma in Illustration & Design from Capilano University in 2013 followed by years of work on organic farms locally and abroad to develop an intricate understanding of the nourishment we receive from nature. During this time, a variety of volunteer opportunities allowed her to contribute to communities growing food with children. She has volunteered her time in learning gardens to connect children to their land, aiding them in developing a sense of place and belonging.

Caitlyn is committed to share her artistic sensibilities, naturalist insights and sense of wonder with the children she meets on her journey as an educator. Outside of the classroom, Caitlyn loves practicing yoga, running, painting and tending her garden in Metchosin.

Caitlyn is currently on the journey to completing her Early Childhood and Education diploma, and we are fortunate to be offered this insight into best current practice in education for young learners.



Blue Heron

Jennifer Weening was born, raised and has resided in the city of Victoria her entire life. She attended the Early Childhood Care and Education program at Camosun College completing her certificate in 1999 and achieving her Early Childhood Educator License in 2002. She has been working in the early childhood field for over 20 years, in many different capacities.
Jennifer’s previous employment at a local Montessori preschool as an educational assistant, working alongside children with special needs in all inclusive setting is where she was introduced to the world of Montessori education. Jennifer fell in love with Montessori philosophy for the early years of a child’s education. She enrolled in the West-Mont Montessori Teacher Training program and earned her Montessori Partnership Early Years Diploma in June 2020 through the Montessori Partnership UK.

Jennifer has a strong passion for teaching young children following the principles of the Montessori method. She believes in creating a strong, nurturing, caring, respectful and loving environment for each child to grow and learn at their own pace. Jennifer’s talents lay in providing group lessons in the areas of science, art, cooking, and French. She loves to create multiple types of mediums of materials for children to explore including visual aids such as felt stories, educational games and songs. Jennifer has multiple hobbies including spending time outdoors, gardening, knitting, crotchet, creative writing, travelling abroad and most of all caring for animals, especially her older cairn terriers and family members’ farm animals.

Her personal philosophy is to treat each child with the love as a member of her family and embrace each learning opportunity as a unique experience. Jennifer’s passion for education of the young child has ignited her personal love of learning and she will be returning to school for additional training in Early Childhood Education and Montessori Training for Infant and Toddlers. She plans on continuing her education towards her Early Childhood and Education for Inclusive Care specialization.



Blue Heron

Carolyn is an enthusiastic and caring educator. She strives to get to know each child in a meaningful way, and to appreciate them as a whole, important individual deserving of respect and love. She feels honoured everyday to get to be a part of each child’s life and walk with them as they are growing and learning in these most formative years.

Carolyn has been caring for and teaching children over the past 12 years in several different capacities. She has taught violin, piano, voice and early childhood music for the past 10 years, and it was through teaching and performing music at different daycares that she found her love for working in the preschool setting. She has experience as a full-time nanny to several different families, and has worked in infant toddler programs and preschool throughout the past 5 years. Carolyn has been directress for a 3-5 program for the last year. She is currently in her final course of completing her ECE certificate at Pacific Rim Early Childhood Institute, and is excited to keep learning more about Early Childhood Education everyday.

In addition to her musical background, she also loves dancing, photography, animals, cooking and nature. Carolyn loves sharing these passions with children and incorporating these things into programming whenever possible.

Carolyn is so excited to be joining the Blue Heron community, and to get to know all the children and their families!



Emily Nanibush is an Early Childhood Educator that specializes in infant-toddler and inclusive care (special needs education). She moved to Vancouver Island in 2020 and enjoys exploring and being outside. Emily loves incorporating nature in the classroom and spending time outside with the children.

Emily has experience with all different age groups, her experience includes teaching in a kindergarten classroom, preschool classrooms, and infant-toddler classrooms. She enjoys the different aspects of early learning with all age groups. Emily treats each child with love and respect and believes that children learn best through play.

She believes that the infant-toddler age is a profound stage of development in which the foundation of character is built. Emily enjoys teaching the love of learning and encouragement of exploration. 

In her free time, Emily loves photography, being creative, going for walks and bike rides. She is committed to incorporating activities based on each child’s interests. She will be teaching at the Nestlings centre in Saxe point.

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Polly Chin is an Early Childhood Educator Assistant dedicated to helping children reach their full potential. She was born and raised in Southern Asia and has lived in Canada since 2012. She had explored and lived in different cities across Canada and finally settled in Victoria. She loves to cook, go hiking and camping and explore the island in her spare time.

Polly completed the Early Childhood Education Assistant Program at Sprott Shaw College in 2020 and started working in multi-age childcare afterwards. Before entering the early childhood education field, she obtained a bachelor’s degree from McMaster University in Psychology. Her background induced her exceptional interest in promoting young children’s social and emotional health. During her undergrad years, her volunteer work has allowed her to interact and connect with children of all ages with diverse needs; that was when she found her joy in working with children.

Polly believes each child is a unique individual and is capable of learning from the environment at their own pace. She is committed to providing a safe, respectful, and caring environment for children, where children can safely express their natural passion for wonder and curiosity.

Following Polly’s passion for helping people, she is pursuing her master’s degree in counselling psychology as the first step towards becoming a play therapist. She would like to contribute her knowledge to early years learning from different perspectives, in addition to her experience.

Bio Picture-Mika


Mika Hotsumi is an Early Childhood Educator with Infant and Toddler certificate. She was born and raised in Japan. Since she was a child, she always enjoyed interacting with young children. Also, she was interested in living in the different countries, meeting new people and learning their cultures. She moved to the United States for school majoring in Child Development and Learning for her Bachelor’s degree. Besides studying, she was engaged in volunteer work at daycare centres and also worked at a Japanese School on Saturdays to help Japanese children keep up with their first language. She also did her internship at a local international preschool in Singapore as an assistant and a Japanese language teacher.

To pursue her dream to be an Early Childhood Educator, she moved to Vancouver in 2015 and completed the Early Childhood Education Infant and Toddler diploma at Sprott Shaw College in 2017. She worked at an infant and toddler childcare centre, and finally she moved to Vancouver Island in 2022.

After living in different countries, Mika got interested in different educational methods and philosophies in each country. Mika believes early learning gives a great impact on children’s brain formation and it continues influencing for the rest of their lives. She is eager to gain continuous knowledge about children and support their development.

In her free time, Mika enjoys baking and yoga. She is excited to meet new people and explore this beautiful island!