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Meet the KidsLink Family
Michele Yock
Founder, director and ideas lady

The idea for KidsLink has been bubbling away in Michele’s heart and soul for a long time. When her Principal at Red Beach School (Lesley Tait) created a list of people in the local area who worked with children, Michele could see that the need for this kind of list was not just relevant to Red Beach… it is needed everywhere! So www.kidslink.co.nz was created and it is so much more than a simple list.

Thanks to her background as a classroom teacher, in South Auckland and more recently on the Hibiscus Coast, Michele is passionate about making sure all children can reach their potential by accessing the help they need. Michele co-ordinates the “Help for Kids” programme – KidsLink’s philanthropic arm, connecting children with the help and support they need to grow and achieve. Every week new children, teens and families across Auckland are benefiting from her work!

Michele meets with schools who will partner with KidsLink. She organises SENCo meetings and co-ordinates the KidsLink events. She is always on the lookout for service providers that will be great on KidsLink and wants KidsLink to become a nation wide resource.

With her people skills and passion for new ideas, Michele is the KidsLink creative genius and emotional heart.

Phone: 0508 KIDSLINK
0508 5437 5465
Email: [email protected]
Julie Whitcombe
Co-founder, director and systems lady

As a classroom teacher, Julie was often asked “Do you know anyone who can help my child with…?” or “We’ve had an assessment done, what do we do next?” so when Michele came up with the idea of creating KidsLink, Julie loved it straight away.

When Julie thinks about KidsLink, she holds the image of a mother in her head – it’s 11pm, this mother is worried about her child and wants to find someone in the local area who can help. Julie is excited because, thanks to KidsLink, the mother can now sit in the privacy of her own home and search for specialist providers who are passionate about helping kids. This Mum doesn’t have to go through the grating process of a google search – she can go to kidslink.co.nz and know that the information and service providers she needs will be there – all in one place, all in the same easy to use format. What Julie loves about KidsLink is that this Mum can find the help she needs, she can contact the service providers straight from the site and go to bed knowing that she has taken action – it’s going to be OK.

As an educator, Julie first started her career teaching in the early childhood sector, and then went on to teach in primary and intermediate schools. In 2001, Julie was seconded by the Ministry of Education to be a Numeracy Facilitator, where she introduced the Numeracy Project to schools across Auckland. She has since presented at national conferences and day courses across New Zealand.

With her organisation skills and attention to detail, Julie is the KidsLink team manager and office admin queen!

Phone: 0508 KIDSLINK
0508 5437 5465
Email: [email protected]
New Business Team
Julie Bourne
New business development lady

Julie’s enthusiasm for KidsLink is infectious. She is the bubbly and excited member of the team – she just loves coming to work! She joined the team in 2013 and is dedicated to filling kidslink.co.nz with quality service providers who do amazing things for kids. Julie enjoys meeting with professionals who work with children and teenagers; seeing how they can work with KidsLink so parents and families, teachers and schools can find them and use them.

For Julie, KidsLink is an amazing resource. The articles, videos and seminars add so much to what KidsLink offers. She loves being involved in “getting kidslink.co.nz out there” and wants everyone to know all about KidsLink!

Julie and her husband Warwick have 4 girls, so she knows firsthand the range of needs parents and families have and loves that KidsLink has something for everyone.

Phone: 0508 KIDSLINK
0508 5437 5465
Email: [email protected]
Jess Yock
Good soccer player and clever web girl

KidsLink is truly a family affair! Yes, Jess is Michele’s daughter and is the youngest and fittest member of the KidsLink team. Jess is our web girl – she loads up the service provider pages and makes them look amazing.

She buzzes out when a new service provider tells her they LOVE their KidsLink page and is excited to share the new pages at team meetings. Jess manages all the internal processes for new service providers, the bookings for the KidsLink events and the bookings for the video sessions.

Jess also works at Browns Bay Skids where she works After School and organises the holiday programme. She works with the little ones and they think she’s great!

Phone: 0508 KIDSLINK
0508 5437 5465
Email: [email protected]
KidsLink was created from our teaching backgrounds, because there was a need for a current up-to-date resource tool of services that families and schools can connect with to help with educational, physical and emotional needs for their kids and teenagers.
Our passion is to help kids and teenagers reach their full potential raising their sense of well-being and self-confidence.
Julie & Michele, KidsLink Directors
Praise for KidsLink
Parents

“KidsLink is a fantastic online resource that is easily accessible. The grandparents in the group found Julie really approachable and have been using the site for accessing information for their grandchildren’s varied needs. They were pleasantly surprised at how simple it was to use.”

Sonia – co-ordinator (Grandparents parenting grandchildren)


“The Kidslink service is such a great resource for all parents but I think especially useful for parents of children with special needs as I don’t tend to be able to get out and chat with other parents about services available so having a one-stop source of info is amazing. We were really excited that our school used Kidslink to organise a language assessment with a qualified therapist for him.”

Jess – parent


“I was told that my daughter has classic signs of dyslexia when she was in Year 4. It all came about by a simple test that the school had organised. After this testing took place my daughter went into a special class once a week within the school to get her up to national standards. Even though my daughter looked to be doing okay on paper with her school reports, I was quite concerned as a parent for intermediate and college level, to how she would cope. When I investigated to how she would get a reader/writer and extra time in the classroom, I learnt fast this would be a costly exercise of around $900, to get her diagnosed properly. I am truly thankful to getting extra support from KidsLink who put my daughter through a psychological assessment through the Help for Kids programme. Now my daughter is able to get the support she needs through the schooling system. KidsLink has been a life changing experience for my daughter. I cannot thank KidsLink enough.”

Julie – parent


“We found help for my son on KidsLink…it is brilliant! I really was feeling at the end of my tether but after finding help through KidsLink I now feel relieved that we are actually doing something proactive to help our son. Google is great but to be honest I wouldn’t have known the search terms to use to get started on finding the right professional”

Michelle B – parent


Schools

“Browns Bay School was the very first school to sign up to be apart of the KidsLink programme, recognising that this was a ‘missing link’ in our journey to provide the very best educational outcomes for our students. KidsLink provides a vital service to both schools and parents who are seeking support to help children with learning and emotional needs. The key aspects of the KidsLink programme- website/events/help for kids – come together to provide a significant amount of information that schools and parents need to make an informed decision on how to best help their children.

  • The KidsLink website allows the assurance of choice amongst a variety of high quality providers.
  • The Events give parents and teachers the opportunity to hear from experienced speakers across a range of topics.
  • The Help for Kids programme gives schools the flexibility to access support for students whose parents are not in a position to fund it themselves.

All this comes together to support schools and parents to achieve the KidsLink mission ‘working together to grow great kids’ – long may it continue.”

Jo Hewitt – Deputy Principal (Browns Bay School)


“Thank you so very much for the generous support for our families. We are so very grateful for the additional support that we have been able to access for these families. We continue to sing out the KidsLink message and are looking forward to having you at the SENCo meeting to promote KidsLink to more schools. Take care and thank you very much again.”

Lisa – SENCo (Rutherford Primary)


“Thank you so much for everything you have done for our student and his family. It is so wonderful to have a website like yours for teachers and parents to go to get support. You are doing an amazing job in providing this service and I have referred a large number of parents. I look forward to working with you in the future.”

Alex – SENCo (Waitakere Primary)


Thank you for a very worthwhile conference and an enjoyable day. I was particularly inspired by your first speaker. It was enlightening to hear about her experiences and what helped and what didn’t. To hear from a young lady who has gone on to be successful at further study reiterates that we cannot underestimate our learners and that it is up to us as educators, to persevere to find the support that works for them. The insight gained in around relationship dynamics with the girls in the classroom was invaluable. Refreshments were varied and plentiful, the spot prizes added a fun element and the trade tables interesting. Kids Link staff were professional, friendly and passionate about what they do and the venue was in a perfect location with plenty of parking and room to move.

Teacher
Browns Bay School


Service Providers

“I have done a presentation about dyslexia three times now for KidsLink, in various locations. The numbers of parents, teachers and other interested parties has increased every time. Having a trade stand set up before the event enabled me to chat with interested people, listen to their particular concerns and give them pertinent information to increase their understanding. During the half time break I have been inundated with questions, which was wonderful, and also after the end of the event. This great exposure for myself has definitely helped grow my business. I truly admire Julie & Michele for their drive and determination to turn their incredible dream into reality, to help teachers, parents and kids. Also for their great organisational skills, helpfulness and set-up abilities; ensuring that every event runs smoothly and to time. All told – a great organisation doing great things for both professionals, communities and kids.

Christine Thesiger Dyslexia Made Easy (presenter)
Licensed Facilitator – Davis Dyslexia Correction® Programme


“As a tertiary intuition, SAE supports the impressive and valuable work that KidsLink offers the education sector. Their commitment to schools, young adults and their whānau is truly exceptional. And the resources they provide particularly via their website are outstanding. SAE feel fortunate to be associating with KidsLink, particularly through our annual SAE/KidsLink scholarship for a secondary student keen to experience tertiary study by attending our Certificate of Electronic Music Production course for free. Such a scholarship is an example of the great work that Michele and team do. Thank you for all you do KidsLink!”

Dr Suzette Major – SAE Auckland (Campus Manager)


“KidsLink is a wonderful service that we share with our host families and our au pairs. KidsLink enables the teachers at Dream Au Pair to find solutions for their children’s learning and development needs. As well as a listing of trusted service providers, the KidsLink events and information they share with the community are invaluable.”

Tanya Burrage – CEO (Dream Au Pair)