Our Team

Farheen Effandi
Director

Farheen is an experienced, early years educator who has worked extensively across the Middle East and Australia. Farheen holds a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood) from the University of New England as well as a Montessori Diploma and TESOL certificate. She had over ten years of teaching experience before directing and coordinating early years centers and KG departments in schools. Farheen has experience with a number of curriculums that include the EYFS, EYLF, Montessori, Reggio and Creative Curriculum. She has a reputation for making learning ‘come alive’ for children through enthusiasm, creativity and visual learning strategies. Farheen is also a parent, and lives close to IDEA Early Learning Center.

Lauren Doherty

Lauren Doherty
Class Teacher KG Butterflies

Lauren graduated from Northumbria University in 2014 with a BA (Hons) degree in Early Primary Education. While teaching in the UK, Lauren’s Early Years provision was graded ‘Outstanding’ as were her learning and behavior strategies within the classroom and whole school environment. Since moving to Dubai two years ago, Lauren has led our team of teachers and teaching assistants to create high quality learning experiences for all children. Lauren is passionate about the play-based approach to learning and she believes child-led learning hosts many benefits to effective development. Lauren is also an advocate for emotional wellbeing and supporting children to effectively communicate feelings in a calm and relaxed environment.

Claire Walker

Claire Walker
Class Teacher Nursery Honeybees

Claire has been working as a teacher for the past five years. She holds a BSC from Manchester University and a CACHE 3 qualification in Childcare and Education. She followed her dream to become a teacher when she moved to the UAE seven years ago. Her passion lies with the younger children and her strengths are with creative activities, movement and music. Claire maintains excellent relationships with parents and has been commended for her approachable and warm personality. She is particularly looking forward to working with our nursery children as she loves to see each child’s many steps of progress and development throughout the year.

Kymberley Wrightman
Class Teacher KG2 Owls

Kymberley graduated from Middlesex University Dubai with a Bachelor Degree in Business Management, in 2016. She also holds a CACHE Level 3 qualification in Childcare and Education. In her 4 years of teaching, Kymberley has had the privilege of providing high quality learning experiences for children of all ages. She further enjoys working closely with children to find out how they best learn, using the most up to date approaches to individualize teaching in order to meet the needs of all children in her care. Kymberley believes in being a voice for children and helping them reach their developmental goals by tapping into their interests and forming strong, positive relationships.

Magda Hitchcock

Magda Hitchcock
Class Teacher Nursery Grasshoppers

Magda has been working as an early years practitioner for over a decade now. She has had experience in British and American curriculum teaching in Dubai, London and Poland. Magda feels strongly about teaching in a multicultural environment and embracing all cultures in a classroom environment. Magda has a BA in teaching English as a foreign language, Cache Level 3, TOEFL Certificate and Brain Gym International Certificate. Magda is passionate about teaching through hands on and real life experience involving movement, lots of role play and social interaction. Magda’s background extends to working with families and emphasizing on the partnership with parents to achieve the best outcomes for the children in her care.

Rebecca Cueno

Rebecca Cueno
Class Teacher Nursery Dragonflies

Rebecca has worked in nurseries and schools in Dubai, with children of all ages, for five years. Last academic year, Rebecca led her first class with exceptional outcomes. Many parents remarked on how settled and content their children were and how their children’s levels of vocabulary and social development soared while in Rebecca’s care. Rebecca believes that some of the most important skills to have when working with children are patience, flexibility and most of all love and these qualities shine through in her strong relationships with children and parents.

Marilen Lugtu

Marilen Lugtu
Class Teacher Babies Tadpoles

Marilen graduated as a midwife and worked in this field in Singapore before moving to Dubai. She then went on to study for her CACHE Level 2 in Caring for Children and Young People. Marilen’s experience with young babies is invaluable to our team. She is particularly interested in supporting individual children’s age and stage of development in accordance with their growth and progress. Last academic year Marilen successfully established our Tadpoles class, supporting children’s physical, communication and language development and helping them onto the next stage of their IDEA journey.

Cathy Victorio

Catherine Victorio
Teaching Assistant

Catherine completed a BSBA major in management in the Philippines. She spent two years working in a primary school in Jumeirah and two and a half years in an EYFS setting in Downtown. Catherine’s interest in children’s development and her love for children keeps her motivated and plays an important role in her life. In the future she hopes to progress with her CACHE studies. Catherine is a hardworking mother to her daughter.

Joanne Fernando

Joanne Fernando
Class Teacher Infants Mini-Beasts

Joanne obtained her diploma in the Montessori method of education in Sri Lanka in 2012 and followed on with a certified course on Counselling Psychology. Joanne taught in a Montessori Nursery in Sri Lanka for two years then moved to Dubai in 2014 to continue her passion for working with children. She has since completed her Cache level 3 in Childcare and Education while working as a Teaching Assistant with us at IDEA. She regularly attends CPD courses based on Early Years education and the most up to date approaches to use in the classroom. Joanne has also established our afternoon club provision, leading staff and planning exciting and engaging activities for all children. Joanne has a keen interest in following children’s interests in order to plan motivating and fun activities for children in her care. 

Maricar Atamosa

Maricar Atamosa
Teaching Assistant

Maricar completed her degree in Bachelor of Science Major in Psychology, with a training background in Industrial Psychology, Counselling and Clinical Psychology in the Philippines. She had a successful career in Customer and Retail Sales Operation and has worked for eleven years before moving to Dubai. She has worked as Learning Support Assistant in a school in Dubai, which helped her gain knowledge on children with Special Educational Needs. Maricar’s patience facilitates her dedication  to high quality early years provision.

Cynthia Pacheco
Class Teacher Infants Caterpillars

Cynthia has completed her Cache level 3 in Childcare and Education along with numerous other early childhood courses. Cynthia is committed to professional development and stays well informed with new and updated teaching ideas. She is a talented practitioner with five years experience with children of all ages. Throughout her career, Cynthia has enjoyed taking on greater responsibilities. During her time at IDEA, Cynthia has planned many whole school activities which enable children to have fun, learn and develop. She is particularly interested in children’s critical thinking skills and enjoys creating engaging learning experiences for children.

Lourdes Fernandez
Teaching Assistant

Lourdes holds a degree in Secondary Education and has a CACHE Level 1 in Early Years teaching. She has over 23 years experience in teaching, 13 years working as a Secondary teacher in the Philippines and more than 10 years in a nursery in Dubai. She is a devoted teaching assistant, dedicated to children’s learning and their development. Lourdes not only brings her extensive educational experience to the IDEA Team but her creativity, which always shines through in all she does. Through years of work with children, Lourdes has worked with children from a variety of different cultures.

Bernadith Rodrigo
Teaching Assistant

Bern earned her Bachelor of Elementary Education in the University of Southern Mindanao, Philippines. She completed a caregiver course and has accumulated 5 years of Early Childhood Education in Dubai. Bern is a beach lover, loves to play board games and a book enthusiast. she marvels on how children explore and discover their world using their own inventiveness and creativity. She believes at heart that young children don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. In the future, she hopes to progress with her CACHE studies as she believes everyone should invest in personal and professional development.

Fathima Bibi
Teaching Assistant

Fathima joined the IDEA Team as a Childcare Assistant based in our infants classes. She has a Master of Commerce from India. Fathima brings a wonderfully calm disposition and children are drawn to her playful nature.

Rachelle Ibanez
Teaching Assistant

Rachelle joined the IDEA team as a Childcare Assistant based in our infants classes. Her qualification from the Philippines are based in Education. Rachelle has volunteered in her community as a facilitator of care during church services. She has two children and is skilled in nurturing children in their early years.

Sue Lindsay
Teaching Assistant

Sue has worked within the UK Education system for 17 years, 10 of those as a Teaching Assistant within a primary school. With an NVQ Level 3 in Early Years in Education Sue brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to IDEA ELC. Sue has a passion for working with children of all ages and specialises in emotional intelligence. As a practicing Master Life Coach she understands that the level of happiness we feel is a direct result of the quality of our relationships. Therefore, Sue focusses on empowering the children to be the best they can be whilst building positive relationships with their peers and adults alike.

Janie Low
Class Teacher Pre-KG Ladybugs

Janie has a BA (Hons) in Law and Management from her home town of Aberdeen and worked for a global Pharmaceutical company for many years in management roles. She took a career break to stay at home with her 2 children after her move to Dubai 5 years ago. Her intention was always to further her love of Early Years when the time was right. Janie initially took up a voluntary post with us at IDEA in early 2017 which then developed into a full-time teaching assistant role. Janie then began her Cache 3 qualification in Childcare and Education, and has since graduated, whilst working with us at IDEA. Janie loves working with children and is passionate about play based learning and providing engaging learning experiences, whilst building firm foundations for every child’s future.

Manik Fernando
Teaching Assistant

Manik is a talented professional with a Diploma in pre-school education. Manik’s passion is reading with children and she has helped to further establish the library at IDEA. She has a Cache level 2 and is looking forward furthering her studies and learning more about Child Led Learning with The Creative Curriculum.

Chandima Perera
Teaching Assistant

Chandima has a wealth of experience as a teaching assistant. She has dedicated years of her life to ensuring children receive the highest possible levels of care. She has a delightful calm personality and children, parents and staff are drawn to her cheerful nature. She is a real asset to IDEA ELC.

Binali Peiris
Teaching Assistant

Binali completed her Primary Diploma and Pre-School Diploma in 2017. She has one year teaching experience in a nursery in Sri Lanka. Binali has settled in very quickly at IDEA because she is so flexible and creative.

Eneliza Penalba
Teaching Assistant

Eneliza is a wonderfully talented early years professional. Her passion for working with children permeates every aspect of her life and her interactions with children further highlight this dedication. Eneliza believes empowering children’s ability to make choices is how they best grow and develop. She loves reading with children. Eneliza has been an early years teacher in schools and nurseries and is welcomed into her role as teaching assistant at IDEA.

Czearina Quiambao
Teaching Assistant

Czearina began her teaching experience in Dubai and came very highly recommended to IDEA. As a teaching assistant she feels it is a privilege to help children grow and develop enquiring minds. Czearina wanted to work at IDEA because she had heard about positive environment, caring teams and strong values. Czearina is very active out of school and loves sports, particularly volleyball and she is currently learning how to play tennis.

Elaine Bermudez
Teaching Assistant

Elaine had 10 years experience teaching in her home country and she moved to Dubai to broaden her understanding of teaching strategies. Elaine is musical, warm and has a great sense of humor which children are drawn to. Elaine is passionate about caring for our youngest children.

Victoria Mugova
Teaching Assistant

Victoria is highly qualified with a Diploma in Early Years and Child Development. After 5 years as a teacher, she moved to Dubai to further her experience. So that she could gain experience she has volunteered in many nurseries. As part of an Early Years forum she heard about the potential opportunity to join IDEA and from the moment she entered the center she knew this would be a place that she could shine. Victoria always puts a child’s needs an interests first.

Nima Vimson
Nurse

Nima graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Mahatma Gandhi University, India. She has been working as Registered Nurse for more than 10 years. She started her career as an emergency and Trauma care nurse in one of the reputed hospitals in India and then she moved to Saudi Arabia and worked in the same field for Saudi Ministry of Health. In 2012 she moved to Dubai and started to work as a school health nurse. Nima has a little boy who keeps her very active. She is known for her calm disposition. Working with young children and babies has always been a passion for Nima and she takes pride in her practice.

Hannah Mae Navales

Hannah Mae Navales
PA / Accounts Officer

Hannah earned a degree in Business Management and won ‘Best Entrepreneur of the Year’ at University in 2009. She has worked in an administrative role for two years in a school in Dubai. Before this she worked as administrative manager in accounts for a well known printing company in Singapore. She also worked as branch officer in-charge for a successful company. She has been working overseas for four years and she is particularly dedicated and well-motivated to aim high with her goals.

Natalie Molyneux

Natalie Molyneux
Registrar

Natalie had a successful career in the north west of England for several years before moving to Dubai. Her background is in marketing and administration and she had many achievements during her time working for BMW. Natalie also ran her own restaurant business, prior to making the move abroad with her husband and daughter. Since being in Dubai she has worked for a nursery and a school as a registrar so she brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the IDEA team. In addition, as a reflective practitioner, she is able to draw upon her skills and understanding of the emirate.

Dina Aly
Accountant

Dina graduated from Alexandria University in Egypt in Business Administration. Her experience as a general accountant was built along many years from working in different industries such as Banking, Ailines, & Shipping brokerage. Joining the educational field was her next step in her career because of the huge importance given to the progress of the Education in the Emirates. Dina is a mother of three children and has first hand experience of the Education sector in Dubai. Dina is a diligent accountant who is fluent in Arabic. She believes that – Your CREDIT is not a measure of success it is only an indication that you have a DEBT. Dina is welcomed to the IDEA family.