About Us

When children move, they learn. It’s really that simple… and it’s really that powerful. Yet somehow today, in our fast-paced, over-scheduled, tech-savvy world, that idea often gets lost.

MOVING SMART was founded in 1997 by Gill Connell, Educator, Child Development Expert, and best-selling author, to help teachers and parents better understand the role movement plays in early childhood development while giving children all they need to move their bodies, build their brains, and develop the foundations they’ll need for a lifetime of learning.

Meet Our Team

Gill Connell

Gill Connell

Founder

Teacher, International Lecturer, Author and Consultant

“A Moving Child is a Learning Child.” Gill is a globally recognised child development authority, specialising in the foundations of learning through movement and play. Gill provides developmental expertise to parents, preschools, schools, and international companies such as Hasbro, Inc., based on her 30+ years in preschool and primary education. With her best-selling books A MOVING CHILD IS A LEARNING CHILD, MOVING TO LEARN and now MOVE, PLAY AND LEARN WITH SMART STEPS.

 Gill has influenced the education of preschoolers nationwide in New Zealand, and is a sought-after presenter in both New Zealand and around the world delivering exciting Moving Smart initiatives.

Cheryl McCarthy

Creative Director

Writer, Author

As a writer, producer and toymaker, Cheryl has made a career of play. As the former Vice President of Intellectual Property Development for Hasbro, Inc., Cheryl was instrumental in the development of creative content and storytelling for some of the world’s best known toys and games including My Little Pony, Candy Land, Mr Potato Head, and Weebles, while producing more than 30 hours of animated and live action entertainment for children. Now serving as the Creative Director for Moving Smart Ltd., Cheryl brings her playful sensibilities to the serious business of getting kids moving to learn. Cheryl is the co-author of the books A MOVING CHILD IS A LEARNING CHILD and MOVE, PLAY AND LEARN WITH SMART STEPS.

Wendy Perera

Presenter

Movement and Perceptual Motor (PMP) Presenter

Wendy is a Mum, teacher, parent educator, ECE educator and teacher training facilitator.

As well as a highly popular and inspirational presenter for Moving Smart, Wendy runs her own parent education business Teeny Tiny. She is a popular presenter for Parents Centre nationwide as well as other organisations and brings her wonderful knowledge of how and why children move to Moving Smart.

Wendy has been involved in the early childhood industry since 1998, teaching in a variety of settings both in New Zealand and offshore. She has a passion for child development and learning.

Wendy is based in Auckland and is available to travel nationwide to deliver our worships to your school and/or centre.

Wendy holds a Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Teaching ECE