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


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.

MSPMP Presenter

Monica Coetzee


Movement and Perceptual Motor (PMP) Presenter

Monica is a Mum, an educator and came to Moving Smart with vast experience and passion for PMP.

For 7 years she facilitated a successful PMP programme. During that time PMP became an integral part of the children’s beginning school programme.
Since then, she has worked alongside many schools helping them understand how PMP works. She is an expert and helps schools develop the best programme for their needs.

Monica‘s experience means she is able to provide schools with unique ideas and clever ways to get the best out of PMP. She is trained in MSPMP.