Melinda Vander Reest


Melinda is a passionate children’s advocate with more than 28 years of experience working with young children and their families in Community and Independent settings.  She has Early Childhood and Primary training as well as a Bachelor of Special Education and an Advanced Certificate of Child and Family development.

In her last teaching role Melinda was founding Director and Leading Teacher of the Early Learning Centre at Caulfield Grammar School, Wheelers Hill campus.  A role she continued enthusiastically for 21 years.

Melinda has supported children and families with a wide range of needs and backgrounds from social/learning difficulties, school readiness, anxiety and impulsive behaviour as well as English as an additional Language.  She has conducted information sessions and worked closely with other professionals such as psychologists, speech therapists and occupational therapists to assist all children to access programs and reach potentials.  She has also been involved in a Monash University pilot programme and study to meet needs of young children of high intellectual potential.

As part of her role at Early Life Foundations, Melinda conducts parent presentations and mentors educators working in the Early Childhood and Primary sector. In addiition, Melinda provides support to teachers implementing the play-based pedagogy Walker Learning across Australia and internationally.