Our Team - Sophie Foster

    • Sophie Foster
      Founding Director, B.A.(Hons), L.T.C.L., Dip. Suzuki Music Pedagogy, Dip. Early Childhood

      Sophie Foster

      Founding Director, B.A.(Hons), L.T.C.L., Dip. Suzuki Music Pedagogy, Dip. Early Childhood

      Sophie completed an honours degree in English Literature and Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin and went on to study Suzuki violin Pedagogy and viola performance at Ithaca College, New York. Returning to Ireland, Sophie established a large and successful Suzuki violin studio. On immigrating to New Zealand in 1986, Sophie qualified in Early Childhood Education with the New Zealand Playcentre Association. In 1988, together with Sports Psychologist, PE teacher and Olympic Athlete, Jerome Hartigan, she established Jumping Beans, with the vision of educating parents and caregivers to raise happy, healthy and self-confident children for the peaceful and sustainable future of our planet.

      The birth of her three children inspired Sophie to write the internationally acclaimed Jumping Beans preschool picture books published by David Bateman, and co-write the Jumping Beans flagship book for parents, Move Baby Move, published by Random House NZ which is  available as an e-book under the title ‘Parenting Tips’. She developed the concept for the Jumping Beans preschool TV show which is currently in development. Sophie enjoys early morning runs by the sea with her Golden Labrador/Retriever, Angus, and competing in half marathons. She also enjoys body sculpting, writing, reading, travel, theatre and film.

      Sophie was a founding member of the Brainwave Trust and created its name ‘Brainwave’. She has served on the committees of several other child advocacy groups including the Active Movement Advisory Group and The Infant Mental Health Association of Aotearoa. She was newsletter editor of the NZ Suzuki Association for several years and co-organised Dr. Suzuki’s only visit to New Zealand. She is former chairperson and now an active committee member of the Auckland branch of OMEP Aotearoa (World Organisation for Preschool Education).

      Sophie is an experienced speaker and workshop presenter with a special interest in effective communication with young children to support healthy brain development and nurture self-esteem in the early years. Sophie enjoys being a social entrepreneur in the Early Childhood sector as children have unlimited potential.  She feels privileged to be working with such a dedicated and passionate Jumping Beans team and is rewarded daily by reports from parents whose relationships with their children as well as their children’s physical ability and self-confidence, have been positively impacted by the Jumping Beans programme. She is proud of having developed an iconic and heritage NZ brand which has become a household name and is looking forward to taking Jumping Beans to the world stage.