Maree & Alison

Centre Owners

Our owners Maree and Alison both taught and held management positions in local primary schools for many years before opening and operating our centres. High quality care and education has always been their top priority. Several of their children now work in the management and administration of our centres. They have owned our centres for over fifteen years now and began operating under the Lollipops Educare franchise until 2018. 


Natasha Rawiri


I have had the pleasure of being a part of the Treetops Whānau for over sixteen years, having worked across our centres. I work closely with our kaiako and tamariki and enjoy spending time seeing tamariki grow from strength to strength. 

My teaching practice is inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy, RIE and a number of inspirational professionals throughout Aotearoa, New Zealand. 

I live on the beautiful Pohutukawa Coast in Beachlands with my husband David and our five children - Alyssa, Grayson, Jayden, Carleigh and Kyrie, along with our many pets who share our home. 

As a Mum of five, I fully appreciate the many pressures placed on families. Come and visit us to see how we can become part of your extended family! 

Cathy Young

Centre Manager

My name is Cathy and I have been working in the Early Childhood sector for over 20 years now and my passion for working with children is still as strong as the day I started.

Originally from England, I emigrated to New Zealand in 2002 with my husband and two children. In 2016 I was blessed with a beautiful granddaughter Mila who attends the centre and she is absolutely thriving! I am loving watching her grow and sharing special moments with her here at Treetops.

My own teaching pedagogy has been influenced by the Reggio Emilia philosophy and play-based learning.  I believe that children deserve the best quality care in a space that invites curiosity, creativity and self-expression and where children are empowered to lead their own learning. Trusting, responsive relationships are at the heart of learning and it is important to me to create environments where each child feels loved and respected and feels like they are in a home away from home.

Amy Pitcher



I'm Amy and have worked for Treetops for 4 years. I have two busy boys aged 6 and 3 who keep me on my toes! I love working at Treetops as it is such a warm and happy environment - so much so I commute from Hamilton to work. I really enjoy the educational environment and the staff at our new centre in Pukekohe. My mum, Alison, is one of the directors of Treetops and I am proud to be working in a family business with strong values.

Clare Sharpe

Kaitiaki 0-3 team


My name is Clare and I'm excited to be part of the Treetops family. I'm looking forward to being a part of your children's most important years and to building strong relationships with all the families I am lucky enough to meet.

I am originally from England but arrived here in beautiful New Zealand in 2006 to begin a new journey and life with my husband and two children. Although it was hard to leave our family and friends, we knew this was the right move for us and we have never looked back.

I have been in Early Childhood for over thirty years, it has been my passion and a career that brings so much joy. Over the years Early Childhood has changed and as a teacher I have grown and changed to. I have experienced many different philosophies which have helped me grow into the person I am today. 

In 2010 I had the privilege of being introduced to two ladies who shared the amazing Emmi Pickler and a life changing knowledge and understanding of our babies and children. After learning from these inspirational women my philosophy has grown and I can't imagine any other way of being. It is truly beautiful.

Amanda Smith


Hi, my name is Amanda and I am so excited to be an employee at this beautiful centre. I am really looking forward to starting this adventure with our Treetops family. 

A little bit about me: 

I have many hobbies outside of work; these include zumba, physical adventures (such as bush walks, hiking etc) and spending time with family and friends. 

I initially graduated with a degree in tourism and sport. Although, after working as a camp counsellor in two different summers in America I then became a nanny back in New Zealand I found my passion is working with children. I completed my Grad diploma in ECE in 2013 and became fully registered in 2015. I love helping children develop their skills while having fun with them as we create positive memories together. Through creating stimulating learning experiences, it really is so special to see a child develop and grow. This is a key motivation for me to continue being an early childhood educator. 

I look forward to seeing all the individual learning our children at Treetops will experience in their time here with us. Please say hi if you see me around - I would love to get to know you and your precious family! 



こんにちは (Kon-Ni-Chi-Wa)! My name is RIYO and I am from Japan.

I began my journey with Treetops when I joined as a student in 2017. I was then employed at Treetops Botany and Botany Junction as a reliever and for 3 years I was able to experience a variety of age groups. Luckily, I had an opportunity to join this beautiful centre and I am excited to spend time with my new Pukekohe Family!

我是日本人但是我住了上海两年所以会说中文一点点: I used to be a qualified school nurse in Japan and I worked in Japanese School in Shanghai where I lived for 2 years and learned to speak a little Mandarin. I have a love of animals, especially dogs. I also love exploring New Zealand and I like to relax by playing the piano.

I believe that it is important to have a passion for giving children the best love and care in the early years and that positive relationships between teachers and whānau will support their child's development. I look forward to meeting you all!

Lorna Hernandez


Hola a todos! My name is Lorna Hernandez and I would like to introduce myself as one of the new Treetops teachers here in Pukekohe! 

A little about me: 

I began my journey in the Early childhood sector ten years ago as a reliever and I have absolutely loved it ever since! I have recently completed my Bachelor of Teaching in ECE. I was born and raised in the beautiful Aotearoa, however, my family originates from Colombia in South America. I have four young tamariki of my own - Josiah (2), Mateo (3), Noah (4) and Sofia (8). I know how important it is to create an environment where children are respected, nurtured with love and kindness and empowered. I am really excited about having my two youngest sons become part of our Treetops whanau as it is truly an amazing centre where respect and love for our tamariki are at the centre of all that we do. 

My own teaching practice is strongly influenced by the Pikler and Reggio Emilia approaches. I feel that children learn through play and it is through play that children have the ability to become artists, mathematicians, musicians, engineers, leaders and explorers. I strongly feel it is important to provide an environment where children have the opportunity to explore through all their senses and where the environment is their third teacher. 

I love seeing the uniqueness of every child and engaging in positive partnerships with whānau as I believe that whānau are children's first teachers. I consider myself to be a heart-led teacher and feel it is so important to nurture and support our tamariki to reach their fullest potential. I really look forward to meeting you and your beautiful tamariki and supporting their learning journey within our Treetops whānau.