About Treehouse Learning

About Treehouse Learning


Treehouse Learning is a private, locally owned Early Childhood Education program. Treehouse Learning is located on 1.25 acres in the Indian Peaks neighborhood of Lafayette at 95th and Baseline. Completed in 1997, the building is distinguished by its unique design, triangular roof line and windows, along with generous large natural grass playgrounds. The original facility was designed and built specifically with children and families in mind. The classrooms, lobby and kitchen all radiate from the center common room which is distinguished by abundant natural light.

Our primary mission is to provide a safe, stimulating environment to support early learning experiences and support healthy social emotional growth. Developmental research has identified “windows of opportunity” in children for optimal times to learn language, analytical reasoning, spatial relationships, physical coordination, and musical abilities. We believe that children deserve excellent care and nurturing in the company of experienced and trained early care professionals. Fundamental to our mission is our commitment to maintain a knowledgeable, responsive, teaching staff that is dedicated to early childhood education as a career and a profession.

Administration Team

Our Administrative team assures that the Treehouse program functions smoothly, maintains licensing requirements, keeps direct focus on excellence, and effectively communicates with the Treehouse community of families and teachers.


Director: Patti Gee

Joined Treehouse Learning in June 2011

Patti has been in the early childhood profession for over 30 years and has been a Colorado Director since 1994. Patti has a BA in elementary education and a Colorado Teaching license with an emphasis in literacy. Her background is rooted in Montessori Education and she also holds a Teaching Certificate from the American Montessori Society. She was founder and Head of School for a private non-profit Montessori School in SW Littleton from 1999-2007. Just prior to joining Treehouse, Patti taught kindergarten in Jefferson County Public Schools. Patti is a member of NAEYC and AMS.

Assistant Director: Sarah Mares

Joined Treehouse Learning in September 2008

Sarah graduated from Rasmussen College in St. Cloud, MN with an Associate’s degree in Child Development, and she has been a Colorado Director since 2012. Sarah has over 12 years of experience with all age groups and she is certified as an Early Childhood Teacher. Prior to taking the position as Assistant Director, Sarah was a Team Leader where she worked with our toddlers for 5 years.

Administrative Assistant: Julie Fordyce


Joined Treehouse Learning in April 2012

Julie has a BA in Anthropology from CU Denver. She also has formal Montessori education and experience. Julie has been working with children for over 13 years. As Administrative Assistant, Julie handles the children’s records, HR, payroll and maintains our website. She is also certified as an Early Childhood Teacher and can substitute in any room.

Meet Our Founder


Dr. Nancy Benson (1948-2012)

The Treehouse Learning program is a continuation of Nancy’s personal and professional commitment to the field of education. Nancy enjoyed a lengthy career in public school and higher education, spanning elementary, middle and high school, and university teaching.

She held an M.A. (1975) with specialization in reading K-12, and a Ph.D. (1979) in education with focus on evaluation methodology, both from CU-Boulder. Her daughters, Susan and Amy, were influential in shaping her notions about parenting and education. Until August 2011, Nancy maintained an active role in the leadership of Treehouse Learning as one of the Directors, and she enjoyed writing, speaking, and research on topics related to early childhood education. Her legacy is evident at Treehouse Learning with each new year, we watch confident kindergartners move on, and we greet bright-eyed infants as they are just starting out. We are proud to continue on the path Nancy paved.

Meet the Owners


Susan Benson Horn (right) and Amy Benson May, daughters of founder Nancy Benson, are the local owners of Treehouse Learning. Their goal is to facilitate Treehouse’s mission and honor Nancy’s vision of a strong contribution to early childhood education in Boulder County.

Susan and Amy are often present in the building several days a week, sharing the dual role of owners and parents of preschoolers at Treehouse.


Our Teachers

 Selected for their expertise in early education and their enjoyment of children, our teachers are well-paid professionals who have much to offer our Treehouse program and families.  At Treehouse Learning, we actively encourage longevity and promote career development. Within each classroom, Treehouse teachers establish secure and respectful relationships with children, responding to their individual interests and creating appropriate challenges. 

The quality and professionalism of our Treehouse Learning teachers clearly demonstrate our values and mission of behalf of children. Models of lifelong learning themselves, our teachers share a commitment to the early childhood profession, and live their work with dedication, skill, and integrity.  

smtl-logo-again Why a Tree House?
To be in a tree house is to be inside and yet outside, to be free and yet protected, to be held up in the air, yet rooted, held. It is a distant retreat, yet conveniently near.  It is being adventurous and yet home-loving, a wayfarer and nest builder, a pirate and a lighthouse keeper.  Tree houses enclose all the spirit that needs enclosure and liberate all the spirit that needs to see from horizon to horizon and guess what lies beyond.
Tree Houses: an Illustrated Essay on the Aesthetic and Practical Aspects of Arboreal Architecture by the Staff of the Green Tiger Press, 19