About Treehouse Learning


Treehouse Learning is a private, locally-owned Early Childhood Education program offering quality childcare and educational experiences. Treehouse Learning is located on 1.25 acres in the Indian Peaks neighborhood of Lafayette at 95th and Baseline, in the heart of both Louisville and Lafayette communities and serving families throughout Eastern Boulder County and beyond.

Completed and established in 1997 and expanded in 2008, the building is distinguished by its unique design, triangular roof line and windows, along with generous large natural grass playgrounds and engaging outdoor spaces.  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.

Why We're Here

Our primary mission is to support and enhance early learning opportunities and educational experiences for young children through a safe and stimulating environment providing nurturing care in the company of skilled and responsive early childhood professionals.

Positive early childhood experiences occur within the context of safe and secure caregiving relationships that support early learning experiences and healthy social-emotional development on behalf of the “whole child.”  Developmental research has identified “windows of opportunity” in children for optimal times to learn language, analytical reasoning, spatial relationships, physical coordination, and musical abilities. A “whole child” approach views caregiving and education within the context of the integration of each child’s unique mind, body, and spirit as well as the interconnected relationships of care for ourselves, others, and the world around us. 

Our mission also includes advocacy for quality child care, support of early childhood research and education, serving as a resource for parents, and a deep commitment to our community, our environment, and working towards a thriving future on behalf of all children. Fundamental to our mission is our commitment to maintain a knowledgeable and 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 Learning program functions smoothly, maintains licensing requirements, keeps a direct focus on excellence, and effectively communicates with the Treehouse Learning community of families and teachers. Our Program leadership includes Program Director Amy Carr, Assistant Director Stasia Flora, Curriculum Director, Cezanne Mascioli, multiple Director-qualified Lead Teachers who provide educational leadership within our classrooms, as well as many other individuals who embody Treehouse Learning values, vision, and mission into our program on a daily basis.

Program Director: Amy Carr


Program Director Amy Carr first joined Treehouse Learning in 2009, and has served as Program Director since 2022. 

Amy is a Colorado native, splitting her childhood between the eastern plains and front range mountains (with most of her life spent above 9,000’!) and a graduate of Nederland High School. She received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Knox College and was certified to teach kindergarten – 6th grade.  

Upon discovering her passion for Early Childhood Education, she started taking ECE classes with Front Range Community College before being chosen as a Buell Early Childhood Leadership Program, fellow, which a graduate certification program in partnership with the University of Colorado Denver.  The completion of the Buell Fellowship Program led to her Director’s Certification in 2015 as well as the completion of her Master’s Degree in Leadership for Educational Organizations with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education.   

Amy initially joined Treehouse Learning as a floating teacher, working directly with every age group and classroom in the school, but like many teachers initially called to serve in particular age groups, Amy quickly found her interest and expertise as a dedicated infant teacher, followed by several years as a Lead Toddler Teacher in Dogwood. 

Amy eventually took some time away from Treehouse Learning to gain additional professional experience, including at other centers such as Head Start in Boulder. She returned to Treehouse Learning in 2016 as an Assistant Program Director, after the birth of her own child in 2015, recognizing as a mother and educator the value and quality of Treehouse Learning for early care and education. In fact, she returned to Treehouse Learning because she could not have imagined sending her daughter anywhere else! 

When not playing outside with her family in the woods or training for Ultra Marathons and trail races, Amy enjoys writing our legislators about all things related to families and children, and may even be spotted at the Capitol from time to time!

Admissions and Curriculum Coordinator: Cezanne Mascioli

Image of Cezanne Mascioli, Treehouse Learning Admissions and Curriculum CoordinatorShe/hers

Mabuhay!  Cezanne Mascioli, with over 20 years of Early Childhood experience, originally hails from the Philippines. She credits her career as a professional in Early Childhood Education to her parents, especially her late father, who convinced her to switch majors from Journalism and broadcasting to a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education.  Cezanne taught Kindergarten for three years before moving to Boulder in 2006 with her daughter, who was only 6 years old at that time (and has since followed in her mother’s footsteps as an educator and is now a 4th-grade teacher). 

Cezanne’s first experience working in a preschool in Colorado came with a significant amount of culture shock, despite having a background in Early Childhood Education, where the theories and philosophies are supposedly universal! After a season to adjust, self-reflect, and re-evaluate her profession, as well as increase her familiarity with play-based early education, Cezanne returned to school for a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado, Denver in December 2011.

Cezanne joined Treehouse Learning in October 2018 in the Evergreen preschool classroom, where she soon stepped into a Lead teacher role.  However, she took a personal leave in May 2020 during the pandemic, though she stayed connected to the program as a substitute teacher. In 2022, she returned to the program part-time as an Admissions Coordinator, a role she continues today. 

In August 2023, Cezanne returned to Treehouse Learning in a full-time capacity, leveraging her extensive background and experience into an expanded Leadership role as a Curriculum Director as well as Admissions Coordinator. Cezanne, who also has a Director Certificate, shares her knowledge, experience, and collaboration with different curricula and approaches, like Reading Readiness of Accelerated Christian Education, Creative Curriculum, Reggio Emilia, High Scope, and Tools of the Mind. She supports staff in their professional development and implementation of the Treehouse Learning curriculum and invites new families to engage with the learning opportunities embedded within our program curriculum. 

In her time away from Treehouse Learning, Cezanne enjoys spending time with family. Walking her dog, Koda, is a favorite form of therapy, and she also enjoys hiking, including the huge accomplishment of climbing a few of Colorado’s impressive 14,000 ft mountain peaks! She loves playing Mahjong and word games, as well as cooking, baking and of course eating delicious food, which ends up being the highlight of every family trip!

Assistant Director: Stasia Flora

Image of Stasia Flora, Assistant Director at Treehouse LearningShe/hers

Stasia Flora, Assistant Director at Treehouse Learning, joined our team in early 2022. Before joining Treehouse Learning as an Administrative Assistant supporting children and staff, Stasia has over 12 years of experience in Early Childhood Education at a variety of centers across Colorado. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Northern Colorado in 2016 in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in the Director Program. 

Her initial interest in the early childhood profession emerged out of her own involvement and experience raising four younger brothers. Stasia is also a mother to a daughter born in 2021 who currently attends Treehouse Learning. Her experience as a parent and professional in early education shapes her perspectives about learning and growing, as well as creating a safe and nurturing learning environment for all children. She is inspired by all of the children at Treehouse Learning, particularly through witnessing her own child’s development.   

In her free time, Stasia can usually be found out and about doing fun activities with her husband, daughter, and miniature schnauzer, as well as frequent trips to visit family in Chicago. Stasia is a huge Anime fan, loves Halloween, and enjoys shopping for unique clothing and jewelry to help channel her inner Ms. Frizzle!

Owner | Founding Family: Amy Benson May

Amy Benson May (She/Her/Hers)


A Boulder native and Fairview High School graduate, founding family member Amy Benson May was a high school student at the time Treehouse Learning opened its doors for the first time in 1997.  She graduated from Smith College with a BA in Women’s Studies, cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa, during which time she also spent a transformative year nannying for twin babies and learning about attachment theory, responsive caregiving, and child development.

Her early career was as a financial analyst in New York City and Boston.  She eventually left the finance world when she became a mother, also discovering a passion for maternal and child-related issues.

In early 2012, the May family moved back to Colorado, where she worked as an Assistant Teacher in the Infant and Toddler program at Treehouse Learning. 

After the death of her mother, Dr. Nancy Benson, Amy dedicated herself to personal and professional learning and development in early childhood education.  She continues ongoing coursework in Early Childhood Education in pursuit of a Director’s Qualification certificate. She is a parent of four children, all of whom are Treehouse Learning alumni or current students.

Part of an entire family of self-directed learners, Amy is a perpetual student and co-learner.  Along with her partner, 4 children, and a host of animals, trees, and gardens on their homestead, Amy is passionate about gardening and sustainably growing food.  Amy feels most alive through movement (running, hiking, and dancing), art, and music– all of which are inspired by the natural playfulness and creativity of young children.

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 Learning program and families.  At Treehouse Learning, we actively encourage longevity and promote career development. Within each classroom, Treehouse Learning 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 on 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.  

Areal view of Treehouse Learning building featuring solar panelsOur building is an architectural masterpiece with a “golden aesthetic” originally envisioned by Treehouse Learning founder and civil engineer Larry Benson, inspired by the principles of the geodesic dome and the geometry of the natural world. The original building, completed in 1997 and designed by renowned local architect Bill Bowen, was built around the expansive ceilings, triangular windows, and sheer volume of our Big Room.

Used daily for Big Circle, this area also hosts groups of children daily, as well as a variety of presentations and events for children and families. At the top of the Big Room, our visible kitchen is the heart of our building, nourishing our children with chef-prepared cuisine. In 2008, Treehouse Learning was enlarged with a new wing designed by architect Phil McEvoy, creating new toddler classrooms, a walk-out basement with a patio and gardens, and a large multi-purpose resource room. The footprint of Treehouse Learning today contains 9 unique classrooms.

Our 1.25-acre campus encompasses numerous playgrounds and outdoor learning spaces, seamlessly integrating nature, learning, and play. Nature observation areas, pollinator gardens, and numerous trees all invite children to engage and care for their environment and local ecosystems. Environmental landscape design and ecological literacy are integrated into our curriculum as learning opportunities for children while simultaneously supporting our larger program values and mission of sustainability and environmental stewardship. 

Through the years, the Treehouse Learning facility and program have enjoyed a special synergy as a result of intentional, high-quality design and construction, as well as the purposeful incorporation of nature into indoor and outdoor spaces. Inside and out, Treehouse Learning is a safe, engaging, and comfortable learning environment that sets the stage for growth, exploration, creative expression, and a relationship with the living world around us.

Our Legacy and History

Treehouse Learning was founded in 1997 by Dr. Nancy and Larry Benson, an educator and an engineer, who shared a bold vision for an independent early education center with a lasting community impact.


Dr. Nancy Benson (1948-2012)

 Treehouse Learning 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.

Nancy held an M.A. (1975) with a specialization in reading K-12, and a Ph.D. (1979) in education with a focus on evaluation methodology, both from CU-Boulder.  Until her death in 2012, Nancy maintained an active role in the vision and leadership of Treehouse Learning and enjoyed writing, speaking, and research on topics related to early childhood education. Her legacy is evident at Treehouse Learning throughout the seasons and years as we greet bright-eyed infants starting their journey, watch confident kindergartners move on, and everything in between!

We are proud to continue down the path to helping children grow and thrive, nearly three decades later.

Meet the Owners


Susan Benson Horn-Paxson (right) and Amy Benson May, daughters of founder Nancy Benson, are the local owners of Treehouse Learning. Amy maintains an active leadership role in the program. Their goal is to facilitate Treehouse Learning’s mission and vision toward early childhood education in Boulder County and our community.

Why a Treehouse?

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

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