Meet Our team.

Debbie McCabe

Owner and Director


I have worked in the early childhood in both New Zealand and Australia since 1986.

I completed my original diploma in 1995. I finished my Degree in education in 2015. I hold a current practicing certificate as a registered teacher.

I grew up in Christchurch, my husband Ian and I with our two daughters, Georgia and Madison, moved to Hanmer Springs in 2006. Tree Bears was the reason for our move, it fulfilled my dream to own a small boutique family orientated preschool.


My personal teaching philosophy has been strongly influenced by Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum. For me it reinforces my belief about reciprocal relationships, as being a very important tool which supports our children’s learning. 


I enjoy being apart of both the Nursery and Preschool, getting to know children and families..

I wear many hats supporting families, teachers and managing the centre but for me the best part is being actively involved and engaged with children. 

Janelle Palmer

Preschool Teacher 

My name is Janelle. I am in my last year of study. I am

studying towards a Bachelor of Teaching (ECE). I moved

to Hanmer Springs with my husband, Andrew and three

children, Kieran, Lee and Daniel in 2019.


believe that every child is precious, they bring their own

knowledge and world them with. My passion is to

understand and connect with each child and their Whᾱnau.. I am looking forward to getting to build

relationships with the children and their families.

Chloe Turton
Head Teacher
Hi, I am Chloe. I am the Head Teacher and part of the management team at Tree Bears. I am a qualified Primary School Teacher. I am originally from the North Island. My partner and I moved to Culverden once we both had finished studying. 

My teaching philosophy is strongly influenced by the children. I believe it is my role to understand and cater for each child’s learning needs. I believe that it is vital to build strong and effective relationships with all children, families and the wider community.

I enjoy working alongside the team at Tree Bears and seeing the development that your children make.
Michaela Stuart Palmer
Nursery teacher

Hi my name is Michaela Stuart-Palmer. I live in Culverden 


I am in the process of completing a Diploma in early childhood education and care and I plan on continuing my study. I hope to start my Bachelors in Early childhood soon..  

I believe in offering a nurturing environment for Tamariki, building relationships through trust.I I look forward to meeting you all.

Georgia Alexander
Peschool teacher

Kia ora koutou

My name is Georgia Alexander, I have achieved my Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) and I am currently working towards gaining my Teacher Registration.

I am originally from the West Coast (Westport), at the age of 18 I moved to Christchurch to study and I moved to Fairlie at the beginning of January 2018, my partner got a job here in Hanmer Springs on a bull farm and we are looking forward to living and working here in Hanmer Springs.

I believe in reciprocal and responsive relationships with all children and whanau, Communication is key. I believe that primary caregiving with all children is a huge part of children to have the quality of learning offered.

I look forward to watching your children, grow, learn and development to the best of their ability.

Jessica Sexton
Preschool teacher
Hello my name is Jess, I live in Hanmer Springs with my husband and son .  I completed one year of ECE training before having my son Liam.  Liam attends our local primary school.
I was originally a parent at Tree Bears and I feel this has really supported me when I joined the team and I enjoy being involved and supporting  the wonderful learning journeys at Tree Bears. 

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