Ms. Caitlin Ma (Director) – ECE/ITE/SNE

Long before I even went to school for ECE I was always involved with children in my life whether it be through babysitting or teaching at my church. Before I studied to become an Early Childhood Educator (ECE), I obtained my Bachelor of Arts majoring in Criminology at Simon Fraser University. I began the ECE program in the summer of 2012 and started working as a part time assistant at Coquitlam River Childcare. During my last practicum at Cefa Kingsway I was hired and worked there for two years. At Cefa I was recognized as the teacher of the year for 2014. In 2015 I decided to open up a home daycare and that is how Chee in a Tree came to be. I completed my Infant Toddler in 2018 and Diverse Abilities certification in 2019.

I am an Early Childhood Educator because I have a passion to work alongside children, discovering new ideas and activities together. I love my career and find it very rewarding witnessing children become confident in things they learn. I believe in investing time in children and helping them develop their fullest potential. I hope to be able to encourage each child’s individuality and help them strengthen their self-esteem.

I love children and truly have a heart to encourage and inspire them to grow, learn and explore.


Ms. T (Educator- 938 West 52) – ECE/ITE

I’m Ms. T and I’m so excited to be joining the Chee in a Tree daycare family! When I was 9, I was dubbed the “neighbourhood babysitter” and have been caring for children ever since. In 2008 I became a qualified early childhood educator and have had the privilege of working alongside many talented educators over the last 10+ years.

While I love working with all age groups, I have a passion for and a deep connection to the under 3 age group. There is something incredibly special about watching a baby who is 100% dependent on a caregiver transform into a unique, independent, and capable little person in such a short amount of time (and the cuddles can’t beat)! I believe children deserve a space that will allow them to be curious, playful, respected, encouraged, silly, and their true selves. As an educator it’s important to know when to be right in the middle of the action and when to step back giving children the freedom to explore and experiment on their own. As Froebel said, “play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.”

Outside of work I have the honour of raising my own little human, a funny and sweet five-year-old boy!  As a working parent I know how challenging it can be to entrust your child to the care of someone else, so creating strong and trusting bonds with families is always a top priority for me. I look forward to building these connections with each family!

Ms. Eva Li (Educator- 6821 Fremlin) – ECE

I am Eva, an Early Childhood Educator! I have always enjoyed working with children, however, I never thought about turning this experience into a career. While I was trying to figure out my future, my friend told me about the ECE program he was in. I was curious and after seeing some of the work he had done I was instantly intrigued and wanted to know more. I received my ECE at MTI Community College; learning so much and visiting different centres helped me gain new knowledge. As time went on, I knew I wanted to continue in this field. Working in this field, many things are unexpected; there will be good days as well as tough days, but in the end, I am very happy that I’m able to do something that I love every day. 


I find it extremely rewarding that I can teach children and see the application in their everyday life. The proud faces they make when they have accomplished something they were working on also makes me very proud. As an educator, I not only teach but am able to learn from them as we are all co-learners. I love being able to see their growth, explore, and gain experience.     


I am excited to meet everyone and to continue my path as an ECE at Chee in a Tree!

Ms. Debra Browne (Educator- 6821 Fremlin & 938 West 52) – ECE

My name is Debra Browne and I am from Calcutta, India. I came to Canada 20 years ago. I have over 20 years of teaching experience with children from 5 months to 11 years old. I graduated from MTI Community College as an Early Childhood Educator in 2007. I have worked as a Montessori, Pre-school and Daycare teacher, which has given me great pleasure to learn and watch children grow and develop into fine young citizens of Canada.

I consider myself to be loving, caring, organized, flexible, honest, hardworking, with excellent communication skills with children and adults.

I enjoy reading, writing, listening to music, cooking, walking, helping others and  spending time with my family and friends on the weekends and social gatherings.

I am very blessed and privileged to work for Chee in a Tree Daycare, where I can share my knowledge, education and experience.

Ms. Olivia Ma (Educator- 938 West 52) – ECE/ITE/SNE

My name is Olivia. It is exciting to join the Chee in a Tree educator team!


I am an impassioned early childhood educator who has been working with children for over five years. My early learning journey started in 2018 after achieving an Infant/Toddler Early Childhood Education certificate from Camosun College. Later, I earned a BA degree in the Child and Youth Care program at the University of Victoria, further enhancing my skills. Currently, I am pursuing a Master of Education degree at SFU to continue advancing my knowledge.


My teaching philosophy revolves around nurturing children’s interests, fostering curiosity, and providing the warmth and support they need to thrive. I find immense joy in witnessing their growth and strive to provide the warmth and support they need to flourish on their unique paths.

I look forward to beginning a new journey with everyone in Chee in a Tree!

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Ms. Ivy Wan (Assistant Educator- 6821 Fremlin & 938 West 52) – ECEA
I have always enjoyed being around children and watching them learn. I have been working as a medical office assistant for over 25 years during weekdays, but on evenings and weekends I have helped take care of many children through church programs and classes. I’ve volunteered in Mexico and Panama multiple times, working with young children at English camps.
Children bring me so much joy and I am so thrilled to be helping out at Chee in a Tree.
Ms. Dalya Zaki (Assistant Educator- 6821 Fremlin) – ECEA

I find working with children to be a source of happiness and fulfillment.

I was raised in Vancouver along with many of my siblings. Here in Canada, I learned that every child has characteristics and great value of their own. My career began in pastry, and I enjoy baking so much, as much as I enjoy working with children. I used to make many different types and flavours of mini desserts for events. I have always wished that there were children around me who would test and enjoy these miniature desserts. After years of pondering, in 2021 I decided to switch my career to early learning, I studied to become an ECE Assistant at Vancouver Community College, and I got my first experience practicum through the YMCA.

Teaching and witnessing children’s growth and development through activities, crafts, play, art, and food nutrition is important because it allows me to contribute to their future success and well-being. As an educator assistant and parent, I can help them shape and guide their early experiences, helping children build a strong foundation of knowledge, skills, and confidence. Guiding children to learn, grow, and be independent is a rewarding and fulfilling experience, and it’s a privilege to be a part of their journey.

Being one of the Chee in a Tree Daycare teachers brings me a feeling of success and fulfillment that comes from doing work that matters.


Ms. Kelly Kwon (Assistant Educator- 6821 Fremlin & 938 West 52) – ECEA

My name is Kelly, and I am studying the ECE course at UBC, earning my ECEA certificate. I am thrilled to be joining the team at Chee in a Tree childcare. As I raise my daughter, I realized the importance of studying early childhood education, as it helps me better understand her development. With my daughter entering elementary school this year, I believe I can leverage my knowledge and experiences to positively impact other children. I am passionate and energetic about teaching, and I am grateful to have chosen a career as an educator. I look forward to creating beautiful memories with the children at this center.


Ms. Shay Gao (Volunteer- 6821 Fremlin & 938 West 52) – ECEA

As a mother of a six-year-old child, I feel blessed that I can take care, love, guide and connect with my daughter. She has given me so much pleasure along with a few tears, as most parents would understand and have similar experiences. I am very eager to acquire and gain more experience by working with children. I’ve attended an ECEA course to establish my theoretical basis of development with children. I have also volunteered in various non-profit organizations involving children and it has been a very rewarding experience.

These are my first steps towards a long-term goal in childcare. While I have a lot more to learn in this field, I am excited to gain more experience everyday. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to work together with ‘Chee in a Tree’ to learn alongside so many wonderful children.