Welcome to 3 Bears Cottage

3 Bears Cottage is a family run business locally owned for over 20 years by Renae Donovan. Having six children of her own in which all six children at various times have been enrolled at the service, Renae has a great understanding of what busy families want and need.

Located in the beautiful beachside city of Coffs Harbour the service is only minutes away from the Coffs Harbour CBD making pick up and drop off time more of a breeze. We have eliminated the morning stress put on families rushing to get ready for work on time, by providing the children with all their daily needs at the service.

As we focus on the needs of the whole family, we don’t believe in closing over school holidays, as parents still need to work during these times and finding alternative child care arrangements bring many challenges for busy families. We operate 52 weeks a year, Monday to Friday, 7.30am – 6pm.

The whole family is welcomed to 3 Bears Cottage by accepting children from six weeks to school age, eliminating the needs for parents to make a number of drop offs in the mornings to various services. We accommodate this by having two baby rooms, one toddler room and one pre-school room.

Our Educators work with our families to build partnerships to encourage a sense of belonging upon entering our service. Ensuring good communication methods enables 3 Bears Cottage to maintain high quality care and appropriate support to our families. The service also recognises partnerships with the community as a fundamental belief. Collaborating and networking with other organisations with the community enhances educator learning.

Our Rooms

Baby Bears Room

3 Bears Baby Room caters for babies from 6 weeks to 24mths of age.

The play room has a large soft carpeted area for floor activities and a reasonable size wet area for meals and messy art.

The babies sleep area is separate to the play area to allow the babies a peaceful rest in a quiet dark environment. To ensure adequate supervision of the sleep room a large viewing window runs the full length of the room. There is a baby monitor so Educators are able to listen to the children and Educators every 10 minutes enter the room to visually assess the babies.

The babies have their own large playground with small climbing equipment for the older children. We have well maintained garden beds, digging patch and sustainable eatable gardens for the babies to enjoy.

The routine in the room focuses on the babies need for consistency and familiarity and security. For the older babies, we encourage independence and offer guidance along the way to ensure that your child is receiving the highest quality care and developmental opportunities.

We provide a personal communication book for each baby and family, where staff record bottle times, meals, sleep times and nappy changes.

The room leader develops a weekly program based on individual and group observations, needs and interests to ensure the children are in stimulating and encouraging environment.

Our open door policy in the service welcomes mothers who would like to continue breastfeeding, to ensure this occurs smoothly as possible, families are encouraged to visit at any time during the day.

We have places for 16 babies in this room. Room ratio 1 Educator per 4 children.

The routine in the room focuses on the babies need for consistency and familiarity and security. For the older babies, we encourage independence and offer guidance along the way to ensure that your child is receiving the highest quality of care and developmental opportunities.

Mama Bears Room

The play room has a large wet area to allow for a large variety of activities to be provided. Soft matting is used for quiet relaxing areas by the children.

The Mama Bears children share their large outside area with the Papa Bears. The yard has a decked area for activities a certified soft fall area for climbing and a large sandpit. A sensory garden is also situated in a large quite area of the yard where trickling water can be heard and the smells of our bush tucker garden be experienced. In addition two sustainable community edible garden beds are planted and maintained by the mama and papa bear children. We encourage families to take what they need to be used with their families at home when required. The children also use these vegetables and herbs in their cooking experiences at 3 Bears.

A regular but flexible routine is followed in the mama bears room to ensure toddlers are comfortable and know what is going on throughout the day. Children in this room are just starting to interact and play with other children and friendships between all children is encouraged. Basic self-help skills are worked on in this room to develop independence and an open-ended play based program is run.

The Mama Bear room children have easy access to toilets and hand washing with appropriate viewing so educators are able to supervise and assist as needed. In addition there is also a nappy change facility for the Educators to access. Learning to use the toilet is an important development milestone for toddlers. We will work with families to keep toilet training routines as consistent as possible while this process is taking place.

While it may look like a day filled with play, please be ensured that the “Room Leaders” are qualified professional Educators working within a national curriculum (EYLF). Room Ratio is 1 educator per 5 children.

Drawn out goodbyes can lead to increased anxiety for your toddler which can often result in having your educators prying your child from your arms. For some children the crying becomes a helpful part of the goodbye ritual and is not an indication that the goodbye is too difficult. A big mistake is trying to leave when your child is not looking or sneaking away without saying goodbye. This is only increasing your child’s anxiety. Our educators are here to support you and your child during this transition.


Papa Bears Room

The Papa Bears have a large play yard which they share with the Mama Bears (2-3). The yard has a decked area for actives, a certified soft fall area for climbing equipment and a large sandpit. A sensory garden is also situated in a large quiet area of the yard where trickling water and the smells of herbs can be experienced. In addition two edible sustainable garden beds are planted and maintained by the Mama & Papa Bear Children.

The emphasis of the Papa Bear Room (Preschool Room) is on encouraging children to play a larger part in the planning process, while developing skills for further successful learning in life. In the Papa Bear Room, Educators closely observe the children’s changing interests and reflect these in followed up play based experiences to ensure the program and learning has intrinsic meaning and value to the children.

The environments in the Papa Bears Room are designed to extend all children’s knowledge and families are encouraged to share cultural experiences and contribute to program ideas to assist educators.

Educator’s interactions with the children enhance all aspects of the program as the staff verbally and non-verbally challenge the children in their play.

There is focus on a pre-school program which sees children’s successful transition to school, by introducing basic literacy, language and mathematic investigation.

While the ratio requirements for this room is 1 Educator per 10 children, our Papa Bear room runs 2 Educators with 17 children enrolled each day which supports and assists inclusiveness.

Our Services


What sets us apart is our nutritionally balanced and cooked meals prepared by qualified chefs from the Surf Club Restaurant and Bar delivered daily to the service. The Service provides morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. Information regarding your child’s food intake each day is provided to parents via our Xplor app.

Celebration Cakes

Many children like to bring a cake to share with their friends on their birthday. Children love to blow out their candles while their friends are singing ‘Happy birthday’.

Our service would like to ensure that this can be achieved while ensuring the health and safety for all involved, therefore no cakes provided or prepared by families will be accepted.

In order to ensure that the correct Food Preparation and Food Hygiene Procedures have been followed, a cake can be ordered through our service which will be prepared by the Surf Club, if families would still like to celebrate special occasions at the service with a cake.

Wholesome Child

Wholesome Child is here to help your child by providing healthy and nutritious meals from wholefood recipes, supported by a research-backed nutrition and behaviour program. We are delighted to work with the Wholesome Child program to provide the best in nutritionally balanced meals and snacks for the children here at 3 Bears Cottage while helping to shape their tiny taste buds and develop healthy eating habits for life.


The Munch & Move Project

The Munch & Move Project is a fun, play-based program that supports the healthy development of young children from birth to 5 years of age attending early childhood education and care services across NSW. The program offers 3 Bears educators the opportunity to encourage children’s healthy eating and physical activity using a range of learning experiences.


All children are encouraged to rest during the day, however no child is forced to sleep. Here at 3 Bears Cottage we follow the Red Nose Safe Sleeping  guidelines.

All bedding and linen is provided for children that do sleep.


Nappies are provided by the service.

Sunsmart Service

The SunSmart Early Childhood Program is a free & successful national program run by Cancer Councils in each state. 3 Bears Cottage has been successfully accredited with this program for years. This program supports our service to develop & implement a sun protection policy that reduces children’s exposure to UV radiation and reduces the risk of skin cancer.

Being a SunSmart service helps our service to meet licensing requirement (Department of Community Services) and the national childcare accreditation council.

3 Bears Cottage App

Our service offers communication via our very own Xplor App.

Please refer to our Parents Corner for further information.