About us

Columba Cottage is a locally owned and operated childcare facility for children aged six weeks to six years, located on the safe and secure grounds of St Columba Anglican School in Port Macquarie, New South Wales.

We truly believe that all children should have access to quality education and care in a warm and welcoming environment.

The best way for families to find the right child care provider is to meet the team and get a feel for the facilities. Book a free tour today and find out for yourself why Columba Cottage is the best place for your child to grow!

What we stand for

Our Philosophy

Columba Cottage Early Learning Centre is a great place for your child to grow. Educators provide a safe and nurturing atmosphere for your child. We aim to develop respectful and rewarding partnerships with families through ongoing communication and collaborative techniques to ensure children reach their full potential.

Our Aim

Our aim is to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment for children, as well as to create a positive and rewarding partnership with parents and caregivers. What’s more, we’re committed to excellence in early years education by facilitating a smooth and supportive transition from pre-school to school.

Our Values

Dedication
To provide a warm, welcoming and supportive environment where children feel safe and happy.
Excellence
To nurture relaxed, confident and independent children, and to demonstrate a commitment to the Early Years Learning Framework and National Quality Standards.
Diversity
To encourage curiosity, interest in learning and participation in a variety of experiences.
Holistic
To provide stimulating and meaningful experiences, to consider each child’s needs, and to promote the physical, social, emotional, spiritual, moral and intellectual development of children.
Respect
To allow each child to progress at their own pace and to encourage their individual developmental needs as they learn and grow.
Belief
To cultivate children’s social skills and help them foster positive feelings about themselves both as an individual and as part of a peer group.

Governance

Columba Cottage Early Learning Centre is locally owned and operated by St Columba Anglican School. Management is delegated to a Management Committee made up of representatives from the School Council, School executive and the community. The Management Committee oversees the strategic development and financial operations of the Centre.

David has over 34 years’ experience in education and teaching in NSW Government and private schools, and 25 years on School Executive as Head Teacher Science and Agriculture at The Scots School Bathurst. He also has extensive experience in Pastoral Care as part of his role as Head of Day Students at The Scots School. David has also been involved in the setting and marking of Higher School Certificate examinations. David is a reader and Parish Treasurer of St Matthews Anglican Church, Wauchope.

Mr David Crofts

Terry has been the Principal of St Columba Anglican School Port Macquarie since January 2008. Prior to this, Terry was the Head of Secondary School and Assistant Principal of Bishop Druitt College Coffs Harbour. He also worked in independent schools in Sydney, the Central Coast and Lismore. He served on the school council of Trinity Catholic College and led their Employment Preparation Program for a decade. Terry also spent eight years working with teachers as a consultant/workshop leader.

Mr Terry Muldoon

Shannon, the Head of Primary at St Columba Anglican School, completed her Masters of Education (Special Education) at Newcastle University and also holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Sydney. Ms Rosewood’s career in Primary education began at Blue Mountains Grammar School. She commenced teaching at Abbotsleigh in 2005, where she held the positions of Year 3, 5 and 6 Coordinator. Ms Rosewood was the Head of Junior School at New England Girls’ School until 2017.

Ms Shannon Rosewood

Garry has been the Business Manager at St Columba Anglican School since November 2013. Garry has worked in accounting firms in Port Macquarie, and has over ten years’ experience in financial analysis, business modelling and forecasting and accounting within organisations such as Telstra and the Australian Defence Force. Garry is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Australia, and has been a member of the Army Reserve for over 25 years, and currently holds the rank of Major.
Mr Garry Clifton

Gordon has a background in rural science and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology. Gordon has served as Executive Director to the Australian Science and Technology Council (ASTEC) and was also Chief Scientist to the Australian and New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA). While in Canberra, Gordon had an active role in the Canberra Goulburn Anglican Diocese, serving for several years on Bishop-in-Council, and was involved in the establishment of Radford College in Canberra.

Mr Gordon Burch

Educational leader

The Education and Care Services National Regulations requires Columba Cottage Early Learning Centre to designate a suitably qualified educational leader at the Centre to lead the development and implementation of educational programs.

Jenna is Columba Cottage’s Educational Leader. Her role is intertwined with the duties of an Assistant Director but she is always more than willing to schedule time with you as she understands many of the challenges faced by families as we navigate our way through parenthood and the early years.

What are some of the ways the Educational Leader can support children and families attending Columba Cottage?

  • Act as a resource for your family.
  • Collaborate with your child’s educators to provide age specific curriculum direction and guidance.
  • Work in collaboration with educators to identify children who may benefit from targeted group work, for example, WorryWoos.
  • Coordinate meetings with families to discuss developmental concerns &/or challenges, as needed.
  • Oversee follow up actions from these meetings such as developing behaviour management plans, communication plans and any other identified resources.
  • Assist in the organisation of special days and events such as World Ocean Day.
  • Support your child’s educator to develop goals specific to your child. Documented progress will be sent to you bi-monthly via Storypark.
  • Develop your understanding about play and leisure-based learning and the significance of the early years in the education continuum for children.
  • Liaise with relevant support agencies.
What are your hours of operation?

Long Day Care is open 52 weeks of the year, closing only for public holidays.  Opening hours are 6.30am to 6.00pm.  Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) is available before and after school during St Columba Anglican School (SCAS) term time with Vacation Care available during SCAS school holidays.

How do I enrol?

Book a tour with one of our Centre Directors so you can see where your child will be cared for and to ensure you are comfortable with your decision. We are here to support you in your childcare journey so please ask as many questions as you like. Complete a Waitlist form and we will offer you days which we have available that suit your requirements. An enrolment pack will provide you with lots of information. Please note that you are required by law to provide us with a Birth Certificate and an immunisation history statement.

What is a Waitlist?

We use the Waitlist to determine your needs and compare these to our vacancies. If there are no vacancies, we place you on the waiting list and families are contacted once a place becomes available.

What is the Child Care Subsidy?

The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is a payment offered by the Australian Government for which you may be eligible. The Child Care Subsidy is means-tested based on the combined family income, the fortnightly activity of families (such as work, study or volunteering) and the type of service a child attends. You can find out more information by contacting Centrelink.

What happens on public holidays?

Columba Cottage Early Learning Centre closes for public holidays but fees will still apply as staffing and operating costs still need to be covered. Every child is entitled to 42 absence days a year, which includes public holidays. If you receive the CCS discount, this covers all 42 absences.  For further days, a medical certificate will be needed.

Do you offer fee assistance?

Indigenous scholarships and Assistance scholarships are available. The criteria that apply to these scholarships can be discussed with the Centre Director.

Discover for yourself…