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About Bear Park


Bear Park was established in 1986, and since then has been a special place for children and whanau.

The group’s founder Sue Stevely-Cole has always believed in providing quality pre school education and care for children and this is evident throughout the Centre’s, which are reflective of the past 28 years of growth and success.

Bear Park is a place of wonder for children, where they are able to engage in endless opportunities, and to be just that, and a child; where curiosity, excitement and wonder, and spontaneous imagination are nurtured. It is a place of laughter and joy, of friends and memories.

Our philosophy of listening to the children, and creating a nurturing environment in childcare has assisted us in creating those close relationships between the parents / whanau and the Centres.

Many of our Centres have in fact been designed within existing homes, due to the fact that Bear Park extensively values the role that family plays on those first precious years of life. Other sites have been modified to create the same meaningful space or have been purpose built.

about-textFounder, Sue Stevely-Cole says, “What I feel gives that specialness and richness of what Bear Park is, comes from the uniqueness of each of the Bear Park sites. Within each Centre there is a special identity that is formed through the participation and contribution of the children, parents and teachers who live within”.

Over the years Bear Park has evolved into a very strong collaborative group of committed owners and teachers who excel at creating respectfully engaging learning environments for children to discover.

I personally feel that one of our main assets we have is the wealthy resource of knowledge that we are able to pull from, whether this be from our group of Franchises and the rich experiences & expertise that they bring to Bear Park; or our group of dedicated supervisors who daily mentor our teachers; or our teachers themselves who are fully committed to offering the children the best start to a life of learning.” Sue Stevely – Cole, the founder says.

The programme we offer is greatly inspired by the Reggio Philosophy, from Reggio Emilia, in Italy, which fits very comfortably within our own New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum Te Whaariki.

In 1991, Newsweek Magazine proclaimed the Diana School of Reggio Emilia as being the best and most innovative preschool, in the world, representing the pedagogical approach of the municipal infant toddler centres and preschools of Reggio Emilia.