Provider in Focus: Everton Park Child Care & Development Centre
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > Provider in Focus: Everton Park Child Care & Development Centre

Provider in Focus: Everton Park Child Care & Development Centre

by Freya Lucas

June 02, 2023
Everton park childcare centre

Everton Park Child Care & Development Centre (EPCCDC) is a Queensland based privately owned long day care service providing education and care for children aged between 15 months up to the time they enter school. 


The service has been awarded the Excellent rating three times, first in 2016, again in 2019, and again in 2022.  


What is the history of Everton Park Child Care & Development Centre?


EPCCDC is owned by Con and Julie Clifford, who established the service in 1999. As well as being a father of four, Con holds a Diploma of Teaching in Early Childhood from the Institute of Early Childhood Development (now Faculty of Education, The University of Melbourne) and has taught in Queensland and Victoria. Over this time Con has been in the roles of Licensee, Centre Director, CEO and has had oversight of all processes, procedures and policies relevant to the effective operation of the centre.


What is Everton Park Child Care & Development Centre’s vision and approach to early learning?


In addition to the play based learning approach and requirements of the early years learning framework (EYLF), EPCCDC has two points of differentiation – an Indigenous perspectives program, and a focus on outdoor learning. 


EPCCDC is committed to increasing awareness and education of Indigenous heritage to all members of its community. The service has a daily ‘Acknowledgement of Country’, displaying the Torres Strait Is and the Indigenous Australian Flags in the garden and in each room. 


Children are taught about the importance of caring and respecting our land and all that live in and on it.  EPCCDC endeavours to make the centre culturally safe for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, seeking information and knowledge to build stronger connections and knowledge about the first Australians.


The outdoor environment of the service has been designed to promote nature play, with the children free to explore the environment finding natural resources to use in their play, discover animals and insects that share the space, create unique play scenarios based on their ideas, and enjoy the freedom of being a child in a natural space. 


Educational Leader and Centre Director Jon Webb has a level 3 Forest School Leader Qualification and frequently works in the community and with other services to facilitate Forest School Leader training and training on outdoor education, Natural Environments for Learning and other areas of Early Childhood education for services in Queensland.


Are there any unique aspects to the Everton Park Child Care & Development Centre offer?


When the service was again rated as Excellent in 2022, for the third time, authorised officers recognised EPCCDC’s: 


  • inclusive partnerships with children and families
  • positive workplace culture and organisational values, support of educators and sustained commitment to professional development
  • practice and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth.


Children at EPCCDC are assisted to practice Dadirri, a traditional Aboriginal meditation which supports a sense of belonging to Country and holistic wellbeing. In late September 2022, the service held its annual art gallery event and drew on children’s responses following Dadirri sessions, in forming the foundation for its art exhibition pieces. This included:


  • Photographing the spaces that children had identified. Over numerous weeks, children collected a small sample of nature from each of those spaces. Using a food dehydrator, children dried the samples allowing them to be preserved.
  • Children arranged their preserved samples onto a round embroidery hoop, symbolic of the cyclical patterns in nature, to create their individual art pieces.
  • For its group piece, children worked alongside educators to place their individual samples within the river (middle) of a resin coffee table. EPCCDC stated that every child from the class and “their connection to community and place within this environment, is represented within this table.”


What is Everton Park Child Care & Development Centre’s approach to educators and their professional development?


EPCCDC has a strong management team with more than 118 years of combined experience in early childhood education. 


Ongoing professional development opportunities are offered to the team and EPCCDC commences each year with a planning weekend where the team has the opportunity to learn new skills, reflect upon practices and participate in team building experiences, laying the foundation for a successful year. 


 To learn more about EPCCDC, visit the website.


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