Since 2012, Early Start Australia (formerly Best Start Clinic) has been leading the way for paediatric allied health and also for young children with Autism in Melbourne. We were the first to bring the ground-breaking Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) program in a one-to-one direct therapy program to Australian families and proudly offer the rigorous ESDM training that is required for professionals. Our highly skilled team is the largest group of certified and certifying ESDM clinicians in the country.
When facing unknown challenges with your child our caring, multidisciplinary team is here to help. We know that parent well-being plays an important part in improving child outcomes and we want to work in partnership with you to help achieve your child’s goals.
Our Early Start Australia | Vic | Geelong clinic offers a warm, welcoming and inclusive environment for your whole family to feel safe and belong. We believe in the enormous potential that lies within every child and that every child deserves the best start in life.
As such, we believe in bringing together the right interventions at the right time, together with a team that is right for you. Our services are for anyone seeking the best start for their child or young adult (0-18 years).
If your child has a known delay or need, or maybe you are wanting to simply explore some concerns, we can help. Whether it’s individual therapy, a community program (support in kinder and school), parent coaching or via telehealth, we help find the mode of delivery that works for you and your child.
Services we deliver
Programs we deliver
Meet Our Principal
Caroline de Fina is a Paediatric Psychologist and founded Best Start Clinic, a leading paediatric allied health clinic, in 2011 after working in early intervention in London for many years. Caroline grew the practice to span five locations with a large team across Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula and the Barwon Region, whilst being the busy mum to three young children. Her practice is well regarded for its intensive ESDM service and unique centre-based ESDM program, Little Oaks, devised by Caroline and team.
Caroline holds dual Masters in Educational and Developmental Psychology (Monash University) and Cross-Cultural Child Development (Brunel University London). Caroline is a Certified ESDM Trainer and a Certified ESDM Therapist and has trained in the ESDM Parent Coaching model at the MIND Institute, University of California, Davis.
She has worked with children of varied ages and needs and is particularly passionate about the early identification of autism spectrum conditions, support to parents in early intervention, and the training of future practitioners.
Caroline joined Early Start Australia in 2018 and is the autism early intervention lead at Early Start Australia.
Meet Our Team
We were the first to bring the ground-breaking EDSM program to Australian families and offer the rigorous EDSM training that is required for professionals. We believe enormous potential lies within every child and young person. When facing unknown challenges with your child, our multidisciplinary team will bring together the right interventions for your child and family. We recognise that parent and caregiver well-being play an important part in improving a child’s outcomes and we want to work in partnership with you to help achieve their goals.
If your child has a known delay or need, or maybe you are wanting to simply explore some concerns, we can help. Whether it is individual therapy, a community program (support in kinder and school), parent coaching or via telehealth, we help find the mode of delivery that works for you and your child.
Our team is experienced in working with a diverse range of conditions such as:
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Sensory Processing Disorder
Other diagnosed disorders
Speech Pathologist - Team Leader
Please call us on 03 9596 8781 if you would like further information.