September 11, 2020
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About Us

Please note we also have clinics at Brighton, Frankston, Geelong, Hawthorn and Preston.

Early Start Australia | Vic | Sandringham (formerly Best Start Clinic) has been leading the way for paediatric allied health and for young children with Autism in Melbourne since 2009. We were the first to bring the ground-breaking Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) program to Australian families and proudly offer the rigorous ESDM training that is required for professionals.

We provide Psychology, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Pathology services to children (0-five years) in the Sandringham area and believe in the enormous potential that lies within every child and young person.

The Sandringham Therapy Centre is passionate about providing interventions and supports and is the home of the unique Little Oaks program.

COVID-19 has created opportunities for us to deliver our program via Telehealth which means we can help even more families, no matter where you are located.


Meet Our Principal

Caroline de Fina
Practice 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.

Caroline is Practice Principal of the Brighton, Frankston, Geelong, Preston and Sandringham clinics.

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.

The Sandringham Therapy Centre is passionate about providing interventions and supports and is the home of the unique Little Oaks program. This program is for children under five years of age, particularly toddlers, with known developmental delays, Autism or disabilities. The Little Oaks program not only supports children; it supports parents and caregivers as well and is the perfect environment to prepare children for kindergarten. We provide a developmental model that is child-led, naturalistic and relationship-focused.

Little Oaks integrates the practices of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and is delivered by highly trained professionals including Psychologists, Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Teachers, Early Childhood Educators and Behaviour Analysts. The most important component is that ESDM works in strong partnership with the family.

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

  • Developmental delay

  • Intellectual impairment

  • Other diagnosed disorders

Early Intervention Therapists


Little Oaks Program Coordinator


Early Intervention Therapist


Early Intervention Therapist


Early Intervention Therapist


Early Intervention Therapist


Early Intervention Therapist


Early Intervention Therapist

Occupational Therapists


Occupational Therapist - Community Program Clinical Manager


Occupational Therapist

Speech Pathologists


Speech Pathologist



Senior Psychologist




Provisional Psychologist

Clinic Admin


Practice Manager


Clinic Administration


Clinic Administration

Please call us on 03 9596 8781 if you would like further information.


27 Melrose Street, Sandringham VIC 3191