Victorian Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre - Margot Prior Wing

The Victorian ASELCC have recently published two important papers in The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders titled, "Outcome for Children Receiving the Early Start Denver Model Before and After 48 Months" and the 'Effectiveness and Feasibility of the Early Start Denver Model Implemented in a Group-Based Community Childcare Setting'. Further information about these papers is described in "Points of Interest".

Channel 7 reporter Karen O'Sullivan visited the centre in 2014 and reported on this research on the Channel 7 News. Additional information about this research (and other research projects) can be found at the OTARC Blog.In addition to the information found on this page, families who are considering enrolling their children at our Centre should refer to our information for prospective families.

ESDM Training

La Trobe University's Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre (ASELCC) provides highly specialised training on the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) for parents, professionals and para-professionals. Click here for more information.

Autism Playmates

Autism Playmates is a specialist provider of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), an intervention for toddlers with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The service is committed to ensuring families can access high quality, intensive and cost effective intervention for children, aged 18 months to 3.5 years, with ASD. Click here for more information.

ESDM Parent Coaching

Do you have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder aged between 12-60 months?

Do you want to learn to teach your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder through play and everyday routines?

The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is an evidence-based intervention developed specifically for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The aim of the ESDM is to accelerate children’s learning across all developmental areas.

Our Parent Coaching program is delivered by certified ESDM therapists from the Victorian Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre (Vic ASELCC) and is designed specifically for parents of children with ASD aged 12-60 months. The aim of Parent Coaching is to provide parents with tools and strategies to engage and teach their child through play and everyday routines such as mealtimes, bathing, dressing and toy play. Topics covered include; gaining your child’s attention and motivation, communication, imitation, joint attention and play.

In the first session, a certified ESDM therapist will assess your child and collaborate with you to develop 10-12 learning objectives (goals) for you to work towards with your child. The remaining Parent Coaching sessions are delivered weekly across 12 one-hour sessions.Parent Coaching sessions are delivered weekly across 12 one-hour sessions. Each session is attended by the parents/caregivers, their child and an ESDM certified therapist. Sessions provide multiple opportunities for the parent/caregiver to receive hands-on practice with implementing the ESDM techniques with their child with coaching from the ESDM certified therapist. The sessions take place at La Trobe University, Bundoora.

The Parent Coaching program is available to families with a child with ASD aged between 12-60 months who are not already receiving a service through Vic ASELCC. For more information regarding the program and fee structure please refer to the Introduction to ESDM Parent Coaching Guide [1.59 MB].

If you are interested in accessing this program in 2018, please email

Background- funding

MPW logo

The Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre (ASELCC) initiative is jointly implemented by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).

FaHCSIA is responsible for the implementation of the six ASELCCs nationally (one for each state) which are an additional commitment to the Australian Government's $190m Helping Children with Autism package.

ASELCC - Margot Prior Wing

As an ASELCC, we are committed to addressing the needs of families of children with autism at the Margot Prior Wing (MPW). At the same time, we are dedicated to follow up-to-date and evidence-based science in the treatment of autism.The early intervention program being researched and implemented in the MPW is the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) (see Early Intervention Explained for further details).

Our Centre provides early learning programs and specific support to children aged zero to  48 months with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in a long day care setting, and is intended to have a positive impact on your child's long term life outcomes. The Centre will provide you with support in the care of your child and give you the opportunity to participate more fully in the community.


The centre has two playrooms with each catering to ten children with autism (formal diagnosis is not required). Each playroom is staffed by a teacher with experience/training in special education, 2 diploma qualified educators and a certificate III qualified educator. The centre also employs an allied health team of psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, an ESDM training team and a research team of 3 postdoctoral research fellows.


Parents are required to specify the times of attendance required when enrolling their child/ren.

Bookings can be made for:

  • All day for a minimum of three days per week
  • Enrolment is for one calendar year only (January to December)

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