Background Much has been written on the principles of family-centred practice and on the service delivery methods and skills required of its practitioners. Far less has been written from the perspective of families whose children have a disability. The aims of this study were twofold: firstly to understand families' experiences of family-centred early childhood intervention services and secondly to explore other factors that might impact on these experiences. Methods One hundred and thirty families attending two established early childhood intervention services in New South Wales, Australia completed a survey incorporating the Measure of Processes of Care-56, the Family Empowerment Scale, the Family Support Scale and the Parenting Daily Hassles Scale. Results Consistent with previous research using the Measure of Processes of Care-56, 'respectful and supportive care' was the domain of care families rated to occur most and 'provision of general information' was the domain they rated to occur least. Significant positive relationships existed between families' ratings of family-centred care and feelings of empowerment. Being provided with general information was strongly correlated with family empowerment. Families' social support networks played an important role but support from professionals was most strongly correlated with families' experiences of family-centred care. Finally, families whose children's early intervention services were co-ordinated by a professional experienced significantly better care. Conclusions The provision of general information and professional support are key components of family-centred early childhood intervention services.