THE EARLY CHILDHOOD SECTOR within Australia has experienced significant changes over the past decade. During this period the quantity of early childhood research has also escalated. However, educators continue to remain cautious about the value of research as it is currently operationalised and its potential application. Establishing collaborative relationships between researchers and educators could be beneficial in ensuring research is conducted and applied as intended within the ECEC setting. The aim of this paper is to share four key lessons learnt from a professional collaboration that was established between researchers and educators within New South Wales, Australia. The paper highlights the need for researchers to have a thorough understanding of the early childhood environment, the importance of relationships within the early childhood sector and the need for researchers to include educators in all stages of the research process. Child and educator outcomes have the potential to be enhanced from professional collaborations established between researchers and educators.