The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme. Its goal is to empower pre-school providers to deliver an inclusive pre-school experience, ensuring that every eligible child can meaningfully participate in the ECCE Programme and reap the benefits of quality early years care and education.
AIM is a child-centred model, involving seven levels of progressive support, moving from the universal to the targeted, based on the needs of the child and the pre-school service. For many children, the universal supports offered under the model will be sufficient. For others, one particular discrete support may be required to enable participation in the ECCE Programme, such as access to a piece of specialised equipment. For a small number, a suite of different services and supports may be necessary. In other words, the model is designed to be responsive to the needs of each individual child in the context of their pre-school setting. It offers tailored, practical supports based on need and does not require a formal diagnosis of disability.
AIM provides a suite of universal and targeted supports across 7 levels. For more information please visit:http://aim.gov.ie/
AIM Inclusive Playis the latest addition to the suite of AIM Supports. AIM Inclusive Play is a set of resources to support inclusive practice within pre-school settings. These resources, which include equipment, toys and materials, also support the development of coordination and audio, visual and tactile skills among all children, and in particular, children with a disability.
All pre-school rooms delivering the ECCE Programme across more than 4,000 pre-school settings nationally have received these resources.
The potential uses of the resources are far-reaching. Pre-school practitioners are encouraged to engage with and reflect on how these resources can be best used with children in their own setting.
Follow the link to access videos on how to use the resources:AIM Resources
The Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years programme, LINC, is a Level 6 Special Purpose Award (Higher Education), that is designed to support the inclusion of children with additional needs in the early years. The course is offered free to people working within early years education and is fully funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. Once qualified, graduates will perform the role of Inclusion Coordinator within their early years setting.
The development of the programme is part of government response to local, national and international demands for high-quality education and training leading towards graduate pathways in the combined field of early childhood care and education (ECCE). The programme seeks to address the need for continuing professional development (CPD) in relation to the inclusion of children with additional needs.