AIM Inclusive Play

AIM Background

 

In November 2015, the Government launched the Inter-Departmental Group Report on Supporting Access to the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme for Children with a Disability.

The report set out a clear vision for a comprehensive, child-centred model of supports which will ensure that children with disabilities can access and meaningfully participate in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme in mainstream pre-school settings. The new model - the Access and Inclusion Model or AIM - was endorsed by Government and funding was committed through Budget 2016 to support its introduction from September 2016 onward.

The development and implementation of AIM is a cross-Government initiative, led by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and involves the Department of Health, the Department of Education and Skills and others. The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone, T.D., launched AIM on the 15th June 2016.

AIM Levels of Support

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AIM LEVEL 1

Level 1 seeks to strengthen and embed an inclusive culture in pre-school settings. This level includes a National Inclusion Charter underpinned by updated and strengthened Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Guidelines and a nationwide training programme for pre-school practitioners. A new higher education programme, Leadership for Inclusion for Early Years (LINC), has also been developed and graduates from this Programme are trained to take on the role of Inclusion Coordinator in their pre-school setting.

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AIM LEVEL 2

Level 2 seeks to ensure information on pre-school services and supports for parents and practitioners is accessible, clear, consistent and up to date (see www.aim.gov.ie).

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AIM LEVEL 3

Level 3 seeks to further develop a qualified and confident workforce through a multi-annual training programme for pre-school practitioners, including Lámh training, sensory integration training and the Hanen Programme for Early Childhood Educators.

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AIM LEVEL 4

Level 4 provides access to early years educational advice and support from a team of dedicated Early Years Specialists.

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AIM LEVEL 5

Level 5 provides access to equipment, appliances and minor alterations grants for pre-school settings.

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AIM LEVEL 6

Level 6 provides access to therapeutic intervention where this is critical to enable the child to be enrolled, and fully participate, in the ECCE Programme.

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AIM LEVEL 7

Level 7 provides additional assistance in the pre-school room where this is critical to ensuring a child’s participation in the ECCE Programme; this additional capitation can be used to

a) Reduce the child to adult ratio in the pre-school room by enrolling less children without financial loss to the pre-school setting; or

b) Increase the adult ratio in the pre-school room by buying in additional assistance.