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Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone)

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Snippet Contents:

The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) supports children with disabilities to reap the full benefits of free pre-school education. Its goal is to empower pre-school providers to deliver an inclusive pre-school experience. AIM is a child-centred and evidence-based 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 setting.
Level 1 of AIM is the critical foundation for the model and sets out to foster and embed a strong culture of inclusion to support all children’s maximum participation in the ECCE programme. Under this level, a new Inclusion Charter has been developed. Updated Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Guidelines have been published and a nationwide training programme on these Guidelines is currently being rolled out.
There are more than 100 trainers delivering this training programme nationally, of which 88 are City and County Childcare Committee (CCC) staff. The total cost of providing training to these trainers was €61,780.92. This includes the costs of developing the training, tutors, materials, room hire and refreshments for 6 train the trainer programmes. A further amount of €16,085.21 was spent on monitoring the quality of the delivery of the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion training programme.
€620,000 was provided to CCCs in 2017 to roll-out the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion training programme to pre-school practitioners nationwide.
By end November, a total of 2,749 pre-school practitioners completed this training from over 1,500 pre-school settings. A further 26 courses are expected to be completed by end 2017.
Early Childhood Ireland lead on quality assurance for the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion training programme and have carried out a number of monitoring and supporting visits to observe training being delivered. The CCCs also complete evaluations at the end of every course they deliver.
Work on an End of Year One Review of AIM has commenced and is expected to be completed by mid-2018. The scope of the Review includes consideration of the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion training programme.