Access and Inclusion Model
The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a programme of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education Programme in mainstream pre-school settings. AIM is a child centred model of supports, involving seven levels of progressive support, moving from the universal to the targeted, based on the needs of the child and the service provider. Levels 1- 3 of the model involve a suite of universal supports which are designed to promote and support an inclusive culture within pre-school settings by means of a variety of educational and capacity-building initiatives for providers and practitioners.
Universal Supports available within the Level 1-3 range of the Access and Inclusion Model include:
A new Inclusion Charter has been developed for the early years sector. The purpose of the Charter is to demonstrate the sector’s commitment to inclusion. The Charter and Guidelines can be accessed here .
A new higher education programme, “Leadership for Inclusion in Early Years” or LINC, will commence in September 2016. For detailed information or to apply for the LINC programme, please visit www.lincprogramme.ie. Providers should note that the application process for the current LINC programme closed on the 5th August 2016.
Finally, a broad multi-annual programme of formal and informal training for pre-school staff in relation to disability and inclusion will be funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and will be delivered by the City and County Childcare Committee’s, in collaboration with other agencies.
Targeted Supports available under Level 4-7 of the Access and Inclusion Model include:
Level 4: Expert Educational Advice and Support
Under level 4, service providers can access a national service where specialists in early years care and education for children with disabilities can provide expert advice, mentoring and support. To avail of this support, service providers, in partnership with parents, will be asked to complete and submit an online Access and Inclusion Profile this form is available on PIP.
Level 5: Equipment, Appliances and Minor Alterations
Under level 5, a national scheme is available to provide specialised equipment, appliances or capital grants towards minor building alterations, where these are necessary to support access and facilitate a child’s participation in pre-school. Applications for this scheme should be made by a service provider, in partnership with a parent.
Further information on application forms and requirements click on the following link Relevant Documents.
Level 6: Therapy Services
Therapy services which are considered critical for a child’s participation in the Early Childhood Care and Education programme will be made available. To avail of level 6 support, service providers, in partnership with parents, should complete the online Access and Inclusion Profile. The Early Years Specialist Service (Access and Inclusion) will review the profile and, where therapeutic input is likely to be required they will initiate contact with the HSE. It should be noted that this support is limited to therapeutic interventions which are critical to a child’s participation in the ECCE programme.
Level 7: Additional Capitation
Where the above supports are not sufficient to meet the needs of the child, service providers, in partnership with parents, can apply for additional capitation to fund extra support in the classroom or to enable the reduction of the staff to child ratio.
Applications for level 7 additional capitation should be made by the service provider, in partnership with the parent, by completing the Access and Inclusion Profile and, within that profile, the level 7 service request. Following this, an Early Years Specialist (Access and Inclusion) will be in contact with the service provider to progress the application. Two different rates of level 7 capitation are payable as follows:
- A rate of €130 per week where needs are identified as complex, such that a setting would need to supplement their staffing by approximately 10 additional staff hours per week.
- A rate of €195 per week where needs are identified as highly complex, such that a setting would need to supplement their staffing by approximately 15 hours per week.
Getting Started and Accessing Supports
Where you have agreed to enrol a child in your service and consider that you will need additional support to meet the needs of the child in an inclusive way, you can, in partnership with the parent, apply for supports under AIM. Applications are made via the Programmes Implementation Platform (PIP) on the Pobal website.The application process is open and will remain open throughout the year.
A telephone support line is also available to you at the following (contact (01) 511 7222 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday).
Applications can only be made with the full consent of the parent/ guardian. A copy of the parental consent form can be viewed here. This form should be printed and signed by the parent and should then be uploaded and submitted with the completed application.
For further information please click on the following link AIM For Childcare Service Providers