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Access and Inclusion Model

The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) ensures all children, regardless of disability can fully take part in mainstream pre-school. AIM helps pre-schools create an inclusive environment and provides supports to children to meaningfully participate in ECCE, the two year state funded pre-school programme. 

AIM provides universal and targeted supports to pre-school settings that focus on the needs of the individual child. AIM is a Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEIDY) initiative, administered by Pobal and Better Start AIM.

Access and Inclusion Model

The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access and meaningfully participate in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme. AIM provides universal and targeted supports to pre-school settings that focus on the needs of the individual child. AIM is a cross-Government programme, led by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEIDY) initiative, administered by Pobal.

What is the Role of Better Start AIM?

Better Start provides targeted supports that help individual children with disabilities access their local pre-school and meaningfully participate in the free pre-school (ECCE) programme.  A national team of AIM Early Years Specialists provide expert educational advice and mentoring to pre-school practitioners to support the inclusion of children. 

What is expert educational advice and mentoring from an Early Years Specialist?

The Better Start AIM Early Years Specialists provide tailored and practical early learning advice to the preschool, to enable your child’s participation, based on her/his strengths and interests.  The advice provided by the Early Years Specialist is based on the child’s needs and is not diagnosis-led. Providers are supported to build their capacity and create an inclusive setting for all children. 

The AIM Early Years Specialists use the national frameworks of Síolta and Aistear to develop specific goals and an Access and Inclusion Plan to support your child in the pre-school.

How can I apply for educational advice and mentoring for a child in my pre-school?

Applying for educational advice and mentoring is a simple process. An application to AIM is made by the setting completing an Access and Inclusion Profile for the child, in partnership with the child’s parents. This can be done through the Early Years Hive. Completed parental consent is required in order to process the application. Once the application is successfully submitted, you can expect to receive a phone call from an Early Years Specialist within 5 working days.  

For more information: Visit Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) website

For more information: Guidance notes on completing the Access and Inclusion Profile

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