AIM supports are provided through the ECCE programme. The main supports are grouped into universal or targeted supports. Universal supports are designed to create a more inclusive culture in Early Learning and Care settings, through training courses and qualifications for staff. Where universal supports are not enough to meet the needs of an individual child, targeted supports are available to ensure the child can meaningfully participate in pre-school. In addition to targeted and universal supports, AIM also provides universal design guidelines for Early Learning and Care settings
AIM universal supports benefit the whole pre-school environment through empowering pre-school providers to create a more inclusive culture in their settings. This is achieved through; Continuous Professional Development (CPD), an inclusion charter and guidelines for pre-schools and a Level 6 qualification in Inclusion (LINC).
AIM targeted supports cater to a wide range of abilities and are focused on the needs of the child and do not need a diagnosis of disability. For many children, AIM universal supports will be sufficient to ensure inclusion. However, some children may require one or more further supports to ensure that they can participate meaningfully in the ECCE programme.
These might take the form of specialist advice and support, specialist equipment or appliances, minor building alterations, therapeutic intervention or, in a small number of cases, extra assistance in the pre-school room.
While AIM does not fund Special Needs Assistants (SNAs), in some cases funding may be provided either to reduce the child-to-adult ratio in the pre-school room or to fund an extra staff member as a shared resource with other children in the ECCE setting.
You can access helpful information and supports on applying for targeted supports on the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) website here: https://aim.gov.ie/.
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