Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (479)

Robert Troy

Question:

479. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if level 7 supports will be awarded to a playschool (details supplied) following an appeal to Pobal. [51740/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme. AIM is a child-centred 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 the child is attending. AIM is administered by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. 

AIM Level 4 support is a targeted support that provides expert advice and mentoring for pre-school practitioners from a team of dedicated AIM Early Years Specialists. These staff are based in Better Start, the National Early Years Quality Development Service.

AIM Level 7 provides additional assistance in the pre-school room where this is critical to ensuring a child’s participation in the ECCE Programme. In line with emerging best practice to support the integration and independence of children with a disability, AIM does not fund Special Needs Assistants (SNAs). Rather, it provides financial support to the pre-school provider, which can be used either to reduce the adult to child ratio in the pre-school room or to buy in additional assistance to the pre-school room. Accordingly, Level 7 assistance is a shared resource for the pre-school setting.

The pre-school service referred to in the question has been granted AIM Level 4 and AIM Level 7 support in respect of children attending the service in the 2018/2019 ECCE year.

The pre-school service submitted a review request to Pobal in relation to the level of AIM support granted to a number of children attending the service on 29th November 2018. This review request was acknowledged on 3rd December 2018. Pobal has advised the applicant that a decision will be made within 25 working days of receipt of the review request.