New preschool supports unveiled by Minister

Children with disabilities will have better access to preschool under a new programme of supports unveiled this week by Katherine Zappone, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

  Announcing the new Access and Inclusion Model (AIM), Minister Zappone said: “This is an important step to break down barriers preventing children with disabilities from taking part in the Early Childhood Care and Education Programme.

  “Parents and preschool providers who wish to avail of AIM should make their applications now so that they can plan for enrolments in September.

  “I am committed to working towards a more vibrant, inclusive and tolerant society which supports all children, equally, to realise their potential – today we have taken another important step to achieve that.”

  Irene Cafferky, the manager of Roscommon County Childcare Committee and chairman of levels one to three of the AIM, said that she was delighted with this week’s announcement.

  “This means that families that have children with disabilities now can avail of the AIM model nationally,” she said.

  “Through the AIM model, children with disabilities can now access a high quality and an inclusive preschool education, thus supporting children to have meaningful, engaging and equal participation in the ECCE preschool year before the child makes the transition to school.”