Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Making a Difference: AIMing for the Stars in the Age of Inclusion

By: DR EMER RING

Monday 13 March 2017

I have been asked to present a Masterclass at the Early Childhood Ireland Conference on April 1, on the topic of Implementing the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM). In preparing for that session I got to reflecting more on this subject. There are numerous books written about inclusion in the early years and beyond, what works and what doesn’t work, but we continue to struggle with how to do inclusion well. What we do know is that inclusion doesn’t happen automatically – it requires commitment, enthusiasm, perseverance and a willingness to accept that we don’t always have all the answers. The Better Start Access and Inclusion Model (AIM), with its focus on universal and targeted supports is a welcome initiative, grounded in what research tells us is the key to including children with additional needs in our settings. However we also know that unless AIM is adequately resourced and supported, its effectiveness will be diminished and it will become just another initiative in early years’ education that looked good but didn’t work.

Critically, inclusion requires a commitment from government, focused on

  • adequate resourcing;
  • inter-governmental collaboration;
  • the development of a continuing learning framework supporting the professionalisation of early years’ educators;
  • an acknowledgement that effective inclusion must be supported by a range of other professionals such as special needs assistants, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists
  • and a forensic evaluation of how inclusion is working or not.

Research continues to tell us that inclusion is excellent in some situations and not so good in others.
This Master Class on implementing the AIM will provide an opportunity for us to stop and ask ourselves what exactly makes inclusion excellent in some situations and not so good in others. We will look closely at the AIM and consider each of the seven levels for our everyday practice. The Masterclass will focus in particular on the principles of an inclusive culture and identify a range of tried and tested practical strategies that we know work for including children with additional needs in the early years.

Making a Difference: AIMing for the Stars in the Age of InclusionWe will ask if the child is the starting point, the centre and end of what we do, then how are we listening to, valuing and responding to all children’s voices and specifically the voices of children with additional needs.

Child's drawing - Making a Difference: AIMing for the Stars in the Age of Inclusion

Opportunities provided by the Early Years’ Education-Focused Inspections to promote the principles of inclusion in our settings will be explored with reference to the inspection framework. I suggest that providing the best possible experiences for children with additional needs in the early years is both a serious responsibility and a chance to make a real difference in the lives of children and their families both now and for the future, but only if the AIM is pointed to the stars and underpinned by a meaningful government commitment that acknowledges the support required for each and every setting in including children with additional needs.

 

Bio
Dr. Emer Ring is Head of the Department of Reflective Pedagogy and Early Childhood Studies at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Course Leader for the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Care and Education Level 8 degree programme and a member of the Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years (LINC) programme Steering Committee/Consortium with Early Childhood Ireland and Maynooth University.

0 comments Comments

Comments are closed.

Time Out(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Access and Inclusion Model(1) Builders(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Painting(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Oireachtas(1) Administrative Burden(1) ERASMUS+(3) Decisions(1) Buddy Bench(1) Independence(1) Policy(2) Decision Making(1) University(1) Smiles(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Employee(1) respect(4) Aistear(97) curiosity(3) Identity(4) Sport(1) stories(2) STEM(2) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Playschool(1) AsIAm(1) Meet the Members(1) Xbox(1) Socioemotional development(1) christmas(8) Nutrition(1) Mud kitchens(1) early years research(1) Early Years(1) Investment(1) Photographs(1) Feeding(1) Frustrations(1) ears(1) Care-giving routines(1) Trade union(1) Snacks(1) Training(2) Facebook(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Rising to the Challenge(2) Trigonometry(1) pets(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Childhood(1) Trade Unions(1) Workplace Relations(2) Snack Time(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Obesity(1) Vertical grouping(1) Party(1) Impact(1) Laughter(1) blog(28) Anxiety(2) Certificate(1) Arlene Forster(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Celebrations(4) Treasure(1) Child mental health(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(1) trust(2) Early Years Educators(1) toddlers(3) ECCE(6) The Lullaby Book(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Syria(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Arithmetic(1) Awards 2018(3) MECPI(1) Maternity Leave(1) Appreciation(1) Albert Einstein(1) SPICE Framework(1) PIP(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(1) NAEYC(1) Childcare(2) EECERA 2016(1) Twitter(1) refugees(1) Family wall(1) Síolta(92) Self-regulation(1) CPD(1) Maria Montessori(1) Pobal(1) DCYA(3) grandchild(1) EM Standing(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Maynooth(1) Treasure Chest(1) Primary School(2) Reggio(1) Budget 2018(1) Visitors(1) maternity health(1) Inclusion(1) TOY Programme(1) National Awards 2018(2) GDPR(1) Flowers(1) Change(1) Recycling(2) Masterclass(2) Wendy Lee(2) Teamwork(1) Behaviour(3) Health(1) Consent(1) linc(1) Challenges(1) mushrooms(1) Yoga(1) Professionalisation(4) Mathematicians(1) baby room(1) Easter(1) Names(1) community(4) eating(1) Penguins(1) Celebrate(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Online(1) supportive environments(1) friendships(1) Scéalta Blog(73) Communications(1) Thanks(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(1) education(2) Jenga(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Children's Rights(1) educating(1) Wonder(1) Rituals(1) bonds(1) Traffic Lights(1) Inter-generational(1) The Jelly King(1) Graduate(1) Confident(1) Advocacy(1) science(3) meals(3) Laugh(1) InspireMe.ie(1) ICBN(1) RIE philosphy(1) San Minia(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Wesco(1) Halloween(2) Craft(1) Pen green(1) experience(1) ECEC(1) UN(1) under 3's(3) Empathy(1) Eritrea(1) outdoor play(6) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Loss(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Magic(1) Irish(1) Performance Management(1) Magnavacchi(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Fabric(1) Creative(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Upcycling(1) Belonging(3) play stories(1) Magda Gerber(1) Qualifications(1) food(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Creativity(4) United Nations(1) relationships(11) Book Club(2) Glitter(2) Breathing(2) Iraq(1) Interactions(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Nuturing interactions(1) Mo Scéal(1) Story(1) Music(2) AIM(1) Storytelling(2) Shoes(1) Supernanny(1) Engineers Week(2) Competent(1) Buddies(1) Plants(1) Role play(1) Communicating(1) risk assessment(1) Cork(1) Inspirational(2) Motor neuron disease(1) Stress(2) Malaguzzi(1) Mealtimes(1) budget(1) Thank you(1) feisty(1) Mindfulness(2) Art(6) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Mayo(1) Giraffe(2) Early Learning and Care(1) scéalta(24) Maths(4) Trick or treat(1) Biting(1) Bereavement(1) journey(1) listening(1) Home Corner(1) Recycle(1) interacting(2) risky play(2) National Holiday(1) Mantra(1) Interests(1) Children(1) Running(1) Autism(2) Patterns(1) learning(14) Workforce(1) Valentine's Day(3) Affordability(1) Sustainability(3) Favouritism(1) Map(1) play(28) Quality(3) Degree(1) Thinking(1) ReCreate(2) Reggio Emilia(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Window(1) First 5(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Italy(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Ceremony(1) Traditions(2) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Touch(1) Kilkenny(1) Learning Stories(7) Time(1) Reggio Children Network(1) parents(5) NCCA(2) listen(1) Prexit(1) Kids Own(1) Our Little Seed(1) outdoor space(3) Performing(1) Potential(1) risk(2) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Well-Being(6) Event Guide(1) story time(1) IGL(1) Light table(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(1) Funding(1) Drawing(2) curriculum(5) Community involvement(1) Margy Whalley(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Seas Suas(1) Brain(1) Care routines(1) Exit interview(1) outdoors(3) planning(1) books(4) overhear(1) National Awards 2019(1) Kerry(1) Queues(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Fantasy play(1) Síolta QAP(1) Budget 2019(2) INTO(1) Gratitude(1) conversations(1) First 5 strategy(1) role playing(1) Maths Week(1) research(5) Self-Esteem(1) communication(4) Imagination(3) Arts(1) Santa(2) Sequins(1) dogs(1) Grief(1) Gardening(1) Mark Twain(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) UNCRC(1) Leargas(1) Educators(1) Learning journals(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Relaxation(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Weather(1) Exclusion(1) Shapes(1) Meal time(1) Love(2) Montessori(2) San Miniato(3) routine(2) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) science week(2) transitions(9) Deirdre Rogers(1) Plastic(1) Adoption(1) Capable(1) Identity and Belonging(3) Growing up in Ireland(3) Valerie Gaynor(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Technology(2) Leprechauns(1) Sweets(1) reading(4) Positivity(1) Vietnam(1) Spiders(1) Playdough(1) Siolta blog(1) documentation(2) preschool(2) National Pyjama Day(1) Settling in(1) Mount Everest(1) Death(1) Afghanistan(1) CIT(1) Learning Story(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Dance(1) Scents(1) Engineering(2) animals(2) Sustainable(1) Culture(2) Blocks(1) social media(1) Graduation(1) early childhood educator(1) environments(1) Limerick(1) Lego(2) Self Help Skills(1) Research Seminar(1) Children's Research Network(1) Winter(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Mixed age groups(2) Emergent Curriculum(1) Family(1) Line-ups(1) Little Buddies(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Wilenski(1) Workplace well-being(1) Mental Health(3) Norway(2) MA(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Snakes(1) College(1) Wrapping paper(1) Inter-generational learning(1) Awards(2) memories(1) Cognitive development(1) Exploring(1) development(6) Annual Conference 2017(2) dining experiences(1) educarer(1) Academics(1) Orla Kenny(1) Routines(1) dining(1) Through the looking glass(1) Maynooth University(1) emotional environment(1) emotions(2) dublin(2) Learning Story Awards(1) Exercise(1) Games(1) babies(5) Sculptures(1) worries(1) Titles(1) Environment(1) Awards 2019(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine