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.

Craft(1) bonds(1) Snack Time(1) Awards 2018(3) Love(2) First 5 strategy(1) trust(3) Mindfulness(2) ears(1) Art(6) routine(2) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Jenga(1) relationships(15) Engagement(1) Administrative Burden(1) Kilkenny(1) Vertical grouping(1) Thanks(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Human Resources(1) Santa(2) Limerick(1) emotions(2) Teamwork(1) Research Seminar(1) Weather(1) Mantra(1) purpose(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) STEM(2) Christmas Creativity(2) Treasure Chest(1) conversations(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Laugh(1) Affordability(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) maternity health(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Leargas(1) education(2) Celebrations(4) Performing(1) Children's Research Network(1) Winter(1) Mud kitchens(1) DCYA(4) Advocacy(1) Cork(1) Family(1) Mark Twain(1) Diversity(1) Change(1) Community involvement(1) Plastic(1) Japan(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Wesco(1) christmas(8) Consent(1) Qualifications(1) Educators(1) Workplace Relations(3) Italy(1) listen(1) Sustainable(1) Siolta blog(2) Capable(1) curriculum(5) Little Buddies(1) Inspirational(2) Visual Impairment(1) Vietnam(1) documentation(2) Maths Week Ireland(1) Story(1) Awards(2) AsIAm(1) child-centred approach(1) overhear(1) transitions(10) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) Lego(2) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) science week(2) Learning Stories(7) Independence(1) Environment(2) Identity(5) Childhood(1) Time(1) Leprechauns(1) Mental Health(3) Obesity(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Professionalisation(4) Self-Esteem(1) Prexit(1) Interactions(2) social media(1) College(1) First 5(1) Albert Einstein(1) Rituals(1) Favouritism(1) Running(1) Laughter(1) Adoption(1) Flowers(1) Síolta QAP(1) Death(1) Painting(1) Maths(4) Easter(1) Mathematicians(1) Learning journals(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Leadership(1) Titles(1) Visitors(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Funding(1) Trick or treat(1) Wrapping paper(1) Horizon 2020(1) early childhood educator(1) Grief(1) Aistear(108) dublin(2) Communications(1) reading(4) Eritrea(1) risk(2) Inter-generational(1) blog(28) Culture(2) Intention(1) Belonging(3) Arlene Forster(1) Sculptures(1) Reflective Practice(1) Reggio(1) Mealtimes(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Inclusion(3) Magda Gerber(1) worries(1) Line-ups(1) Buddy Bench(1) MA(1) Nuturing interactions(1) European Project(1) Shapes(1) risky play(2) toddlers(3) community(5) risk assessment(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Bereavement(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) food(1) Dance(1) environments(1) baby room(1) stories(2) Degree(1) Loss(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) NCCA(2) Queues(1) educarer(1) Communicating(1) Engineering(2) Norway(2) Treasure(1) Event Guide(1) Workplace well-being(1) Technology(2) Childcare(2) Fabric(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Exit interview(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) respect(5) Primary School(2) development(8) Self Help Skills(1) under 3's(3) outdoors(3) Staff Motivation(1) Smiles(1) ECCE(6) meals(3) preschool(2) experience(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) New Appointments(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) CIT(1) Potential(1) story time(1) outdoor play(6) ReCreate(2) Seas Suas(1) Shoes(1) Music(3) Exploring(1) Academic Skills(1) Family wall(1) TOY Programme(1) Home Corner(1) Learning Stories Award(3) The Jelly King(1) listening(1) Margy Whalley(1) budget(1) Budget 2018(1) Facebook(1) Interests(1) Names(1) Builders(1) Fantasy play(1) linc(1) Scéalta Blog(84) Glitter(2) SPICE Framework(1) Giraffe(2) Aldo Fortunati(4) Motor neuron disease(1) Iceland(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Mayo(1) Mo Scéal(1) Mount Everest(1) Spiders(1) Touch(1) Trigonometry(1) Maternity Leave(1) Creative(1) interacting(2) Brain(1) Magnavacchi(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Síolta(104) National Awards 2018(2) Training(2) supportive environments(2) Early Learning and Care(1) Role play(1) Blocks(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Our Little Seed(1) learning(15) Tuscan Approach(2) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) parents(5) journey(1) Pen green(1) HR(1) San Miniato(4) Orla Kenny(1) babies(7) Arts(1) Maria Montessori(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) dining(1) UNCRC(1) Challenges(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Quality(4) Feeding(1) RIE philosphy(1) Policy(2) Montessori(2) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) research(6) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(1) Routines(1) Graduation(1) Creativity(4) collaboration(1) Twitter(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Relaxation(1) dogs(1) Thank you(1) emotional environment(1) Self-regulation(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Xbox(1) Care routines(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Socioemotional development(1) friendships(1) feisty(1) Identity and Belonging(4) NAEYC(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Empathy(1) National Holiday(1) Through the looking glass(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) EECERA 2016(1) AIM(2) Budget 2019(2) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) curiosity(3) early years research(1) Breathing(2) Exercise(1) Thinking(1) Sustainability(3) Engineers Week(2) Oireachtas(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) San Minia(1) Scents(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Afghanistan(1) CPD(1) Positivity(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Iraq(1) Valentine's Day(3) pets(1) science(3) Children(1) Trade union(1) Games(1) Kids Own(1) Buddies(1) scéalta(25) University(1) play(30) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Confident(1) Reggio Emilia(1) Sleep(1) Biting(1) Sport(1) play stories(1) UD(1) Time Out(1) Well-Being(7) Sequins(1) Interaction(1) dining experiences(1) educating(1) Recycling(2) Autism(3) Care-giving routines(1) Meal time(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(1) Design(1) Summer(1) Exclusion(1) Book Club(2) Cognitive development(1) Support(1) INTO(1) Confidence(1) outdoor space(3) United Nations(1) Patterns(1) Behaviour(3) Child mental health(1) eating(1) Trade Unions(1) Maynooth(1) Window(1) Penguins(1) Pobal sector profile(1) National Awards 2019(1) Mixed age groups(2) Wilenski(1) Supernanny(1) Nonverbal(1) Yoga(1) Maths Week(1) Snacks(1) Arithmetic(1) CCTV(1) Malaguzzi(1) Anxiety(2) Employee(1) Frustrations(1) Imagination(3) Inter-generational learning(1) ERASMUS+(3) Gratitude(1) ICBN(1) Graduate(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Learning Story Awards(1) books(4) value(1) Celebrate(1) Pobal(1) Universal Design(2) role playing(1) UN(1) Map(1) Learning Story(1) Performance Management(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) animals(2) Sweets(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) ECEC(1) Playschool(1) Online(1) Photographs(1) Maynooth University(1) Investment(1) Nutrition(1) Playdough(1) Early Years Educators(2) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) refugees(1) Stress(2) Research and Professional Learning(1) Participation(1) Competent(1) Early Years(1) PIP(1) IGL(1) communication(4) Certificate(1) Traditions(2) mushrooms(1) Workforce(1) Traffic Lights(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Drawing(2) Halloween(2) Recycle(1) Syria(1) Meet the Members(1) Magic(1) Children's Rights(1) memories(1) Awards 2019(1) TRAP(1) Impact(1) Sociodramatic play(1) RTE Investigates(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Kerry(1) Appreciation(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Whole Group(1) Masterclass(2) Settling in(4) Body Language(1) Academics(1) Decision Making(1) grandchild(1) Light table(1) Social Skills(1) Snakes(1) Irish(1) planning(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Storytelling(2) Wonder(1) Plants(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Health(1) Party(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Wendy Lee(2) Study Trip(1) MECPI(1) GDPR(1) Ceremony(1) EM Standing(1) Gardening(1) Decisions(1) Upcycling(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine