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Key partnership’with National Parents Council ‘to give parent’s a voice in early years care and education’

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr Katherine Zappone announces ‘key partnership’with National Parents Council‘to give parent’s a voice in early years care and education’

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  • National Parents Council to provide dedicated supports to parents of children in early years settings
  • Series of workshops for parents with children ‘transitioning’ from pre-school to primary to commence immediately
  • Further dedicated supports to follow later in the year.

Monday 14th May, 2018

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr Katherine Zappone has welcomed ‘a key new partnership’ between her department and the National Parents Council.
Speaking on the launch of this new partnership Dr Zappone said:

“My department works closely with childcare providers, practitioners and the various organisations that are working hard to represent and develop the world class early years sector that Ireland deserves.

This new partnership with the National Parents Council, who for years have strongly advocated on behalf of parents at primary level, will provide a clear pathway for parents with children in pre-schools, crèches and with childminders to have their voices heard at the highest level. I feel it represents a significant, progressive step forward.”

As part of the new supports on offer, the National Parents Council will be rolling out a series of workshops for parents who have children moving from pre-school settings to primary education. CEO of the NPC, Áine Lynch remarked:
“We have rolled out a similar programme for parents with children moving from primary to post primary which has been positively received and we feel that the move into primary school also represents a key milestone. Supporting this transition will hopefully assist the best possible start for parents and their children on their journey at primary level.”

Ms Lynch added:

“The growth of the early years sector in Ireland has been phenomenal in recent years. The range of supports now available for children, their parents and services compared to five years ago is wonderful, but this also presents challenges for parents to navigate the range of supports on offer. We will be working closely with the DCYA to offer up to date advice and information to parents going forward”.

Parents can find out more about the National Parents Council and their new Transitions workshops by visiting http://www.npc.ie/

Information on the current range of childcare supports available to families can be found at http://affordablechildcare.ie/

Government launch new project to bring specialised therapists into schools and pre-schools

150 schools and pre-schools taking part in Pilot, bringing speech and language therapists and occupational therapists into schools and pre-schools
Government focuses on early intervention and tailored supports

The Minister for Education and Skills, Mr. Richard Bruton T.D., the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone T.D., and the Minister for Health, Mr. Simon Harris T.D. today (14th May, 2018) launched the first ever project to provide in-school and pre-school therapy services. The project will be managed and co-ordinated by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE).

The model has been developed by the Departments of Education, Children and Youth Affairs and Health and is part of the government’s overall aim to help every child to fulfil their full potential.

The purpose of the project is to test a model of tailored therapeutic supports that allow for early intervention in terms of providing speech and language and occupational therapy within ‘educational settings’. Additionally, it is important to acknowledging that this innovative pilot will also compliment existing HSE funded provision of essential therapy services within each of the nine Community Healthcare Organisations.

150 schools and pre-schools will test the model in Phase 1 of the project, which will take place over the course of the 2018/2019 school year. The project has been developed in conjunction with the Health Service Executive (HSE). €2.25m is being allocated to Phase One of the project in 2018.

As part of the programme, 19 speech and language therapists and 12 Occupational Therapists will be recruited by the HSE to work with the 150 schools and pre-schools. The NCSE will also recruit 2 National Co-ordinators to manage the project.

Phase one of the project will focus on:

  • Early intervention and tailored supports.
  • Bringing specialised therapists into schools and pre-schools to provide tailored support to children.
  • Collaboration and greater linkages between therapists, parents, teachers and other school and pre-school staff.
  • Developing greater linkages between educational and therapy supports.
  • Providing professional training and guidance for school and pre-school staff and parents in supporting children’s therapy and developmental needs.
  • Maximising the participation of parents in their children’s communication development.
  • Launching the project in Presentation Primary School, the Minister for Education and Skills, said: “The government’s aim is to help every child to fulfil their potential. Identifying a speech and language issue in a child, and dealing with that issue, can have a dramatic impact on that child’s life prospects.

“We have set the ambition to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026. Parents tell us consistently that they would like to see greater levels of cooperation and integration between different services. A more cohesive, collaborative approach to delivering tailored supports to children in our schools is key to becoming the best.

“This model will bring together therapists and educational professionals who have until now often operated separately.

“It will allow them to work together to plan, collaborate, and share their professional knowledge and expertise. The project will allow therapists to use their time more efficiently to support greater numbers of pupils in school environments, where there are often large concentrations of need.

“The development of children’s speech and language capabilities is clearly linked to their capacity to develop literacy skills, and thus to access the curriculum. That is why we seek to address these issues at the earliest possible point and intervene early. We wish to see therapists and teachers working together to achieve better outcomes for children.”

Launching the project, Minister Zappone, said, “I am especially pleased that pre-schools will be central to the project. The 75 primary and post-primary schools that will take part will be matched by 75 pre-schools, demonstrating the importance of early intervention in supporting children with additional needs.

“We already know how important it is to act early in a child’s life to provide supports, and then to maintain supports throughout childhood. This project will test a practical and innovative approach to ensuring that both universal and targeted therapeutic supports are available in children’s early years.”

Minister Harris, said, “It is exciting to see such positive interagency collaboration between the health and education sectors that will result in the delivery of increased and better co-ordinated therapy supports for vulnerable Children”.

AIM application process for September 2018 pre-school year

For children who are currently receiving AIM supports and are eligible to avail of a 2nd year of the ECCE programme from September 2018

AIM Logo

Children currently availaing of AIM  Supports:

If the child is eligible and is returning to the same pre-school setting for a second year and circumstances have not changed, services in receipt of AIM Level 7 supports must submit a 2nd year extension request for all eligible children. This request can be submitted via the AIM tab on the PIP Portal and is available from Thursday 26th April.

If the child who is currently availing of AIM supports is moving to another pre-school in September 2018, a new AIM application has to be made by the new pre-school provider in conjunction with the parent(s). This application process will open on 1 May 2018.

New AIM applications:

For children eligible for the ECCE programme for the first time from September 2018 where AIM supports are required, the pre-school provider, in conjunction with the parent(s) should make an application for AIM by completing an Access and Inclusion Profile. This application process will open on 1 May 2018.

To apply for a child’s 1st year Level 7 support a service request must be included in the submission of a Level 4: AIM Application. This application form can be accessed via the AIM tab on the PIP Portal and will be available from Tuesday 1st May.   Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you require any support in the submission of your application.

Apply early!
Applications should be made as early as possible to ensure that the relevant supports are in place when required.

The Early Years Service Profile 2017/2018 – Deadline: 5pm, Friday 27th April

The deadline for submitting this year’s Early Years Service Profile is 5pm, Friday 27th April.  Dont miss the deadline April 18

The data provided by early years service providers is critical to understanding and mapping trends in the sector and will be used by 

Government to inform future policy and planning at both local and national levels.  

The information provided in this year’s survey will be particularly important for planning capacity at a local level, capital funding and promoting accessibility for people with disabilities.

Where can I access the survey?

When you login to the PIP portal, you will land on the ‘Service’ page which contains a link to the ‘Early Years Service Profile 2017/2018.’

How long will it take to complete the Service Profile?

The length of time it takes to complete the survey depends on the size of your service, the number of staff and number of children enrolled.

Based on feedback from previous years, it should take between 30 minutes to an hour to complete a survey. The service profile contains a ‘Save as Draft’ function so that it can be completed in more than one sitting.

Are guidelines available for filling out the form?

The Early Years Service Profile Guidelines 2017/2018 provides helpful tips for completing your survey.

You can also find these guidelines in the How to Guides section in PIP Resources.

Who do we contact for help?

If your service has any questions about the Early Years Service Profile, please contact the Pobal Helpdesk at:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 01 511 7222

AIM CPD Training Funding

AIM CPD Training Funding

We are pleased to let you know, that a CPD fund for Early Years settings to contribute to costs of staff attending AIM L3 Hanen and Lámh training has been announced as a pilot project by Minister Katherine Zappone.

Payment of €13 per hour, for up to 18 hours training will be payable on completion of one or both of these two courses, currently being offered by Better Start. In order to be eligible for payment the courses must be fully completed (all modules) and attendance certified. Hanen Teacher Talk Modules A, B & C (18 hours) and Lámh one day course (6 hours).

Details on how to apply for payment and the payment process will be provided over the coming weeks. Participants who attended the first round of training in March and who go on to complete the training in April and May will be eligible, as will those starting in April and finishing in June.

The Early Years Service Profile 2017/2018 is now LIVE on the PIP portal

What is the Early Years Service Profile?

The Early Years Service Profile is an annual survey completed by early years service providers. The survey is developed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Pobal in consultation with key stakeholders and it is the primary source of data on the Irish early years sector.

The data provided by all respondents is critical to understanding and mapping trends in the sector and is used by Government to inform future policy and planning at both local and national levels.

Services are asked to complete the service profile for each facility (i.e. one for each DCYA Reference).

What data is collected through the Early Years Service Profile?

A wide range of data is collected in the service profile. This data is categorised under four main headings
· Service Details and Provision
· Capacity and Attendance
· Child Protection
· Staffing (numbers, qualification, level of turnover, etc.)

Who will have access to this data?

Data will be made available to:
Government Departments (e.g. Department of Education and Skills Early Years Inspectorate)
Organisations conducting research and analysis on behalf of Government Departments
Statutory agencies (e.g. Tusla Early Years Inspectorate)
Better Start Early Years Specialist Service
City/County Childcare Committees

Data on capacity and attendance may also be shared with Local Authorities to inform local planning and development priorities.

Data may also be combined with findings from other surveys of the early years sector conducted on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

Summary data will also be shared with a range of organisations for research and statistical purposes. For more information about sharing of summary data, please read Section 0. Intro in your service profile.

Where can I access the survey?
When you login to the PIP portal, you will land on the ‘Service’ page which contains a link to the ‘Early Years Service Profile 2017/2018.’

What is the deadline for completing this survey?

The deadline for completing your survey is 5pm on Friday 27th April.

How long will it take to complete the Service Profile?

The length of time it takes to complete the survey depends on the size of your service, the number of staff and number of children enrolled.

Based on feedback from previous years, it should take between 30 minutes to an hour to complete a survey. The service profile contains a ‘Save as Draft’ function so that it can be completed in more than one sitting.

Are guidelines available for filling out the form?

The Early Years Service Profile 2017/2018 Guidelines provides helpful tips for completing your survey.

You can also find these guidelines in the How to Guides section in PIP Resources.

Who do we contact for help?

If your service has any questions about the Early Years Service Profile, please contact the Pobal Helpdesk at:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 01 511 7222

AIM Inclusive Play website is now live...

AIM Inclusive Play website is now live...

AIM Inclusive Play is the latest addition to the suite of supports provided under the Access and Inclusion Model. AIM Inclusive Play is a set of sensory and educational play resources to support inclusive practice within pre-school settings. This website supports the appropriate and effective use of these resources.

Follow the link to the website below and take a look at videos and resources to support inclusive play in early years services.

http://play.aim.gov.ie/

AIM Play AIM Logo