Applications for supports for children with disabilities to enter the free pre-school programme in September are now being accepted, according to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.
Announcing that the Access Inclusion Model programme (AIM) is now accepting new applications, Minister Zappone urged parents and pre-school providers to apply early to ensure supports can be put in place quickly.
The Minister says accessibility is a key strand of the radical new approach to childcare, which will also see More Affordable Childcare rolled out in September.
Under AIM, a suite of supports – universal and targeted – are available to ensure children with a disability can participate in, and benefit from free pre-school.
Speaking on Friday, the Minister said:
“We are embarking on a radical new approach which will transform our childcare from being one of the most expensive in the world to one of the best.
Accessibility, together with affordability and quality, is at the very centre of our approach.
The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) has transformed young lives by ensuring that children with disabilities can fully participate in the free pre-school programme.
Since I launched AIM last June, it has provided targeted support to 2,113 children in almost 3,500 instances.
Today, I am urging parents and pre-school providers who wish to avail of AIM to make their applications now so that they can plan for enrolments in September and importantly plan for a smooth and supported transition to pre-school for children with a disability.
I am committed to working towards a more vibrant, inclusive and tolerant society which supports all children, equally, to realise their potential – AIM is critical to delivering on this commitment”.
For further information on AIM, please visit http://www.aim.gov.ie.