The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, today announced he will make additional funding available to support children with disabilities access the State-funded Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme.
Additional capitation, provided through the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) to enable a lower adult-child ratio, is expected to increase by 14% from September 2022, rising from €210 per week to €240 per week. AIM provides a range of both targeted and universal supports, to enable children with disabilities to participate meaningfully in the ECCE programme.
The increase in capitation will enable a continued alignment between AIM funding and wider funding for the ECCE programme, which will supplemented by a new funding scheme – Core Funding – also from September 2022.
Since AIM was launched in 2016, more than 19,000 children have received over 42,000 targeted supports in over 3,916 settings nationally and more than 15,000 children have benefited from lower adult to child ratios.
Minister O’Gorman welcomed the increase in funding stating:
“Every child should have access to high quality early learning and care. Through the award-winning Access and Inclusion Model, we can support children with disabilities in accessing mainstream pre-schools and help pre-schools recruit and retain qualified staff to support inclusion. This increase in funding is a clear sign of my department’s commitment to continue fostering an inclusive culture, one where all children are supported in benefitting from early learning and care.”
The additional capitation will be paid to ECCE providers approved for AIM additional assistance support from September 2022, coinciding with the introduction of Core Funding.
For more information on the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM), go to www.aim.gov.ie.
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