On Friday 12th of January, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone announced additional funding to develop AIM Inclusive Play, as part of the supports offered through the Access and Inclusion (AIM) Model.
AIM Inclusive Play will be a set of resources to support inclusive practice in pre-school settings. These resources will include a dark den, therapy putty, sand timers and kinetic sand. These will aim to support the development of coordination and audio, visual and tactile skills among all children, particularly children with a disability. From February 2018, resources will be distributed nationally to pre-schools delivering the ECCE programme.
Down Syndrome Ireland welcomes the announcement of this additional funding. However, we call for the roll out of AIM Inclusive Play to make links with therapists working with young children with Down syndrome, along with AIM early years specialists, in order for the additional resources to be most effective at ensuring the meaningful inclusion of individual children with Down syndrome attending pre-school settings.
You can read the official press release from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs here.