Report on the NDA/NCSE seminar on supporting transitions for children with disabilities into and out of pre-school
It is well documented how important early intervention is to support children who learn differently. Investment in the early years pays huge dividends not only with regards to the long term return on the State’s investment, but also in maximising the potential of children with disabilities to learn and grow and become part of the local community.
This report is based on the proceedings of a seminar co-hosted by NDA and the National Council for Special Education and focuses on good practice and exploring the shared experiences of practitioners on how best to address the issues that impact on the quality of early intervention and early learning for children with disabilities.
The seminar provided participants with an opportunity to engage in the three workshops on:
- Facilitating inclusion for children with additional needs within Early Childhood Care and Education services - a model of practice
- Transitioning in practice from pre-school to primary school
- Early Education –Working with children with special needs and their families
Since this seminar was held, progress has been made with regards to the inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream pre-schools. An inter-departmental working group report Supporting Access to the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme for Children with a Disability was published in September 2015.
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs has also launched a scheme called Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) for children with disabilities being included in pre-schools and will be operational from September 2016.