The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman T.D., published the findings from an independent evaluation of the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) on Friday 19 January 2024.
The independent evaluation, undertaken by the University of Derby, involved almost 2,000 stakeholders – parents, educators, providers and representative groups. The findings from the evaluation were overwhelmingly positive and stakeholder support to extend AIM beyond the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme was unanimous.
The findings from the evaluation have already informed the phased extension of AIM announced in Budget 2024, specifically the extension of targeted AIM supports to ECCE-age children beyond time they spend in the ECCE programme – both in term and out of term from September 2024
In addition to this, an action plan has been developed to respond to areas for improvement, including increasing awareness of AIM, further building the capacity and confidence of educators and providers in supporting children with autism and streamlining the application process for equipment, appliances, and minor alterations.
The press release and full End-of-Year Three Evaluation of AIM Research and Technical Report and Executive Summary can be found here.