Launch of the Universal Design Guidelines for Early Learning and Care Settings

On 10th June 2019, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, launched the Universal Design Guidelines for Early Learning and Care Settings.  These guidelines are an important step in making all Early Learning and Care services accessible to all children.  This publication offers guidance on the refurbishment, renovation and the building of centres for Early Learning and Care in Ireland.

The work was undertaken by Early Childhood Ireland, Trinity Haus (Trinity College Dublin) and Mary Immaculate College (Limerick) on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design at the National Disability Authority.

These guidelines set out the key Universal Design considerations and guidance for Early Learning and Care (ELC) settings in Ireland.  The guidelines apply to both new-build and retrofit projects and provide a flexible Universal Design framework to ensure that settings are accessible, understandable and easy to use for all children, staff, families and visitors.

The guidelines will be equally useful for small, medium and large settings and are flexible enough to apply to retrofit or minor work to existing settings, or to guide major redevelopments or new-build projects.  A literature review and self audit tool are also available for services to begin the process of assessing the improvements they may want to make.

The Universal Design Guidelines for Early Learning and Care Settings can be accessed on the AIM website.