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Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years (LINC)

Course Overview
The Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years programme LINC is a Level 6 Special Purpose Award (Higher Education), which will now be required for staff in Early Years settings to perform the role of Inclusion Coordinator. The development of the programme is part of a government response to local, national and international demands for high quality education and training leading towards graduate pathways in the combined field of early childhood care and education (ECCE). Specifically, the programme seeks to address the need for continuing professional development (CPD) within the ECCE sector in Ireland in relation to the inclusion of children with disabilities The programme is based on a ‘blended model’ of delivery and addresses the ‘flexible learning’ requirements of the ECCE sector.

Aims and Objectives of the programme:
• To equip participants with the knowledge, understanding, skills and competencies to support the participation of children with additional needs in early years settings.
• To prepare participants to adopt a leadership role within early years settings that enables them to support and supervise other staff in the setting to plan for, implement and review inclusive practice.
• To support participants to develop their professional knowledge, understanding, skills and competencies in relation to the inter-related areas, which comprise the programme modules, with a particular focus on embedding inclusive practice in Aistear – The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework and Síolta, the National Quality Framework.
• To deliver on-going support in study skills and information and communication technology (ICT) for participants.

Course Structure
The programme will be delivered over 3 Semesters (Autumn, Spring and Summer semesters), each Semester comprising of 20 credits. Based on the blended learning model, each module will incorporate a face-to face weekend session combined with online learning. The following table provides a summary of module titles, their associated European credit transfers (ECTs) and when they will be delivered.

Table 1. Summary of Programme

Module Title Credits Semester
Child Development Autumn 
Inclusion in Early Years Settings: Concepts & Strategies 12 Autumn
Curriculum for Inclusion Spring 
Promoting Collaborative Practice for Inclusion in
Early Childhood Care and Education
12  Spring 
Leadership for Inclusion 12  Summer 
Portfolio Module 12  Summer 

Who can apply
All candidates applying to the LINC programme must be nominated by their employer/setting. Settings will be eligible to nominate a candidate where they hold a contract to deliver the ECCE programme, funded by DCYA. Exemptions to some modules may be granted and will be assessed on a case by case basis. Applicants with qualifications at an equivalent or higher level to the programme, may seek exemptions only with regard to the following two of six modules: Child Development and Curriculum for Inclusion. When applying for exemptions from these modules, applicants must demonstrate that they have successfully met the learning outcomes for these two modules. It is mandatory for all participants on the programme to complete the following modules: Inclusion in Early Years’ Settings: Concepts and Strategies; Promoting Collaborative Practice for Inclusion in Early Childhood Care and Education; Leadership for Inclusion; and the Portfolio Module. A mentoring visit to participants’ ECCE settings will also be provided to support learners’ professional learning in leading the inclusion of children with disabilities in the early years.

Entry Requirements
Candidates nominated by settings must hold a Level 5 Major Award in a relevant area. Settings must attach a copy (e.g. scan/photo) of their candidate’s certificate when submitting the application form online.

How to Apply
Applications are made online at: http://lincprogramme.ie/course/

Further information
Email: linc@mic.ul.ie
Tel: +353 61 204545
Website: http://lincprogramme.ie

Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Tel:+35361 204300  V94VN26

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