The Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years (LINC) Programme at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) has been shortlisted for a Zero Project Award for Innovative Practice in Education.
The Zero Project focuses on the rights of persons with disabilities globally, and is a platform where the most innovative and effective solutions to problems that persons with disabilities face are shared. An initiative of the Essl Foundation, its mission is to support the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and to work for a world without barriers.
Each year, the Zero Project finds and shares innovative practices and policies that help improve the lives of persons with disabilities. The theme of this year’s awards is ‘Education for People with Disabilities’ with 169 practices and 24 policies having made it through to the shortlist from over 450 nominations.
The LINC Programme is a one-year, Level 6 Special Purpose award delivered by a consortium led by MIC, which includes Early Childhood Ireland and Maynooth University-Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education. The course is designed to facilitate practising early years educators to promote the inclusion of children with additional needs.
Commenting on the shortlisting on behalf of the LINC consortium Fintan Breen, National Programme Coordinator for the LINC Programme said: “It’s fantastic to have LINC recognised internationally for the good work and impact the programme is having on inclusion in the early years in Ireland. By the end of this year, we expect to have more than 3,500 graduates, enough to take on the role of Inclusion Coordinator in over 80% of all pre-school settings." He concluded by saying, "This award is testament to the work and dedication of the full LINC Consortium and Team, who are dedicated to high quality early years education and the inclusion of all children.”
The Zero Project Awards will be presented at the annual Zero Project Conference, which will take place at the United Nations in Vienna, Austria in February 2020.
More information on the Zero Project can be found here.