Free to participate
Extra capitation for settings
The Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years programme is designed to support the inclusion of all children in the early years. The course is offered for free to people working within Early Learning and Care and is fully funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. Once qualified, graduates will perform the role of Inclusion Coordinator within their Early Learning and Care Setting.
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). The programme seeks to address the need for continuing professional development (CPD) in relation to the inclusion of all children.
Need to Know
The programme is delivered online i.e. students watch lessons and interact with the tutors who teach the programme using forums and our online learning platform called Moodle. The programme will be delivered completely online for the 2023/2024 academic year and will provide an equal opportunity for students to avail of this training across Ireland. Students should have access to a reliable internet connection and desktop/laptop computer in order to complete the programme
LINC 2023/2024 will commence in September 2023 and conclude in May 2024.
Multi-Award Winning Programme
The LINC Programme has been the recipient of awards for excellence in education five times, having been shortlisted for 13 awards in total.
- In 2017, it was awarded an Education Award in the Best Online Learning Experience Category.
- In 2018, it received the prestigious Jennifer Burke Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning.
- In 2019, it was awarded an Education Award for Student Communication and Engagement.
- In 2020, it was once again voted the Best Online Learning Experience at the Education Awards.
- In 2022, it received a Highly Commended Award from Aontas for its work in the area of social inclusion.
- In 2023, it has once again been shortlisted in the Best Online Learning Experience at the Education Awards.
The LINC Programme comprises of 6 modules delivered over 2 semesters (Autumn and Spring) and amounting to 60 credits (ECTS). The programme is based on an online model of delivery (i.e. online learning and online classroom sessions), addressing the flexible learning requirements of our students. Each module will consist of 3 recorded lessons each week which you can listen to at any time, a weekly online tutorial, and one live class/webinar per module.
Students will engage in a mentoring call with their individual Tutor. The purpose of the mentoring call is to support the student in applying the concepts and theories from LINC to their practice through exploring inclusive culture, inclusive practice and inclusive pedagogy.
Assessments include: written assignments and multiple-choice quizzes. Assessments will focus on linking practical knowledge of working in your setting to the LINC module content.
The programme is embedded in Aistear – the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework, and Siolta – the National Quality Framework.
|Module Title (credits)
|Inclusion in Early Years Settings: Concepts and Strategies (12 ECTS)
|Child Development (6 ECTS)
|Promoting Collaborative Practice for Inclusion in Early Childhood Care and Education (12 ECTS)
|Curriculum for Inclusion (6 ECTS)
|Leadership for Inclusion (12 ECTS)
|Portfolio Module (12 ECTS)
How LINC is Delivered
- Online Classroom Sessions (Saturdays) 17% 17%
- Synchronous Online Learning (Online Chat Tutorials) 8% 8%
- Asynchronous Online Learning (Online Lectures & Activities) 75% 75%
The programme is based on a online model of delivery (i.e. online learning and online classroom sessions), addressing the flexible learning requirements of the ECCE sector. Each module will consist of 3 recorded lessons each week which you can listen to at any time, a weekly online tutorial, and one live class/webinar per module. An online orientation session will be provided to introduce students to the LINC Programme.
Students will participate in synchronous/asynchronous online activities and discussions, which fosters autonomous and collaborative learning:
- Asynchronous online learning – this is designed to enable students to log onto the e-learning platform at any time that suits them, taking account of their work, family and other commitments. This learning will include online lectures and learning activities which students should complete each week at a time that suits them.
- There will also be synchronous online learning involving participation in online chats which will require students and tutors to be online at the same time. This element of learning enables students to engage in discussions, ask questions and seek clarification in real time.
For module and content dates see our academic calendar 2023/2024 here.
FURTHER TRAINING AND EDUCATION
Early Childhood Ireland, Mary Immaculate College (MIC) and Maynooth University (MU) are actively committed to research in the area of early years education and special education. MIC and MU-Froebel Dept. are in a position to facilitate students to progress on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) through entry into higher education early childhood care and education (ECCE) programmes at Levels 7 and 8 on the NFQ.
In order to assist graduates progress to further education, a document detailing the credit structure of the LINC Programme has been published. This document explores the differences between Further Education & Training (FET) Credits and European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits, and explains the nature of the workload completed by LINC Graduates. Download the document here.