The award was sponsored by the LINC Programme as part of the Early Childhood Ireland (ECI) National Awards, which took place virtually between November 16 and 27, 2020.


Pictured is Maxine Ryan of Clare Family Resource Centre in Ennis, who won the Early Childhood Ireland LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion 2020, supported by LINC.


Last Wednesday (25/11/2020) was a day of great celebration for the INclusion COordinator (INCO) and staff of the Clare Family Resource Centre as they were awarded the LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion in a virtual announcement on the ECI website and social media channels.

The Early Childhood Ireland National Awards celebrate the commitment and quality of the work of early childhood teachers within the early childhood sector in Ireland. The LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion seeks to recognise a service that embodies the aims of the LINC programme—focusing on the pillars of Inclusive Culture, Inclusive Practice and Inclusive Pedagogy.

The LINC Programme is a one-year, Level 6 Special Purpose award delivered by a consortium led by Mary Immaculate College (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 childhood teachers in promoting the inclusion of all children within early learning and care settings.

Accepting the awardMaxine Ryan, INclusion COordinator in the Clare Family Resource Centre said: “I am absolutely delighted to accept this award on behalf of the Clare Family Resource Centre. The team here is fully committed to ensuring that all the children that attend the centre have their needs met, regardless of what those needs are and that they are fully included.”

Commenting on behalf of the LINC consortium, Marie Doherty, Interim National Director of the LINC Programme said: “The LINC award for Inclusion in the Early Years was designed to recognise the fantastic work of Inclusion Coordinators, who support and advocate for the inclusion of all children within the early years’ sector. We really wanted to highlight some of the extremely committed early childhood teachers who are making a real difference for children attending Early Learning and Care settings across the country. We were delighted with the high quality and the number of nominations for the award this year, it was extremely difficult to choose a winner. On behalf of the three LINC Consortium members, my sincere congratulations to the Clare Family Resource Centre, and, in particular, to the LINC Graduate, Maxine Ryan, who is the Inclusion Coordinator (INCO) in the service.”

Also shortlisted for the award this year were: Saimer Community Childcare, Ballyshannon Co. Donegal, Ardfinnan Community Playschool, Ardfinnan Co. Tipperary, and Happy Days Ballyporeen Childcare, Cahir Co. Tipperary.

Further information about the Early Childhood Ireland Awards and eligibility can be found on the Early Childhood Ireland website www.earlychildhoodireland.ie.


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