A manager may nominate any employee to complete LINC, and they will be eligible to start the programme in September once they remain an employee next year. It should be noted, however, that in order for the service to get the additional capitation after LINC, the graduate must continue to be employed, and to be appointed as an INCO (INclusion COordinator). Managers, therefore, would need to consider what would happen if they were no longer in receipt of Level 7 funding, and therefore were not continuing to employ the person funded under AIM. Most services, therefore, should consider nominating a permanent employee to complete LINC so they can benefit from this capitation on an ongoing basis. Applications are now open at https://lincprogramme.ie/.

As a side note: under AIM, where the other supports are not sufficient to meet the needs of the child, pre-school providers, in partnership with parents, can apply for additional capitation to fund extra support in the classroom or to enable the reduction of the staff to child ratio. Where the ratio is being reduced, there is not meant to be any difference between any of the Early Years’ Teacher(s) (practitioners/educators) in the same room in terms of job description – they are not meant to be specifically working with individual children but with all children within the room. Therefore, there is not advantage to selecting someone funded under AIM Level 7 to do LINC, while, in fact, as the LINC Graduate becomes the INCO, it may be of more use that a permanent employee who will lead inclusion across the setting would complete LINC.

Further information on the Level 7 supports is available at: http://aim.gov.ie/faqs/#d