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Dr. Linda Kelly – LINC Programme Researcher, Shirley Heaney - National Coordinator of the LINC Programme & Prof. Emer Ring - Dean of Early Childhood and Teacher Education at Mary Immaculate College pictured at the Launch of the Final Evaluation of Phase One of the LINC Programme 2016 - 2020 which took place at MIC Limerick. PRESS RELEASE Empowering Inclusive Practice through Continuing Professional Learning: The LINC Programme Evaluation Report highlights the positive role of the Inclusion Coordinator. The Leadership for Inclusion in the Early Years (LINC) Programme Consortium, comprising Mary Immaculate College, Early Childhood Ireland and Maynooth University – The Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education hosted the Launch of the Final Evaluation of Phase One of the Leadership for Inclusion in Early Years (LINC) Programme 2016-2020 on Thursday, June 6th 2024. Since its commencement in 2016, the LINC Programme has been at the forefront of supporting inclusive practice in early childhood settings, earning national recognition and numerous accolades. The release of the Final Evaluation of Phase One of the LINC Programme (2016-2020) Report reaffirms the programmes profound impact, underlining its crucial role in equipping Inclusion Coordinators (INCO’s) with the knowledge and skills necessary to create inclusive environments where all children can thrive. Pic: Don Moloney Dr. Linda Kelly – LINC Programme Researcher, Shirley Heaney - National Coordinator of the LINC Programme & Prof. Emer Ring - Dean of Early Childhood and Teacher Education at Mary Immaculate College pictured at the Launch of the Final Evaluation of Phase One of the LINC Programme 2016 - 2020 which took place at MIC Limerick. PRESS RELEASE Empowering Inclusive Practice through Continuing Professional Learning: The LINC Programme Evaluation Report highlights the positive role of the Inclusion Coordinator. The Leadership for Inclusion in the Early Years (LINC) Programme Consortium, comprising Mary Immaculate College, Early Childhood Ireland and Maynooth University – The Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education hosted the Launch of the Final Evaluation of Phase One of the Leadership for Inclusion in Early Years (LINC) Programme 2016-2020 on Thursday, June 6th 2024. Since its commencement in 2016, the LINC Programme has been at the forefront of supporting inclusive practice in early childhood settings, earning national recognition and numerous accolades. The release of the Final Evaluation of Phase One of the LINC Programme (2016-2020) Report reaffirms the programmes profound impact, underlining its crucial role in equipping Inclusion Coordinators (INCO’s) with the knowledge and skills necessary to create inclusive environments where all children can thrive. Pic: Don Moloney

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Final Evaluation of Phase One of the LINC Programme 2016 – 2020 launch at MIC

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Dr. Linda Kelly – LINC Programme Researcher, Shirley Heaney – National Coordinator of the LINC Programme & Prof. Emer Ring – Dean of Early Childhood and Teacher Education at Mary Immaculate College pictured at the Launch of the Final Evaluation of Phase One of the LINC Programme 2016 – 2020 which took place at MIC Limerick. Pic: Don Moloney

The Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education hosted the Launch of the Final Evaluation of Phase One of the LINC Programme 2016-2020

The Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education hosted the Launch of the Final Evaluation of Phase One of the LINC Programme 2016-2020
Dr. Linda Kelly – LINC Programme Researcher, Teresa Griffin – AIM Team Leader, Better Start, Irene Hegarty – Office Manager (LINC Programme) & Sandra Collins – AIM National Team Leader, Better Start pictured at the Launch of the Final Evaluation of Phase One of the LINC Programme 2016 – 2020 which took place at MIC Limerick. Pic: Don Moloney

The Leadership for Inclusion in the Early Years (LINC) Programme Consortium, comprising Mary Immaculate College, Early Childhood Ireland and Maynooth University – The Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education hosted the Launch of the Final Evaluation of Phase One of the Leadership for Inclusion in Early Years (LINC) Programme 2016-2020 on Thursday, June 6th 2024.  

Since its commencement in 2016, the LINC Programme has been at the forefront of supporting inclusive practice in early childhood settings, earning national recognition and numerous accolades. The release of the Final Evaluation of Phase One of the LINC Programme (2016-2020) Report reaffirms the programmes profound impact, underlining its crucial role in equipping Inclusion Coordinators (INCO’s) with the knowledge and skills necessary to create inclusive environments where all children can thrive.

Anna Mai Rooney, Leadership Coordinator at Oide and External Examiner of the LINC Programme, commended the programme, stating, “The LINC Programme is a prime example of innovative excellence in inclusive education. LINC modules detail the significant role of the Inclusion Coordinator in achieving an inclusive culture, practice, and pedagogy in early childhood settings.


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“The modules include all the most effective approaches to professional learning including mentoring, blended learning, flipped classroom, and maintaining balance between theory and practice, while keeping the learning close to participants’ individual contexts. The leadership learning for participants provides a sound platform for their leadership work and a springboard for further leadership development.

“With highly competent and empathetic tutors who bring an immense breadth of knowledge and experience to the participants, and the excellent administration and leadership provided by MIC, it is no surprise that the LINC Programme goes from strength to strength and is impacting positively on the lives of children in early childhood education countrywide.”

Prof. Emer Ring, Dean of Early Childhood and Teacher Education at Mary Immaculate College, underscored the importance of this milestone, stating, “The publication of the Final Evaluation of Phase One of the Leadership for Inclusion in the Early Years (LINC) Programme represents a significant milestone for children, families, and educational settings. The positive findings of this evaluation are testimony to the unparalleled commitment of all those who work on the LINC programme together with the dedication and perseverance of LINC students and graduates.”

Teresa Heeney, CEO of Early Childhood Ireland, praised the LINC Programme’s impact on inclusive education, stating, “The LINC programme has elevated professional development for educators and has become an instrumental force in creating inclusive environments where all children can flourish. This final evaluation marks a significant milestone, not just for the programme itself, but for the countless children across Ireland who now benefit from high-quality, inclusive education thanks to dedicated LINC graduates.”

Final Evaluation of Phase One of the LINC Programme 2016 – 2020 launch took place at MIC. Pic: Don Moloney

Niamh Fortune, Head of Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education in Maynooth University, echoed these sentiments, stating, “It is wonderful to celebrate this milestone with our LINC colleagues. This is an important evaluation of phase one of the programme which highlights the impact of LINC in the educational sector. These highly skilled LINC graduates are leaders in diversity, inclusion, and care of our young children.”

Shirley Heaney, National Co-ordinator of the LINC Programme welcomed the findings of the Evaluation Report, stating: “It is wonderful to launch our Final Evaluation of Phase One of the Leadership for Inclusion in the Early Years (LINC) Programme. The positive findings highlight the dedication of the LINC Team and is testimony to their commitment to supporting inclusive practice and high-quality continuing professional development in the early years. We are extremely proud of our students and graduates, and the transformative work that they engage in each day in supporting the inclusion and active participation of all children and their families across the country.”

View the Final Evaluation of Phase One of the LINC Programme 2016-2020 Report HERE

For further information regarding the LINC Programme, visit www.lincprogramme.ie
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