Mayo County Childcare Committee and the Mayo Early Intervention Service held a very successful seminar in Knockranny house hotel Westport last month. The seminar was entitled 'Early Years Inclusion Day' - Practical ways to include all children'. Dr. Geraldine French , the noted specialist in early childhood education gave an inspiring key note address to begin the day. Over 120 early childhood care and education practitioners then attended three workshops for the rest of the morning.
These workshops aimed to show practitioners practical ways to include children in their every day play school settings. The workshops provided guidance on, puppetry, a multi sensory approach and equality and diversity. The workshops were delivered by Carmel Balfe of Little Gems puppets, Michelle Fahey , Annette Jordan and Ann Halligan respectively. Each of these facilitators are experts in each of their respective fields. The feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive regarding the workshops. The facilitators professionalism and expertise was seen by all as they delivered thought provoking, insightful and hugely practical workshops.
Running simultaneously to the workshops and through out the morning the event also hosted 20 exhibitors. These exhibitions again provided participants with practical ideas and ways to develop an inclusive ethos in play schools and all early years settings. The exhibitions included stands from Mayo Early Intervention Service – parents Plus programme, Toileting Skills, Handwriting without Tears Programme, multisensory approaches to storytelling, Mayo County Childcare Committee, Music Generation Mayo, National Early Years Quality Development (Better Start ), Mayo Travellers Support Group, Mayo Intercultural Action , Nexus, Wesco, Knockranny House Hotel –Spa Salveo Mayo County Library, Connaught Creative Resource, Thinking Toys, Mindfulness, Artistscant Draw, Autism Service and MSLETB.
Through out the day participants could also view art work submitted by early years settings and play schools. This art work provided examples of inclusive practise happening on a daily basis through the county in the 120 early years services. Also, services submitted photos which were compiled into a slide show and which were shown on screens at various points through the hotel.
The organisers from Mayo Early Intervention Service and the Mayo CCC stated "we are so delighted with how successful today's event has been. We wish to acknowledge all the photos and art work submitted by the workers from all the early years services around the county. We also wish to acknowledge the fact that after a hard weeks work, these workers have given up their Saturday to attend this event. This is yet another example of the commitment and dedication wish exists in the early years sector in Mayo . We also wish to acknowledge all the parents and agencies who attended today's event. Finally we wish to acknowledge Dr. Geraldine French who delivered such an inspiring key note address. We really hope everyone who attended got something positive from today and we hope now to build on the success of today's event. "
For any further information relating to inclusion practises in early years education and care please do not hesitate to contact Mayo CCC (094 ) 904 7010 and or Mayo Early Intervention Service (094 ) 9060234 ).