As per the AIM Programme Rules, the wages of an employee may be supported through either EWSS or AIM Level 7 capitation, but not both. It is open to a service provider to decide whether EWSS or AIM Level 7 funding is most advantageous to them.
While EWSS has been extended until 31 December 2021 and current arrangements apply unchanged until the end of Quarter 3, the arrangements for Quarter 4 will not be announced until September. Service providers that have a child with a disability attending the ECCE programme during the year 2021/22 and choose to opt for EWSS funding (instead of AIM Level 7 funding) are encouraged to complete an application for AIM Level 7 also, so that their application can be assessed well in advance.
Completing the application for AIM Level 7 funding mitigates the risk of a gap in funding for providers who opt for EWSS, but who are likely to lose EWSS at some point during the programme year 2021/22.
Applying for AIM support now will also allow such services to benefit from educational advice and support under AIM Level 4 while in receipt of EWSS. Once approved for AIM Level 7 funding for 2021/22 programme, the provider must advise Pobal they are opting for EWSS instead and the AIM Level 7 will be withdrawn until such time as EWSS support ends.
Service providers who have a child that is eligible for a second-year extension for 21/22 and withdrew last year due to EWSS can apply for their second-year extension support now. However, where a service opts to continue with EWSS funding, AIM Level 7 funding will be allocated from 1st January 2022 (or whatever is the date on which EWSS ceases for that service).
Help and support
Should you have any queries in relation to the AIM, please contact the Early Years Provider Centre by raising a Request on Hive.