Our highly skilled team at the Mencap Children's Centre have developed Mencap NI's Early Years Training Programme. 

Offering a range of short training courses to enable early years practitioners, across Northern Ireland, to access our specialist knowledge and strategies to support young children. 

Training is tailored to support professionals from a range of early years settings. If you are an assistant, keyworker, supervisor, childminder or a manager of a setting, this training will help you develop skills to care, support and promote development for children with a learning disability .

We can also offer bespoke group training for specific settings. 

“It has given me a greater understanding of differing needs and how I can be supportive in a positive way.” 

At our unique Mencap Children’s Centre in Belfast, we provide an early years  service  to support very young children with a learning disability.

In September 2023, the briefing paper "Good practice in early development support for children with a learning disability" by Mary Anne Webb with Judith Divers was released. This paper highlights the need for specialised training for Early Years Practitioners to support children with a learning disability.

Click here to read the paper.

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Training courses available:

  • OCN NI Level 2 Award in Learning Disability: positive support in the early years
  • Introduction to learning disability
  • Supporting children with a learning disability in an early years setting
  • The importance of wellbeing: supporting children with a learning disability 
  • Global Developmental Delay

Click here to download our early years training prospectus.

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Read The Latest Evaluation of the Training Courses

An evaluation of the training course - OCN Level 2 Award in Learning Disability: Positive Support in the Early Years.

Image of Woman with Child

Nurturing, inclusive practice is at the core of everything we do at Mencap NI, ensuring children can explore, engage, and learn within our Children’s Centre.

When you take part in our Early Years Training, the facilitators will offer insight to our values , practices and strategies enabling our learners to upskill and create inclusive environments of their own.

“Good presentation, friendly open atmosphere, good to have the parent’s perspective.” 

Our vision is for Northern Ireland to be the best place in the world for people with a learning disability to live happy and healthy lives. 

We believe that needs to be realised from birth and that early intervention is a key way of achieving our mission.