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Between May and July 2020, eight Portuguese childminders successfully completed the first pilot training of the ChildIN project, delivered by Academia Comenius and APPDA Coimbra despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the schedule and on the workflow of the sessions.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the 35 hours of training was fully delivered online, disregarding the 25 hours of face-to-face sessions that were planned initially. Nevertheless, the first and the last training sessions were in the form of a videoconference. The opening conference was hosted by Rui Pena and Marco Santos from Academia Comenius, and was attended by 12 trainees and three trainers (Ana Monteiro, Ana Vieira – who attended the training of trainers’ sessions in Porto in November 2019- and Micaela Rocha from APPDA Coimbra). Concerning the learners’ background, some of them already have experience in dealing with people and children on the autism spectrum, which facilitated not only the exchange of knowledge and dynamism during video conferences but also their participation in the forum and in their responses to the proposed activities.
Portugal to hold a second round from October 2020
Portuguese partners will deliver a second round of pilot training sessions from the beginning of October to the end of November 2020. This second round will count with a total of 50 hours, of which 20 hours will be online, including videoconferences, and 30 hours of self-study with the materials available on the ChildIN online platform. These sessions target childminders (in Portuguese: “amas”), non-teaching staff of schools and other educational settings (in Portuguese: “Auxiliares de ação educativa”) babysitters, and all professionals interested in knowing the specificities and the care to be provided to children and young people with autism.
After the end of this second pilot training, all Portuguese trainees are invited to the ChildIN closing event and end-of-training certificate ceremony, where they will receive a certificate designed by the project consortium. This ceremony will be complementary to the launching event held in Coimbra, in March 2019.