Early Childhood Ireland: National Pyjama Day

Under-5s demonstrate financial might with National Pyjama Day

– Pre-school children play central role in annual fundraising drive –

It’s rare that children under the age of five can demonstrate their financial might, but a fundraiser taking place this May aims to show just how impactful they can be.

National Pyjama Day is an annual fundraising drive organised by Early Childhood Ireland, the national representative body for the early years sector. Taking place on 10th May, the Day will see thousands of children nationwide sponsored by their families to wear their pyjamas to preschool on that date.

Once they arrive at preschool on 10th May, participating children will take part in activities such as ‘PJ picnics’, den-building, pillow fights, bear hunts, and storytelling. All funds raised will then be donated to charities that work with children with additional needs.

Speaking at the launch of National Pyjama Day, Teresa Heeney, CEO of Early Childhood Ireland, said: “The beauty of this initiative is that it’s all about children helping children. When you think about large-scale fundraising drives, it’s rare you consider getting under-5s involved. But, since National Pyjama Day began, pre-school children and their families have raised over €3 million to help support children with additional needs.

“Each year, we’ve seen how much children love getting involved – they get such a kick out of wearing their PJs for an entire day in pre-school, but they also love the fact that, by doing so, they’re helping other children too.”

Call for early-years services to get involved

On average, 1,300 early years services and 60,000 children sign up to participate in National Pyjama Day each year.

Early Childhood Ireland is calling on early-years services nationwide to register their interest in getting involved now at: www.earlychildhoodireland.ie All participating services receive an event pack from Early Childhood Ireland – with posters, a collection box, collection envelopes, balloons and stickers.

Where donated funds will go

All funds raised through National Pyjama Day go to the Early Childhood Ireland National Pyjama Day Fund. The Fund is administered with support from the Community Foundation for Ireland.

Any charities working in Ireland with children with additional needs (aged 0-6) can apply to the Fund for support. Last year, six charities were awarded funding amounting to almost €280,000 in the aftermath of National Pyjama Day: Down Syndrome Ireland, Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland, the Irish Neonatal Health Alliance, Temple Street Foundation, AsIAm, and ReCreate.

“National Pyjama Day is a very unusual fundraising initiative because we are raising funding for other charities, rather than for our own organisation,” said Teresa Heeney. “It has been running for 16 years now, and we’ve placed a strong emphasis on best practice and accountability, working in partnership with the Community Foundation to ensure the highest standards in how we assess funding applications and make awards.”



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