Preschoolers and childcare professionals are asked to save the date of Friday March 8th for Early Childhood Ireland’s National Pyjama Day in aid of the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) Hospice Home Care for Children Programme
Minister Frances Fitzgerald launched Early Childhood Ireland’s National Pyjama Day encouraging children and childcare professionals around the country to save the date of March 8th and to put on their pyjamas in aid of the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) Hospice Home Care for Children Programme. This fundraising initiative, now in its 10th year, is run by Early Childhood Ireland, the representative group for preschools and daycare centres nationwide, supporting over 110,000 young children and their families. The organisers say that, in additional to the fun and fundraising element of this campaign, National Pyjama Day is an ideal reminder to families nationwide about the importance of bedtime routines, especially reading stories, for young children which really aids language and literature skills in the crucial early years.
Since its establishment in 2003, National Pyjama Day has raised over €1.73 million for children’s charities in Ireland and this year Early Childhood Ireland hopes to raise another €250,000 for the IHF’s Hospice Home Care for Children Programme which has been the recipient charity for the past 3 years. On a national level, it is estimated that over 1,400 children are living with life-limiting illness in Ireland and funds raised by National Pyjama Day will be used by the IHF to fund five out of eight Children’s Outreach Nurses (Pyjama Day nurses) in the community. This vital programme offers support to families caring for seriously ill children in their own homes.
Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs said “The positivity emanating from this campaign is palpable and its success is down to the dedication, hard work, and community spirit amongst the childcare professionals, parents and children taking part. The key message of children helping children and having fun in the process has real appeal and I want to thank Early Childhood Ireland for spearheading this initiative and for keeping it fun, fresh and alive, year after year. To those working hard in preschools and crèches around the country and providing such a valuable service to young children and their families, I say if you’re not signed up already, get those pyjamas out and help make National Pyjama Day 2013 another huge success to the benefit of all.
Irene Gunning, CEO, Early Childhood Ireland said; “While the emphasis is very much on fun and children helping children for such a great cause, this campaign is also a serious reminder about the importance of stories and reading together, particularly at bedtime, a family tradition that is just too important to lose. Young children need positive routines and putting on their pyjamas is a signal for relaxation and some quality reading time with Mam or Dad – far away from the TV, iPad and mobile phone which must not be allowed to take over this precious time with children. I want to encourage as many preschool and daycare centres as possible to jump on board and to support National Pyjama Day on Friday March 8th.”
Sharon Foley, CEO of The Irish Hospice Foundation, said “Early Childhood Ireland and through them childcare professionals, parents and children around Ireland have been centrally involved in helping the Irish Hospice Foundation to develop a dedicated home care service for seriously ill children. When our partnership began in 2011, one Children’s Outreach Nurse was in place. On National Pyjama Day 2013, thanks to this partnership, we have a Medical Consultant in place along with three Children’s Outreach nurses and another four are about to take up their posts. Their role is to support families and provide quality care at home for children with life-limiting conditions. I would like to thank the ECI community for allowing families the choice to care for their children at home.“
Anyone involved in the early childhood care and education sector can participate in National Pyjama Day by registering online through www.earlychildhoodireland.ie and clicking the Pyjama Day Button for more information.
Further information: Carmel Doyle 087 2473537