Press Release – OWLET: Lullabies of the World

Press Release – OWLET: Lullabies of the World
Lullabies from around the world help to foster inclusion and celebrate multilingualism in Early Years settings nationwide
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Thursday, April 11, 2024

1,250 Early Years settings caring for babies and young children aged from birth to 2-years all over Ireland will this week receive the gift of an illustrated children’s book of lullabies in a variety of world languages as part of a new initiative called OWLET: Lullabies of the World.

The project is led by Early Childhood Ireland and delivered in collaboration with Mother Tongues. Early Childhood Ireland is proud and grateful to have been supported by the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal in association with the Community Foundation Ireland.

OWLET: Lullabies of the World responds to the needs of babies and young children in an ever-changing Ireland in which multilingualism is the norm. According to Census 2022, over 750,000 people in Ireland speak a language other than Irish or English at home, almost 30,000 of whom are children under the age of four.

The books form part of a trio of materials designed to foster inclusivity in Early Years, including an accompanying publicly available playlist and an interactive e-resource, which has been specifically tailored to empower Early Years educators across the country to deliver high-quality care for young children.

A shared experience

The beautifully designed board books feature 10 lullabies uniquely represented through illustrations in languages as diverse as Irish, Setswana, Hindi, Romanian, Creole, Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish.

Parents and educators are encouraged to share the experience of listening to the lullabies – sung by professional singers in their native language – with young children at home or in Early Years settings by accessing the accompanying playlist available on Early Childhood Ireland’s website.

Championing diversity and quality for children

Early childhood is a critical period for nurturing each individual child’s curiosity, resilience, creativity, confidence and potential. When an educational environment is responsive to children, their language, culture, and family, they can develop a positive sense of self-esteem and confidence about who they are and their place in the world,” Milica Atanackovic, Membership, Excellence and Learning Manager with Early Childhood Ireland, said.

“There is a growing need for resources that support inclusion and multilingualism in Early Years settings. We know that from birth, babies have the capacity to learn languages, develop their own positive identity and develop an understanding of others. These resources will give our members the tools they need to continue delivering high-quality experiences to babies and young children from diverse backgrounds and enable them to benefit from positive learning outcomes connected to lullabies, such as better-quality sleep, emotional regulation, and cognitive development,” she added.

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