Press release: ‘The power of pyjamas!’ Over €285,000 raised for autism support and eco-education initiatives on 20th anniversary of National Pyjama Day

Press release: ‘The power of pyjamas!’ Over €285,000 raised for autism support and eco-education initiatives on 20th anniversary of National Pyjama Day

Tuesday, 23 April 2024

‘The power of pyjamas!’ – Over €285,000 raised for autism support and eco-education initiatives on 20th anniversary of National Pyjama Day

Early Childhood Ireland has today announced the total amount raised by children across Ireland as part of their 20th National Pyjama Day. Over €285,000 (€287,611.52) was donated to two child-centred projects: autism charity AsIAm’s ‘Child and Family Support Programme’, which provides group-based support and advocacy for autistic children and their families, and the new ‘Eco-Emotions’ project for Early Years and School Age Care educators around Ireland. Developed in response to feedback from educators, this new programme by Early Childhood Ireland will support children to care for themselves, their communities and their environment. Through this initiative, Early Childhood Ireland will work alongside children and educators across Ireland to enhance emotional health and build a sense of environmental responsibility.

In November 2023, over 54,000 enthusiastic children and educators in over 1000 Early Years and School Age Care settings put on their cosiest pyjamas to raise vital funds in support of children across Ireland. Since its inception, National Pyjama Day activities have raised over €4.3 million for selected projects and charities.

Teresa Heeney, CEO of Early Childhood Ireland said: “As we mark two decades of Pyjama Day magic, we’re delighted to witness the ripple effect of kindness reaching children nationwide. We would like to thank our members and all the educators who put so much time and effort into ensuring the children in their care had the best National Pyjama Day possible and express our gratitude to the generous families who sponsored the young fundraisers in their lives.”

“The much-needed funds will go towards two very worthwhile causes which will benefit children all around the country. The Eco-Emotions initiative will empower children to care for themselves, their communities, and the planet, fostering the development of future generations who are both caring and environmentally conscious. We look forward to working alongside educators to deepen connections with nature and nurture children’s emotional health.”

“We are also pleased to continue making a tangible difference in the lives of autistic children and their families across the country by supporting the significant work of AsIAm’s Child and Family Support Programme.”

Adam Harris, CEO of AsIAm Ireland said: “We are so delighted to once again be supported by Early Childhood Ireland’s National Pyjama Day. The incredible funds raised by children, for children, have enabled us to support thousands of autistic children and families across Ireland through our free, group-based support delivered by our Child and Family Support Programme.”

“Autistic children very often don’t enjoy the same chance to live, work and play in the community but National Pyjama Day enables AsIAm to remove barriers and build capacity so that the children we work with can access neuro-affirmative support and social opportunities.”

Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of Community Foundation Ireland said: “Pyjama Day is about turning the generosity of children, parents and members of Early Childhood Ireland into important supports for young people and their families. The partnership with AsIAm does this in a way which is not only supportive but also pioneering. It breaks down barriers to specialised care and makes it more accessible to all. On behalf of the Community Foundation, I want to congratulate all who participated in Pyjama Day and look forward to hearing about the transformative work by AsIAm which is now getting underway.”

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