National Pyjama Day

Early Childhood Ireland National Pyjama Day is the largest one-day fundraising event organised by the early childhood care and education sector in Ireland. Now in its 16th year running, the event has raised almost 3 million for children’s charities that support children with additional needs.

National Pyjama Day

Early Childhood Ireland National Pyjama Day is the largest one-day fundraising event organised by the early childhood care and education sector in Ireland. Now in its 16th year running, the event has raised almost 3 million for children’s charities that support children with additional needs.

In 2018, Early Childhood Irelands National Pyjama Day saw 60,000 children from 1,300 crèches and preschools nationwide sign up for the event. The €280,000 raised adds to the €2.75 million raised by Early Childhood Ireland Pyjama Day since its inception.

A total of six charities were selected to receive a portion of the funds raised on Early Childhood Ireland Pyjama Day earlier this year, which amounted to almost €280,000. The recipient charities are:

  • Down Syndrome Ireland
  • Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland
  • Irish Neonatal Health Alliance
  • Temple Street Foundation
  • AsIAm
  • ReCreate

Each of the charities support children with additional needs under the age of 6.

The launch of the PJ Fund was marked with a celebration at Ivy Lane Montessori and Crèche in Fitzwilliam Street Upper, Dublin 2. Teresa Heeney, CEO Early Childhood Ireland, along with Tina Roche, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation, and representatives from each of the recipient charities attendee the event.

Tina Roche, The Community Foundation, added, “Again, in our second year of the Fund, we saw a large number of applications. In fact, there was almost a 50% increase in applications from last year. This shows that funds are badly needed for the early years for children with additional needs. Philanthropy has an important role to play in filling the gaps in existing services. There is no doubt that the projects funded will make a very significant impact”.

 

How does Pyjama Day work?

It is very simple. Children and staff in early years settings are sponsored to wear their pyjamas into the setting on National Pyjama Day. This is where the magic happens – children take part in dens, pillow fights, PJ picnics, Bear Hunts, storytelling, and nursery rhymes amid many other activities. Importantly, these activities are also an opportunity for settings to highlight the play-based, child-centred early years curriculum which underpins practice and nurtures children at this vital time in their young lives.

 

How are the funds managed?

The Pyjama Day Fund generally benefits charities that support children with additional needs under the age of 6. In previous years, Early Childhood Ireland worked with a designated recipient charity. In 2017, this was changed slightly. Henceforward, and based on the funds raised on the day, grant amounts will be awarded to a number of chosen charities. Early Childhood Ireland is supported by the Community Foundation for Ireland in the assessment and administration of these grants, with recipient charities announced in the autumn of 2018.

In 2017, we were delighted to award grants from the almost €200,000 raised on National Pyjama Day to six very worthy charities, each of which works with children under the age of 6 who have additional needs:

  • Down Syndrome Ireland
  • National Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation
  • DeafHear.ie
  • Irish Neonatal Health Alliance
  • Children in Hospital Ireland
  • ASiAM

These grants will benefit a range of projects undertaken by these charities, each of which will support children with additional needs and their families. For more read our press release

 

The Charity Selection Process

Early Childhood Ireland is supported by the Community Foundation for Ireland in the assessment and administration of grants. The Community Foundation for Ireland is a philanthropic organisation which seeks just and progressive social change. The Foundation empowers people and organisations who want to make a difference through a model of philanthropy that is based on trust, effectiveness, and impact. In 2016, the Foundation and its donors distributed almost €6 million to charitable causes in Ireland and overseas and reached the milestone of €30 million in cumulative grants since its establishment in 2000. 

The Community Foundation fulfils the role of independent third party in the grant process. A set of criteria is established for charities which apply for a grant from the fund. The Community Foundation assesses applications against these criteria. When the grants are paid out, the organisation ensures that they are properly administered. Grant recipients for the 2018 PJ Day Fund will be announced in the autumn.

Community Foundation CEO Tina Roche outlines the role of the organisation in PJ Day

 

Past Charity Partners

In previous years, charity partners have included:
• Irish Hospice Foundation
• Make A Wish Foundation
• Irish Autism Action
• Children in Hospital Ireland

 

  

Coming soon – Early Childhood Ireland National Pyjama Day 2019

 

Registration opens March 2019

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