Skip to Main Content
Home  »  About  »  News & Events  »  News

Late Late Toy Show funds Early Learning Initiative

The remarkable outpouring of generosity by viewers of the Late Late Toy Show in November last year raised over €6million “to help Change Children’s Lives for Good”. 

Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy said: “It’s time to show the people of Ireland just where the money they dug deep for last November is going, and it’s going directly to children all over the island of Ireland who are going to have better, happier, safer and more creative, enriched and nourished lives because of these donations.” 

The Early Learning Initiative (ELI) at NCI is one of the organisations that will be making good use of the €100,000 they have received.  

ELI can now launch the Parenting 365 Pilot Programme for families with young children with disabilities and additional needs in Dublin’s Docklands. This programme will begin in September and will work with families who are already on ELI’s ParentChild+ Programme, responding to a growing need for disability services and supports.  

“We are so grateful to Late Late Toy Show Appeal donors and Community Foundation of Ireland for making this possible. The Community Foundation has been very supportive of ELI over the past decade, including of families already engaging in ParentChild+. We look forward to sharing success stories from Parenting 365 over the coming year,” said Jennifer O’Neill, ParentChild+ Coordinator. 

''This funding will make an enormous difference in the lives of children and families. Parents of children with additional needs face so much challenge and uncertainty. As a society, we have a duty of care to support these families and ensure that early education programmes are meaningfully inclusive. This grant will provide us with the resources to make that a reality and help children to reach their full potential.” 

ParentChild+ is an evidence-based, ‘learning through play experience’ for parents and their preschool children. It is designed to strengthen the natural bond between parent and child and to encourage a love of learning. It employs a non-directive approach and encourages the parent as the child’s first and best teacher. This programme prepares children for later success in school. ParentChild+ employs specially trained local women as Home Visitors, to model verbal interaction for the parent and child.

Even during lockdown, ParentChild+ visits continued online.

Screen grab of online ParentChild Home Visit with child playing, and inset pic of 'home visitor'

The three main beneficiaries of the Late Late Toy Show Appeal were Barnardos Ireland, Children’s Health Foundation Ireland, and Children’s Books Ireland. The Community Foundation Ireland took responsibility for dissemination of the balance of funds, with a grant total in the Republic of Ireland of €2.64 million, and a further £537,000 being distributed in Northern Ireland. 

Other recipients in the Republic of Ireland of a grant of €100,000 are The Soar Foundation, AsIAm, National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI), Exchange House Ireland National Traveller Service, the Dyslexia Association of Ireland and the Irish Wheelchair Association. 

In Northern Ireland, Lifestart Foundation Ltd in Derry received £66,857.00 to fund its Lifestart Smile Baby project. Sticky Finger Arts and the Royal Mencap Society Belfast also received funding of £50,000 each for their organisations.