From Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Published on 17 December 2020
Last updated on 17 December 2020
- 4,500 Early Learning and Care settings, including registered childminders, to receive free books under a new First 5 Book Gifting project
- Project aims to support and encourage a love of books and reading among young children
Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., today announced an additional €450,000 Dormant Accounts Funding for a new book gifting project to early learning and care settings.
The project will see 4,500 early learning and care settings each receive books aimed at encouraging a love of books and reading among young children. The books will be distributed through libraries, linking early learning and care settings and children and families enrolled in these settings to the libraries in their local community.
Speaking about the project, Minister O’Gorman said:
“I’m delighted to have secured significant additional funding for this Book Gifting project, which will help our youngest children have access to books, both in their early learning and care setting and through their local libraries. I hope that this will start a new generation on a life-long love of reading, and will encourage more parents to join their local libraries so that they can share books with their children.”
“With additional Dormant Accounts Funding secured, the total funding has increased to €650,000. This will ensure that every early learning and care setting, and every library, will receive a wide range of books in both English and Irish, and will support children to discover the joy of reading.”
The project is a collaboration between the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY), the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) and the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA). €650,000 is being provided for the project from the three organisations.
The Book Gifting project will:
- Distribute a selection of books to all early learning and care settings, through the national network of libraries;
- Ensure the selected collection of books is also held in libraries which can be loaned out to young children and their families;
- Encourage membership and use of the library network among early learning and care settings and among young children and their families;
- Support the early learning and care settings and families in use of this resource;
- Encourage ongoing collaboration between the early learning and care settings and libraries and support families in establishing or developing the practice of reading.
Welcoming the funding, Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys, T.D., said:
“As Minister with responsibility for public libraries, I am delighted that my Department is providing funding to support this initiative.”
“Libraries offer access to worlds of creativity, imagination and fun. This collaboration between the Early Learning and Care services and the 330 public libraries around the country will open these worlds up to so many families. It will also promote early language and literacy development which is crucial for children’s success in education and beyond.”
The roll-out of book bags is being administered by the Local Government Management Agency, with book bags to issue to libraries and Early Learning and Care settings in April 2021.