Birth to Three
Recent research shows that children's experiences in their early years significantly affect their brain development, ability to learn, social skills and self-esteem. Children who have an early exposure to books, stories, reading and libraries learn to read more successfully, and do better at school and in later life.
Better Beginnings supports parents in this vital role, helping you to build on the knowledge that you already have. Reading with your baby is one of many important home literacy practices. Home literacy practices are all of the things you do in your home that contribute to your child's reading, writing and literacy skills. When you sing nursery rhymes, teach your child names and colours, tell them stories about when you were little, or point out written words on signs you are laying the foundations for literacy.
Parents with newborn babies in WA can collect a free Better Beginnings reading pack from their local library or from their Community Child Health Nurse.
Four to Five
You are your child’s first and most important teacher. Sharing books and reading aloud together is a wonderful way to give your child a good start at school.
You can help your child enjoy reading by:
- Reading aloud together every day
- Talking about the story and pictures
- Choosing books together. Remember that the most important skill of all is the one that you already have - you know your child best. You know their likes and dislikes, the things that they're interested in. Keep this in mind particularly when you're choosing books together.
Schools and Community Kindergartens are invited to participate with their local public library to receive free reading packs for every Kindergarten aged child. Your child's teacher can contact their local library to ask about being involved in the program.
Families with home-schooled children can contact their local public library to collect their free reading kit.
Better Beginnings Discovery Backpacks are also available for library members to borrow for free. Discovery Backpacks contain picture books, audio CDs, puzzles, musical instruments or other reading games, reading tips and online activities for you and your child to do together.
The Better Beginnings Family Literacy Program is funded by the State Government of Western Australia, Rio Tinto WA Future Fund and participating local governments.