Sharing a love of reading, rhymes, singing and talking with your baby is one of the best things you can do to give them a head start in life and at school.
Better Beginnings has been developed by the State Library of Western Australia as a family literacy program that supports parents as their child’s first teacher. The program promotes the vital role of public libraries as community hubs that provide ongoing support to parents and caregivers in giving their children a love of reading.
The City of Canning’s Better Beginnings program offers a range of activities including: It’s All about Rhyme, It’s All about Play
and It’s All about Story
sessions for pre-school aged children and their families.
Reading packs for infants
Parents with new born babies can collect a free Yellow Better Beginnings reading pack from their nearest City of Canning Library or from their Community Child Health Nurse.
The Better Beginnings free reading kit includes:
- a board book for your baby (this is a gift from the City of Canningl)
- a nursery rhyme poster
- a book list for babies and toddlers filled with great books to find at your local library
- a brochure with tips for enjoying reading with your baby
- 'It's Rhyme Time' booklet and CD to sing along with
- a library bag.
Reading packs for Kindy students
The Better Beginnings program is available this year for every Kindergarten student. This program builds on the infants program and continues to support and involve families in their children's early literacy learning. Kindy teachers from schools within the City of Canning are encouraged to contact Canning Libraries to order reading packs for their students each year in Term 1.
Why read to babies?
The first three years of life are when crucial brain development takes place. 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.
You are your child's first and most important teacher!
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.