In fact, a University of Queensland study shows the single most important factor in determining a child’s success at school is how much they are exposed to reading from a young age.
Findings such as these are one of the reasons Goodstart Glenorchy centre director Larissa Bellette decided to introduce a community library within the centre.
“We looked at our area’s Australian Early Development Census which revealed children in our community are vulnerable in the domain of communication,” Ms Bellette said.
“As an EChO (Enhancing Children’s Outcomes) centre, we take our role in the community very seriously. We wanted to help develop relationships between children and their parents and we know many families either don’t have time to go to the library, or don’t have the money to buy books.”
She said the library system was also set up to encourage parents and other family members to take care of themselves by relaxing and reading a book.
“Reading with your child encourages their imagination, language development and allows family members and children to enjoy quality time together,” Ms Bellette said.
“As adults we need to ensure that we are taking a moment to ourselves and with busy day to day lives we often don’t have a chance to buy a book or borrow from the library.”
About 80 adult and children’s books have been donated so far.
Ms Bellette said the centre had recently received an exceeding rating in all seven areas and was working hard within the community to extend connections and provide more for the families they cared for.
“We’ve been working really hard on all areas of our service, especially our relationships with children. We want them to feel safe and secure when they’re with us and our hard work is paying off.”
The favourite books so far have included Spot the Dog for the children, and Twilight for the adults.