Bookstart Corner

Bookstart Corner supports settings across England to help families that need extra support to develop a love of stories, books and rhymes.

Aimed at families with children aged 12-24 months, the programme allows settings to offer intensive support for parents and carers so that they can read together for pleasure with their children with confidence.

Free resources for families and professionals

All settings that sign up will receive a number of free resources to use to help them build on the work already carried out with families. Each setting also receives either 10, 25, 50 or 100 packs, containing two picture books and guidance materials, to gift to families.

Settings that sign up for 25, 50 or 100 packs will also receive additional resources for their centre including posters and a Rhyme Challenge pack.

Bookstart Corner pack 2017

Here's what one practitioner says about delivering Bookstart Corner in her setting:

‘We have found it a very successful, non-threatening, fun activity in which both parents and children can gain many different skills. It has highlighted to parents how much children can benefit from reading stories, listening to rhymes and being involved in singing. It is also an opportunity to discuss school readiness with parents.’ (Rebecca Biggs, Family Support Worker, Northamptonshire Children's Centres)

Want to get involved?

Registration for Bookstart Corner 2017-18 is now open

Almost 1,200 children's centres signed up to receive resources in 2016-17. If you would like to get involved this year and you aren't already receiving emails from us, please contact bookstartcorner@booktrust.org.uk and we'll make sure you're on the mailing list.

If you're already on our list, you will have been sent emails containing a registration link, along with a username and password. If you do not have these, please get in touch with us at bookstartcorner@booktrust.org.uk, as you will need them to register for Bookstart Corner 2017-18.

You will be asked to complete a short tutorial as part of the registration process. If you manage more than one centre, please email bookstartcorner@booktrust.org.uk to be grouped as a cluster, so that you will only need to complete this tutorial once to sign up all your centres.

Currently, only children's centres are able to sign up. However, if you are an alternative setting that works with families you think would benefit from the programme, please get in touch.

If you have already registered for Bookstart Corner, you will soon be able to access all Corner content on our website, including information on the resources you will receive, session ideas for home visits, key messaging and much more.

Benefits of gifting Bookstart Corner

Gifting Bookstart Corner through your setting will contribute to the work you do by:

Engaging and building relationships with families, particularly those who are hard to reach
  • ‘It just works so well. We use it as a hook to get families to engage more fully with the children's centre.’ (Bookstart Corner coordinator)
  • ‘Bookstart is a great way to engage hard to reach families that don't access the children centre as it is non-threatening and there are incentives each week, e.g. puppets. It also allows us to build up relationships and trust with the family. We usually find that families will begin to use the centre after the course.’ (Bookstart Corner coordinator)
  • 'Bookstart corner has enabled us to engage some of our most vulnerable families and children and support them with their child's learning, as well as, engaging them [with] other services/activities that improve their outcomes as a family.’ (Bookstart Corner coordinator)
Girl reading and laughing
Increasing parents’ and carers' understanding of the importance of sharing books, stories and rhymes
  • 85% of practitioners reported that all or most parents and carers are more aware of the importance of sharing books, stories and rhymes
  • ‘At the start of the session most of them were unaware of how they can support their child's learning. By the end of the fourth session most parents were aware of the skills and were more confident to play and engage in their child's play as a normal daily experience.’ (Bookstart Corner coordinator)
Supporting parents and carers to increase their confidence and skills in booksharing
  • Parents and carers improved their booksharing skills. Parents or carers were twice as likely to say they used puppets and toys to act out stories with their child (from 33% before to 65% after), and more likely to ask questions when reading together (from 68% before to 89% after)
  • 76% of practitioners said Bookstart Corner that all or most parents or carers were more confident about reading with their child after taking part in the programme
  • It has taught me a lot. Before I didn’t know how to introduce my child to any books or know any rhymes.’ (Parent/carer)
  • ‘Mum lacks confidence in her own ability, however over the weeks with encouragement she can do it and for the first time on the last visit mum read some books with me supporting her. Mum struggles with long words, however she did really well.' (Practitioner)
Supporting families to develop regular reading routines with their children
  • 73% of practitioners reported that all or most parents and carers are more motivated to share books, stories and rhymes regularly with children as a result of Bookstart Corner
  • 'Parents report [a] change in [their] bedtime / settling routine which used to be watching [a] DVD and now they read two stories with him.’ (Practitioner)
Bringing children and families together around books and stories
  • 68% of practitioners report that all or most parents and carers spent more quality time with their child as a result of the programme, with a further 31% reporting this for some families
  • "It has made us realise it is fun to share books together.” (Parent/carer)
Engaging families with libraries and other local services
  • 31% of parents and carers joined the library for their child after taking part in Bookstart Corner, and 29% had visited for the first time after completing the programme
  • ‘We have several families in our reach who have engaged with services after taking part in Bookstart Corner - from joining parenting programmes, taking part in local play to learn groups to taking up 2-year funded childcare sessions. Bookstart is such a positive programme without judgement that it makes it a joy to deliver to families and makes families secure in the knowledge they are positively contributing to their children's development.’ (Bookstart Corner coordinator)
  • 'As a result of the Bookstart programme we have been able to take families to the library, become members and start accessing on a regular basis.’ (Bookstart Corner coordinator)

Registered for Bookstart Corner?

Sign in here

More about Bookstart packs and gifting

Bookstart Baby Pack

All families with babies aged 0-12 months are eligible to receive a free Bookstart Baby pack. These are usually gifted by health visitors.

Bookstart Treasure pack

The Bookstart Treasure envelope is gifted to all children when they are 3-4 years old by their nursery, children's centre or other early years setting.

Additional needs packs

Bookstart is for every child, so families or carers of children age 0-5 are entitled to our additional needs packs alongside the two standard Bookstart packs.