BookTrust Early Years report highlights success in encouraging family reading

Published on: 23 November 2023

In the first year of the new BookTrust Early Years offers (Bookstart Toddler / Bookstart 1-2 years and Bookstart Pre-schooler / Bookstart 3-4 years), our research with partners and families has shown that the offer is working to spark families’ enthusiasm and knowledge about the benefits of reading and how to share stories together.

Key findings from the first year show that, as a result of the Early Years offers:

  • Families learnt something new about the benefits of reading (67%) and different ways they could share stories with their children (78%) and these impacts were more pronounced for lower-income families (77% and 82% respectively).
  • 77% of families noted they read more with their children, particularly those who previously read less than once a week.
  • 88% of partners feel the offers support them to engage with parents and carers.

Read the full report here

As part of the offers, families were given colourful packs containing books, finger puppets, crayons and activities, along with tips on how to share stories and rhymes together, through our network of early years delivery partners. Storyteller resources were shared with partners to help them guide families on their reading journeys and BookTrust provided a range of online content to support both families and partners.

Our early years delivery network provided over 6,000 routes to families across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and we are grateful for all our partners for their work to deliver the first year of the programme and for sharing their experiences with us.

As the UK's largest children's reading charity, BookTrust is a research-based, learning organisation reaching over 1.5 million children each year with books, resources and support designed to help families get reading together, especially those from low-income or vulnerable backgrounds.

Children who choose to read and read regularly form stronger bonds, do better at school, are more creative and are happier and healthier. Which is why one of BookTrust’s priorities is sharing stories and books as early in a child’s life as possible.

Read the full report here

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