News story presented by Vinny Hurrell as part of BBC Northern Ireland's Community Life programme.
Liz Canning, BookTrust NI, on how BookTrust were able to get books to families during the lockdown period.
Ciara Boyd, Health Visitor, on the impact early book sharing can have on children.
Mervyn Bell, Smile Sure Start, on the care packages being a great tool to form relationships with families.
Karen Elwood, SEHSCT, on the importance of routine for developing bonding and attachment for babies.
Care package initiative delivered 20,000 books to families during lockdown
Working closely with local partners, BookTrust distributed ready-to-ship 'care packages' of books, tailored for early years, primary school-aged children (0-10 year olds). Partners can use these books as gifts left on doorsteps, presents for children in their care or to use in settings which remain open at this time. These book packages are being distributed across Sure Starts, schools, libraries, foodbanks, refuge centres, SEN schools and more, helping to close the gap caused by the pandemic and support families over the summer. In Northern Ireland BookTrust has delivered over 20,000 books to families in difficult circumstances as a direct response to the pandemic.
Jill Wells, Speech and Language Therapist, South Belfast Sure Start, says:
'We have used the books in South Belfast to give out to families in our area during the coronavirus lockdown. This has enabled us to do socially distanced doorstep visits to connect with our families and check they are managing ok and provide any support they may need. Families have really appreciated getting a book and the children have been so excited to get a present.'
In April 2020, we launched the HomeTime Hub – a place where you could find ways to entertain your child at home... and it is full of activities for you to still access today!
Enjoy storytime with our free online books and videos, play games, win prizes, test your knowledge in our book-themed quizzes, or even learn how to draw some of your favourite characters.
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