Bookstart FAQs 2019-20

Here are answers to the questions we're most often asked about Bookstart. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, please get in touch with us and we'll do our best to help you.

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Your Bookstart questions answered

  • How do I get Bookstart packs for the families I work with?

    We allocate resources to local authorities based on their birth rates and local information provided by the local authority itself. Bookstart Coordinators, who are employed by the local authority, then work with key partners to distribute these resources to families. If you would like to gift Bookstart packs, please contact your local authority Bookstart Coordinator to see if this would be possible.

  • What happened to National Bookstart Week? What is Pyjamarama and Pyjamarama in the Community?

    In June 2019, BookTrust launched new fundraising participation campaign, Pyjamarama Pyjamarama to raise money so every child can have access to a bedtime story. In addition to this, National Bookstart Week was rebranded as Pyjamarama in the Community and continues to  celebrate the work of our partners in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and give out over 450,000 free picture books to under 5s via community settings. 

    Find out more

  • Who is the Bookstart Coordinator in my local authority?

    Please contact bookstart@booktrust.org.uk to find out who the Bookstart Coordinator is in your area.

  • Are the packs really free?

    The Bookstart programme is funded by Arts Council England and supported by partners such as publishers in order that BookTrust can provide high-quality resources to central delivery points for each local authority free of charge. Local authorities are, however, responsible for the cost of onward delivery to their partners.  

  • Who should receive the packs?

    Bookstart Baby All families with babies in England aged 0-12 months
    Bookstart Treasure All families with children in England aged 3-4 years 
    Bookstart Corner A limited number of families with children aged 12-30 months as identified by their local authority who could benefit from extra support with sharing books, stories and rhymes
    Booktouch Baby Families with children aged 0-2 years who are visually impaired
    Booktouch Toddler Families with children aged 2-4 years who are visually impaired
    Bookshine Baby Families with children aged 0-2 years who are deaf
    Bookshine Toddler Families with children aged 2-4 years who are deaf
    Bookstart Star Families with children aged 2-4 years with fine motor skill delay or complex needs

  • Why do the packs I received look different to the ones on the website?

    BookTrust is continuously working to improve the design and content of the Bookstart packs. You may receive slightly older packs if your local Bookstart scheme has remaining stock. Don’t worry, though – whichever packs you get, you can be sure that they will contain two great free books (from a selection chosen by an independent panel) for families to share (Treasure packs currently contain one book), plus tips and ideas to help them enjoy stories, books and rhymes together.

  • How should I gift the packs to families?

    Quality messaging from trusted professionals has been proven to be the most important element of the gifting process. Please see our Delivering Bookstart section for more tips and guidance. 

  • How does BookTrust choose the books that go into packs?

    There is a Bookstart book panel made up of book experts, librarians, health professionals and early years professionals. BookTrust does not publish books. Publishers in the UK are invited to submit books, which will be considered for inclusion in the packs. These books are produced in a number of countries.

  • I work with a family with a specific need, can BookTrust provide additional support?

    We provide dual language resources for multilingual families in over 30 languages. These can be ordered via your Bookstart Coordinator but please note that we have limited funding to provide these resources. We also provide Booktouch packs for children who have a visual impairment, Bookshine packs for those who are deaf and Bookstart Star for those with fine motor skill delay.

  • How do I sign up for Bookstart Corner?

    Every local authority in England has access to the Bookstart Corner resources and allocates them to the settings that need them most via a local Bookstart Coordinator. If you are a children's centre or other setting that would like to deliver Corner, please email bookstartcorner@booktrust.org.uk to find out who your local Bookstart Coordinator is

  • How do I update the contact details for my children’s centre to sign up for Bookstart Corner?

    Please contact bookstartcorner@booktrust.org.uk or your local Bookstart Coordinator with your updated information.

  • I manage multiple centres, do I have to sign up individually to Bookstart Corner for each centre?

    No, please email bookstartcorner@booktrust.org.uk with the usernames and names of your children’s centres along with the name you would like us to call your cluster. Once set up, you will only need to take the tutorial once and just confirm the delivery details for each of your centres. 

  • Our setting wants to sign up for Bookstart Corner but we’re not a children’s centre. Is this possible?

    In the past, Corner was only available to children’s centres, now it can be delivered by any setting who can reach families that need it the most. Your local authority allocates resources to settings in your area via a local Bookstart Coordinator. If you are interested in delivering Corner, please contact bookstartcorner@booktrust.org.uk to find out who the Coordinator in your area is. 

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