Early literacy a priority for McGowan Government

Thursday 24 August 2017
  • Funding secured to continue highly successful Better Beginnings early literacy program
  • Importance of reading to babies and children highlighted at Children's Book Week 

The McGowan Government has secured funding for the highly successful Better Beginnings early literacy program, as part of a State Government commitment to early literacy.

Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman celebrated Children's Book Week at a Baby Rhyme Time session at the State Library of Western Australia, accompanied by the Premier's wife, Sarah McGowan.

Mrs McGowan has previously stated her intention to advocate for early literacy by encouraging parents to read to their babies and children.

Since its inception in 2004, the Better Beginnings program, which includes Rhyme Time and Story Time sessions at public libraries, as well as free books and reading packs for families, has reached more than 550,000 families from Wyndham to Esperance.

An independent evaluation of the program by Edith Cowan University has found that the program has a positive impact on the attitudes, behaviours and practices of parents around early literacy.

Comments attributed to Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:

"Reading out loud and doing rhymes with actions allows parents to have fun with their babies and toddlers, and it also sets a strong foundation for developing literacy skills.

"Research tells us that children who have an early exposure to books, stories, reading and libraries, learn to read more successfully and do better at school and in later life.

"The Better Beginnings program does such important work and I'm pleased it will continue to be supported."

Comments attributed to Sarah McGowan:

"As a primary school teacher and a mother, I know how important it is to read to your children.

"Activities like Rhyme Time and Story Time at public libraries are a fantastic learning resource for families.

"I would like to encourage all parents to make the most of this fantastic, free State Government-funded program.

"Reading and singing songs to your children is fun, relaxing and so important for the development of early literacy."

Last updated on: 5 September 2017