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Torquay Kids Rise To The Premiers’ Reading Challenge For The Early Years

08 April 2016

Young booklovers celebrated being part of the Premiers’ Reading Challenge for the Early Years this morning, as the initiative was launched in Torquay.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos met some of the Surf Coast’s littlest bookworms and their families at the Torquay Early Learning Centre, and spoke about the importance of reading to young children.

Recently released findings of the Early Language in Victoria Study, a joint research project involving the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and a number of Australian universities, shows that reading to children from a young age results in higher rates of literacy, and better spelling and cognitive skills during the first years of school.

This builds on existing evidence that shows how often a child is read to has a direct link to their success at school, regardless of their family background or home environment.

The Andrews Labor Government is encouraging parents and carers of young children to take part in the Premiers’ Reading Challenge for the Early Years and read to their kids to set them up for success in later life.

Reading gives young children a leg up in life, improving school outcomes, instilling a lifelong love of reading and sparking their imaginations.

The Early Years challenge aims to draw attention to the added benefits of reading to kids from the day they’re brought home from the hospital.

This year the Government has introduced a new competition to encourage more pre-schoolers to enter the competition. Kindergartens and childcare centres can sign up to take the challenge for an opportunity to win one of two visits from Jimmy Giggle from ABC KIDS’ Giggle and Hoot.

There are also book pack prizes to win from Penguin Random House Australia.

To join the challenge or to find out more visit www.education.vic.gov.au/prcExternal Link

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“When families read with their children, it not only fosters strong relationships with the most important people in their lives, but also a love of reading that we know has long-term benefits.”

Quote attributable to, Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education at the University of Melbourne, Patricia Eadie

“The findings from the Early Language in Victoria Study tell us that what parents do matters enormously for development of their children’s language skills, early literacy skills, such as knowledge about letters/alphabet, and eventual reading and spelling skills.”

Early childhood reading facts

  • Children who are read to regularly and who have lots of books in their homes do better in their first years of school.
  • Children who have good letter knowledge also do better in their first years of school, particularly with spelling.
  • Reading to children 3-5 days a week has the same effect on a child’s reading skills at age 4-5 as being six months older.
  • Reading to them 6-7 days a week has the same effect as being almost 12 months older.
  • Children read to more frequently at age 4-5 achieve higher scores on NAPLAN tests for both Reading and Numeracy in Year 3.

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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