“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents” was one of the key messages from Dr. Mary Roche, Education Consultant who presented at the Snuggle Up For Reading Parent Seminar held last week in the Ormonde Hotel.
This free event, organised by Kilkenny County Childcare Committee gave the captive audience of 35 parents a strong understanding of the importance of talking and reading to babies and young children, particularly in the first months of their life. Dr. Roche quoted research findings from the Institute for Social & Economic Research which identified that “getting books into homes and encouraging parents and carers to share books, stories and rhymes from birth can make a significant difference to outcomes later in life for a child.” These outcomes include enhancing a child’s self esteem and confidence, communication skills and their educational attainment.
Dr. Roche said that promoting reading to young children from an early age is not so much about teaching them to read; rather it is about developing children’s oral language skills. She said that there is evidence to suggest that most children learn to read more successfully if they have already become familiar with books by the time they start school.
Reading for 10 minutes each day with your young baby or child would not only provide them with a love of books and reading Dr Roche said, it also builds on their understanding of language, expands their vocabulary and listening skills and enhances their cognitive thinking. These are all key features in giving your child the best start in becoming a life time reader. Dr. Roche emphasised the key role parents, grandparents and carers have to play in ensuring children are given opportunities to hear books being read aloud to them. Children get enjoyment from listening to the voices of their parents telling a story and this time together creates a special relationship bond.
Dr. Roche highlighted the fact that our public libraries are an invaluable resource for providing free access to literature appropriate to all ages. For further information on this topic or any other Childcare queries please contact KKCCC on 056-7752865.