Early storybook reading with babies and young children: Parents’ opinions and home reading practices

Michelle I. Brown
Marleen F. Westerveld
Gail T. Gillon

Parents’ (n = 113) opinions of early storybook reading (ESR) with their baby or toddler (newborn to three-years-old) and their home reading practices were explored using a questionnaire. Parents from both a more advantaged socioeconomic area and less advantaged socioeconomic area were included. The results signified that parents value ESR and participate in regular ESR with their baby. However, data suggests that some parents have difficulty choosing suitable books and have limited knowledge of how to promote early communication skills while sharing the storybook with their baby. Parents from the less advantaged area reported a lower frequency of ESR, owned fewer children’s books and demonstrated more difficulties with book selection compared with parents from a more advantaged area. Future research targeting education on book selection and strategies to facilitate babies’ early communication development during ESR may be beneficial to maximise the effectiveness of ESR on young children’s language and social skill development.

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood—Volume 42 Number 2 June 2017.

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