How to Help Nurture Early Literacy Development

By introducing children to books and other resources that promote literacy during infant and toddler years, they are easily being set up for success in the later years. Reading provides early explorations into vocabulary development, and improves language skills. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research, early childhood literacy has a common thread with social emotional well-being, future graduation rates, reduced grade retention and improved adult-life productivity.

Six Facts About the Importance of Early Literacy

  1. Reading to a child during infancy will improve language skills and the ability to articulate clearly which plays a key role in the development of reading skills in later years.
  2. The United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, states that if children do not receive early literacy stimulation in the years from birth to age 3, they may never reach their full potential.
  3. Parents can begin early literacy exposure while a child is still in the womb; introducing the child to the mother’s voice and beginning a ritual where oral communication becomes important.
  4. After birth, parents should begin to read short books to the child to help strengthen spoken communication.
  5. Plastic and cardboard books are easier for young children to grasp and handle.
  6. Research shows that children between the ages of 2 and 4 spend up to three hours a day viewing television, resulting in some children losing the benefits of early literacy development. Instead, time can be better spent by reading books, drawing, painting, scribbling or writing.

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