Books and reading are an important part of early childhood education, providing children with important literacy skills, as well as supporting social and emotional wellbeing.

In a childcare setting, reading books can help children develop confidence, self-esteem, and coping skills. Books can even help children learn new concepts or adjust to new environments and challenges they may face.

Here’s everything you need to know about the role of books in early childhood education and care!

Why books are so important

Books are essential for any early learning program! By reading to children, it’s possible to introduce a range of important skills and concepts, promoting healthy development.

At childcare, early childhood educators often read to children and encourage children to invent their own stories. This is because storytelling can offer a valuable framework for education and learning, helping children navigate unfamiliar concepts and develop a range of skills and understandings.

Books and literacy

Reading books at childcare can help to promote literacy development by introducing pre-reading skills.

When engaging with books at childcare, children learn that books are read from left to right and that pages must be turned in order to reach the next part of the story. Children are also able to make up their own stories and engage critically with narrative concepts.

Even before children are able to read independently, learning these reading skills can help them develop a stronger understanding of reading and writing. Later, this helps children learn to identify letters, understand sentences, and even read and write on their own.

Books and social skills

Books also help children develop many important social skills, including sharing and communication.

By reading books alongside their peers, children can learn how to share effectively. Books also promote language development and vocabulary building, helping children improve communication as they learn to speak and write.

In addition to these benefits, books can introduce children to new social skills and concepts, such as sharing, empathy, problem-solving, and conflict resolution. By learning from stories, children can discover how to apply new skills in the real world.

Books and emotional wellbeing

In many cases, books and stories also help to support children’s emotional wellbeing and development.

Through books, children can learn new ways to cope with stressful situations or challenges they may face in their lives and learning journeys. Books can help children develop confidence, patience, understanding, and resilience.

By reading to children, educators can help children make sense of new experiences and ideas, providing them with the skills they need to adapt in new environments.

Books and creativity

Finally, reading books can have an impact in supporting the development of creativity and imagination.

By learning about stories, children can understand logical patterns and cause and effect. They can begin to exercise good judgement and critical thinking skills. Reading can also help children understand common systems and ideas.

Books also introduce children to creative skills. As children read books, they can begin to create their own stories, developing important innovation skills.

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