Getting more kids in Western Victoria ready before school

The Andrews Government has launched a new campaign to highlight the importance of reading to children in the years before they start school as part of the annual Premiers’ Reading Challenge for the Early Years.

The Labor Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, said sharing books with kids from the day they are born is a simple way to boost their literacy and numeracy skills, and improve their school results and future job prospects.

Research shows that regular reading with young children from birth has a direct impact on their performance at school and cognitive skills later in life.

Ms Pulford said the theme of this year’s Premiers’ Reading Challenge for the Early Years is ‘Share a Book Today’, in recognition of the positive impact simply sitting with a young child and opening a book can have.

“The Challenge encourages families and early childhood centres to help children who have not yet started school to experience 40 books before September,” Ms Pulford said.

“This year’s challenge will be accompanied by a digital campaign promoting the benefits that books have for young kids, including interviews with authors, ideas on great books to share and other helpful resources to help families with young kids,” she said.

More than 8,000 children and families participated in last year’s Premiers’ Reading Challenge for the Early Years, reading more than 265,800 books.

“Sharing books with your kids is one of the most powerful things we can do to help build a child’s love of literature and reading,” Ms Pulford said.

“Our Government wants more families in Western Victoria to read to their kids more often because we all know how beneficial it is,” she said.

The 2017 Challenge closes 8 September, with over 2000 books on the early years booklist which can be found at

www.ducation.vic.gov.au/about/events/prc/Pages/booklist.aspx