Library funding boost to give kids the ‘Best Start’
AS PART of the Queensland Plan to prioritise education, Premier Campbell Newman was at Yeppoon Library last week to announce a $20 million initiative to give young children the best start.
The initiative will see Livingstone Shire libraries receive $141,476 and Rockhampton Regional Council libraries receive $365,859, over the next four years.
Member for Keppel Bruce Young said the extra money could help every parent, caregiver and young child in the community.
"Best Start will help mums, dads and caregivers to read with their children in a way that lets the children learn," Mr Young said.
"Our kids will do better at school if they start with a healthy vocabulary, which is helped along by being read to."
Mr Young said the state-wide program, to be delivered through public libraries over the next four years, would give local families the information, skills and tools they needed to help their children develop early language and literacy skills at home.
"The results are clear," Mr Young said.
"Just 10 minutes of reading by a parent each day can give their kids the start in life that they need.
"This program helps parents of very young children know what they need to know to help their kids do well at school.
"Almost one in four Queensland children are not at the right literacy level when they start school and many never catch up.
"A recent Australian early development census showed us that Queensland is currently second last of all states in language and cognitive skills for young children.
The program will give families information, skills and tools they need to support their children in the development of early language and literacy at home.
It will be delivered in partnership with local government and public libraries to reach families and primary care givers..
Best Start will deliver more public programs in libraries, information toolkits for parents and caregivers, a state-wide awareness campaign and a program to enable library staff to partner with local early childhood sector workers.