Big Bedtime Read

Within every pre-school setting, there is a major focus on providing a rich and stimulating environment, in which children are immersed in oral language and the world of print. Staff invest a lot of time in developing a love of stories, and rhymes and on introducing children to a range of topics in information books. They skilfully develop children's concept of print throughout the day incorporating text into different areas of learning.

Big Bedtime Read focusses on raising parents' awareness of the importance of reading to children and on encouraging them to read regularly to their children each night. It includes an emphasis on establishing good bedtime routines and on maximizing opportunities throughout the day to engage children in early reading experiences.

Settings can apply for up to 1225 to provide information sessions/ workshops, guidance and materials to encourage parents to support their children's learning at home. It is recognised that while many parents already read to their children regularly, for others, access to quality reading material at home is limited. Use of library services will be a key focus within this theme, together with the provision of high quality books for home-lending.

Settings may wish to:

  • share information about the importance of reading to young children
  • provide guidance to build parents' confidence and skills, for example, modelling story-telling or using information books
  • develop parents' understanding of how early reading experiences will impact on future learning
  • provide access to quality books for Bedtime Reading
  • sign-post parents to useful contacts and sources of relevant information
  • provide opportunities for parents to share their experiences with each other

Within Getting Ready to Learn there is no set programme to follow. Each pre-school setting is best placed to decide which elements would be most relevant to support their parents and children. Guidance material will be provided to support settings in delivering tailor-made programmes to suit their specific needs, including:

  • suggested session outlines and sample presentations
  • practical ideas for workshops
  • advice from Early Years' Education and Health Professionals
  • access to current research
  • sharing of practice across local pre-school settings

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