Barnardos. (2021). Building Little Libraries: Developing the Library Area in Early Learning and Care. https://knowledge.barnardos.ie/handle/20.500.13085/79
A child’s language development depends on them experiencing a rich environment of words,
sounds, rhythm, and verbal and non-verbal interactions from the day they are born. Becoming
literate – that is, learning about the print forms of language and using them to communicate
– also begins at birth when babies and young children are provided with a ‘language rich’
environment, where adults read with them and give them books.
The experiences children have in their early years have dramatic and long-term effects on
how they develop and learn. Talking, singing and reading with young children has a significant
impact on the development of their brains. Research has found that children who are read
with frequently by different people, have access to a large number and a broad range of books,
and who use a library regularly score highest on the measures of early literacy.1
One of the key roles of early learning and care provision is to create an environment that is
rich in opportunities for babies and young children to experience language and literacy.
This resource gives guidance to early childhood educators on how best to support
children’s literacy experiences through the provision of a library or book area in the setting,
complemented and further enhanced by linking with and accessing the services of your local
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