Early Reading Together Programme – For Parents and Caregivers of Young Children

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Supporting parents who want to give their child the best environment at home for developing language and early reading skills is the Early Reading Together ® Programme. 

Early childhood services can apply for funding to provide the programme

In 2022/2023 the Ministry of Education is providing funding to early childhood services that offer the ERT® programme.

If your application is successful, the Ministry will provide:

  • Funding of $3,000 to the early childhood service to deliver the programme (3 x workshops) for parents and whānau.
  • The Early Reading Together® programme resources.
  • Facilitator training (if you have not delivered this programme before or have a first-time facilitator)

Contact the Ministry of Education and ask for an application form. Email: [email protected]

This programme has a sound basis in research and practice. The New Zealand Ministry of Education and the Office of Early Childhood Education both validate its quality. It has had amazing results over several decades in helping children to develop a love of language and reading for school success and success in life.

Early childhood centres and home-based agencies that provide the programme are those that recognise that parents play a major role in influencing children’s learning outcomes.

The programme involves parents attending 3 short workshops of 1 hour and 15 minutes spread over 3 weeks.  At these workshops parents have opportunity to find out how learning language and reading seems from a child’s point-of-view and what they can do to best help their child.

Participation in the programme is open to all parents and caregivers and does not depend on a parent’s reading ability, language, culture, or socio-economic background. 

It is a friendly and enjoyable programme that is very manageable for ECE services to provide and enable parents to obtain the right information and insights for enhancing their child’s language and early reading development.

Key points about Early Reading Together

Early Reading Together® is:

reading with infant
  • designed to enhance the support which parents/whānau provide for their children’s language and literacy development
  • a programme comprising 3 workshops over 3 weeks (each workshop lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes)
  • designed to support families from diverse language/literacy, cultural, educational and socio-economic backgrounds
  • practical, user friendly, enjoyable and manageable
  • effective when it is implemented as described in the fully-scripted Workshop Leader’s Handbook
  • based on a sound theoretical and research framework.

Early Reading Together® helps parents to:

  • Understand more fully the ways in which talking with young children and reading to them (from the time they are babies) helps the child’s language and literacy development
  • Explore additional ways of supporting children’s language and reading development when they are reading stories and rhymes, and singing songs together
  • Find out more about books, rhymes and songs which are suitable for young children and enjoyable for them
  • Borrow books and other resources from libraries, and access support from librarians.

Go to the ERT® website for more information and to order your Kit.

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