Early Reading –
Our aim at Little Hands Daycare is to promote a life-long love of reading for every child who spends time at our settings. Using the Development Matters 2021, it is important to point out the two main stages of early reading.
The two stages of early reading are:
Language Comprehension – starting from birth, and developing when children are exposed to lots of language as they begin to learn new words based on the world around them. Overtime, as children hear more language they begin to understand more but are gaining lots of understanding of language from books, stories, rhymes and songs.
Word reading – When a child develops the skill of word reading (this is taught and developed much later on), children master how to pronounce words – the correct term for this skill is (decoding). Decoding helps children to pronounce trickier words but they will also be able to develop speedier recognition of more familiar words.
How do we promote Early Reading at Little Hands Daycare?
Our curriculum is full of opportunities to support children’s early reading skills.
- Within each age group, we have a range of fiction and non-fiction books available for children to access. There are a wide range of stories to capture children’s interests including a range of books in different areas of the provision! For example, the children are able to cook in the home corner with recipe books
- Children are able to sit down in a quiet and cosy space, they can choose to sit with a friend, a practitioner or by themselves
- Our staff are excellent in modelling good speaking and listening skills
- We have a range of print with lots of familiar symbols around areas of the setting
- There is an opportunity for children within Pre-School to recognise their own name
- Parents and families are able to take part in our home library scheme which provides all parents and families who attend Little Hands Daycare the chance to access a wide range of stories (please speak to your child’s key person for more details about this)
- Children are able to access regular Talk Boost sessions in small groups with stories designed to enhance communication and compliment the Talk Boost programme
- Daily singing, rhymes and story sessions
How can you support your child’s love of reading at home?
Here are our top tips for promoting children’s early reading skills at home:
- Enjoy and engage in lots of conversations with your child – spend time with your child simply talking and listening to them more, listen to songs in the car or use this time when travelling to and from places to talk about the weather, alphabet, places you can see or anything which will develop your child’s vocabulary
- Avoid baby talk – stick to accurate language as this builds on literacy development. It is great to use the real name of objects as opposed to objects which have a nickname. Often, when visiting different places such as a library, museum, local park there are lots more opportunities for varied and rich language
- Bring back the bedtime story – Even if this is just for a few minutes each day, reading to your child daily will definitely help to build their vocabulary
- Take part in Home Learning Challenges – At Little Hands Daycare, we encourage lots of home learning opportunities and send out regular challenges which will support different areas of learning and development. If you take part in different activities with your child, there will be more opportunities to expand your child’s vocabulary. For example, when making playdough with your child at home there are lots of opportunities to introduce language such as capacity, following instructions, talking about the texture, weighing out the ingredients etc.
- Encouragement – offering lots of praise when children develop their interest in reading or use new words to describe things is brilliant and will encourage them to develop the life long love of reading
- Switch off the tv, radio and phones – this is another great tip as this provides the opportunity and supportive environment to really listen to your child.
(Inspired by waytogrow.org)
Other useful resources:
There are lots of great simple activities you can use at home to support your child’s Literacy development. We have found a great website, with lots of these activities included. The Words for life website is packed full of activity ideas suitable to your child’s age. We would love to see your child take part in some of these activities, please share any photographs via your child’s online learning journey account.
Letters and Sounds
For some of our Preschool parents, you may be interested in the second stage of reading. Throughout your child’s time in Preschool they will begin to take part in Phonics activities. The most important phase which we support your child to understand here at Little Hands Daycare is Phase 1 of the Letters and Sounds programme.
In this ongoing phase children will be learning to:
- Have fun with sounds
- Listen carefully
- Develop their vocabulary
- Speak confidently to you, other adults and other children
- Tune into sounds
- Listen and remember sounds
- Talk about sounds
- Understand that spoken words are made up of different sounds
It is so important to develop children’s listening skills first, as by developing their listening skills, children will be able to develop and expand their vocabulary. The more languages they are able to gain in their vocabulary, they will be able to develop good literacy skills as they can understand more languages.