Skip to main content

Literacy: Finance

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what funding (a) is and (b) is planned to be made available for initiatives that encourage parents to assist their children in learning to read. (154017)

The Department is currently funding Booktrust £8.7 million to deliver Bookstart and £1.22 million to deliver Booktime in 2007-08.

Bookstart delivers book packs to babies aged between six to nine months, 18 months and three years. By encouraging parents and carers to become more actively involved with their child's learning and development through the sharing of books, Bookstart seeks to improve children's communication, language and literacy skills and to improve children's personal, social and emotional development.

The new Booktime initiative will enable every child entering a reception class in autumn 2007 to receive a free copy of FunnyBones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. Booktime promotes reading for pleasure and encourages parents and carers to read aloud to their children and help foster a love of reading at this key stage in their child's education and development.

The new Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills is responsible for family literacy, language and numeracy which has been a national initiative since 1994. This initiative is designed to enable parents and their children to improve their literacy and numeracy skills together. That Department will be developing a family literacy, language and numeracy programme (with a focus on literacy and numeracy) for parents of children aged 0 to four, based on the early years foundation stage. It will also be developing information packs for use by parents with literacy, language and numeracy skills needs to help them maximise the potential of the free books to be given to five and 11-year-old children in the 2007 autumn term.