Teacher reading to student

Celebrating Read Across America Day

It’s never too early to start reading with your little one! See early literacy tips from our experts to help you get started.

March 1, 2021
  • Early Learning and Care
  • Family Engagement
  • Blog
  • Resource
  • Video

At Start Early, we know that reading is fundamental to a child’s development. As we celebrate Read Across America Day, we recognize the importance of making reading with your little ones a priority every day! By reading with your young child, you are not only bonding and inspiring a love of reading, but also developing strong early language and literacy skills that are key to future learning and success.

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No matter how old your child is — from babies and toddlers to preschoolers — these six tips from our experts will help you make the most of storytime:

  1. Start early. Reading to babies is important for healthy brain development and lays the foundation for language and writing skills.
  2. Make reading a part of your daily routine. Establishing a routine helps ensure that reading is part of your daily schedule, such as before naptime and bedtime. It also creates times during the day that both of you can look forward to.
  3. Try board and cloth books for babies. By age 1, most babies can grab books. Board and cloth books are great options for babies who like to touch things and put everything in their mouths.
  4. Take turns with your toddler. By age 2, most toddlers can hold a book and point at the pictures. Let your toddler turn the pages of a board book, and respond when they point or react to the story.
  5. Ask your child questions. As you read to your child, make the experience interactive by asking questions, such as “What do you think will happen next?” or “What was your favorite part of the story? Why?”
  6. Just keep reading. Reading to your child helps them develop a habit of listening to stories and loving books. This is one of the most important pieces of advice make sure you are reading early and often.

One of the most important aspects of building early literacy skills is for parents to read to their young children. Through sharing these moments of being together and parents showing their genuine love for reading, children also get excited for reading which sets the foundation for building lifelong literacy skills.

Danielle Jordan, Senior Master Teacher, Educare Chicago
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See our expert in action!

Check out how Educare Chicago Senior Master Teacher Danielle leads her class in a lesson on perspective and how you can tell the same story
in different ways.


Families living in communities that are under-resourced lack access to the quality early learning and care programs that help level the playing field and close the opportunity gap. With your support, we can provide literacy support for families in greatest need.

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Young child holding book Whether your child is a newborn or about to head to kindergarten, here are some great books to read during storytime:

Other Early Learning Resources:

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