A QUT study has found reading to children for 20 minutes a day can significantly improve their literacy and numeracy skills at school.

But this is not the only thing it can improve.

Madolline Gourley reports.


It’s long been considered important to read to children, but this new study highlights just why.

Reading to a child, prior to formal schooling, increases his or her intelligence.

But it also fosters relationships and other crucial life skills, according to QUT’s Dr Susan Walker.

Dr Susan Walker, QUT: “I think the sitting with the parent, for a period of time, engaging with the book, it’s building those skills children need to be able to engage with school work later on.”

Parents are not the only ones who should read to children.

Dr Walker says other family members and teachers are encouraged to do the same.

Annabel Park, Early Childcare Teacher: “We have story time every day. Yeah, I think an early childhood program without story time would be missing something very important.”

The storytelling program doesn’t only have educational benefits for children – it helps teachers too.

Annabel Park, Early Childcare Teacher: “It’s really lovely seeing when they’re really engaged in a book, and getting involved in the book, and we read it several times, so that they know it and they can read along with it as well. It’s a lovely, feeling, yeah.”

At most day care centres, reading isn’t a formal requirement, but it’s encouraged. And centres don’t limit the types of reading that children do here.

Annabel Park, Early Childcare Teacher: “We read lots of different sorts of texts. We create our own books, we read things on the internet, we research on the internet. We give them things like newspapers and magazines sometimes; there’s a whole range of things. We read signs, everything like that.”

Dr Walker says there’s no such thing as too much reading.

Madolline Gourley, QUT News.