Nursery World Awards 2013: Initiatives - Working with Parents

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Winner: Bookstart Corner, Booktrust, London

Fun, child-focused activities in the new Bookstart Corner programme aim to encourage children and their parents to begin a life-long love of books.

The scheme is aimed at families living in social or economic disadvantage and builds on the strengths of the popular Bookstart scheme.

It works with families to increase reading frequency with children, supporting parental confidence around reading with their child and increasing the child's enjoyment of reading. It is a flexible programme, which can be adapted to local need and consists of four sessions delivered by children's centres. Families receive free high-quality resources and the support of a local practitioner.

Judges commented that the programme was influential in empowering practitioners as well as parents. Parents are helped to access services such as children's centres and libraries, and gain increased confidence in sharing books, stories and rhymes with their children. Positive interactions between parents and their children are encouraged to support the development of early language with the hope that participating families will develop a daily book, story and rhyme-sharing habit with their children.

Bookstart Corner also enhances practitioners' knowledge of how stories, books and rhymes support a child's early learning and development. Practitioner training is regarded as an essential element, demonstrating that if you invest in practitioners' skills, provide them with high-quality resources and work together in partnership to reach families that need it the most then positive outcomes will be achieved.

The frequency of parents reading with their child has increased by a substantial amount after taking part in Bookstart Corner. Child book ownership has also increased and parents are more likely to participate in local services.

Highly commended

'Starting Out, Together it's Child's Play', Children and Young People's Integrated Services, Poole, Dorset

The core aims of this project are to improve the home learning environment and to help children to become ready for school. The project recognises that it is often a lack of knowledge that causes some parents the biggest challenge as they bring their children up. Sharing a basic knowledge of children's brain development with parents has had a huge impact on their motivation to engage with the scheme. Throughout the project, parents gain ideas on how to interact and communicate with their children.


Activity and Support Bags to Home, Woodlands Nursery, Altrincham

Children's Choice Nursery, Whitley Bay

Kiddlywinks Day Nursery, Penrith, Cumbria

Young Mums Will Achieve Initiative, Fit 'n' Fun Kids, Falmouth, Cornwall


Open to services or projects that support parents, enhance their understanding of their children's learning and development, or improve children's outcomes through involvement and co-operation with families.

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