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As a parent, you know that a key part of your child’s development relates to their numeracy skills and literacy skills, so it's important to do what you can to encourage it. That said, did you know that the bedtime story you read each night helps your child greatly in this regard? As such, it's what we will focus on in this article.

Why Is Literacy So Important? 

Being able to read and write is central to being a productive adult, no matter where you live in the world. Without strong skills in this area, it would be very hard for them to function in society, as most things activities require you to read or write something. Sadly, standards are not where they should be for many children across Australia.

What Percentage Of Australians Have Low Literacy? 

According to a Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), just over 40% of 15-year-old Australian students were unable to read to a proficient standard. This was the case even before the misery of Covid lockdowns, so it’s clearly something that needs addressing. 

As childcare courses  show, literacy is improved by reading to children, as it helps to improve memory, listening & thinking skills, as well as their vocabulary and imagination. Rather than reading a book simply being an enjoyable pastime for kids, it helps literacy in many ways.

Reading to your child helps them to:

  • Identify & recognise the shapes & names of letters
  • Be aware of phonology (the sounds of letters)
  • Understand reading occurs from left to right
  • Associate the text with the featured illustration
  • Develop a prolonged attention span
  • Experience the flow of a story

Whether you’re a parent or a teacher’s aide, reading to children also helps them to form emotional connections with the story’s characters and themes. Experienced on a regular basis, the learning they get builds and compounds, hopefully resulting in a love of reading that extends into adulthood. 

So, In Addition To A Regular Bedtime Story, What Else Can You Do?

In terms of parental guidance, repetition is key when it comes to reading to your child, but is there anything else you can do? Actually, there is, and all it involves is getting a little creative.

You can…

  • Read as regularly as possible (within reason). Stories aren’t just for bedtime, so you should try and encourage reading throughout the day. Kids are often lacking in attention due to the busy lives of their parents, so you might be surprised at just how receptive your child is to an impromptu story here and there!
  • Mix up the genres. Your child will almost certainly have a favourite genre, but it does pay to mix things up a little, as it creates new neural pathways and an understanding of just how varied literature can be. Mixing up the themes also helps to keep things fresh and mentally stimulating. 
  • Try adding some props. There's nothing more likely to get their young minds engaged than props that go along with the story you're reading. Maybe have a search around for suitable props that can add an extra layer of interaction and involvement for the listener. 
  • Don't be afraid to read a book over & over. Those favourite books your child loves will likely get read over and over again, but that’s not a bad thing. They want that book because it means something to them, perhaps reminding them of fun times you’ve had with them in the past. While you might want to tackle new books, revisiting the classics won’t hurt.

Get the Support You Need With OCA Online Education Courses 

Raising a child is an awesome responsibility, and it certainly has its challenges. The great news is that if you’re having issues with literacy or any part of parenting, help is at hand in the form of CPD Endorsed online education courses like our Improve Your Child’s Literacy Skills course. Video-based and modular, our training is easy to fit around your obligations and really easy to digest.

We’re proud to say that our students see ours as the best online courses  around, but you don’t have to take their word for it. Simply take a look at our student study demo, and you’ll quickly see that what we offer is engaging, next-level learning that’s a world away from boring text-based options.

Childcare is just one of over 20 different industries covered by our course library, which is something you can see for yourself by visiting us today at There you’ll also see that all of our courses come with 1-to-1 mentoring and can be paid for using our easy payment options.

However, if you have any questions you’d like us to answer before you enrol, we’re happy to oblige. Just call us on 1300 611 404 or email us at [email protected], and we’ll get back to you without delay.

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