Mum Charlotte reads to son Frederick at their Roseville Chase home.
Mum Charlotte reads to son Frederick at their Roseville Chase home.

Parenting by the book: No question, stories help kids

A KINDY teacher, who read to her children while they were still in the womb, says it's never too early.

It comes after an ABC report questioned whether children who were read bedtime stories had an unfair advantage over their less fortunate peers.

Diane Funke is the director teacher at CNK East Street Kindy in Hervey Bay.

The mother of three has read to her children from before they were born right up until they were at primary school.

She believes there is simply no argument for parents to cut out the traditional bedtime routine just because others aren't doing the same.

Instead, she wants the emphasis to be on getting more families to start reading so everyone has the best start possible.

"If you do make it part of a routine and it's expected then it is easier to do it every day, just like brushing our teeth," Diane said.

Having been in her current role for seven years, Diane believes the more books children are exposed to before their first years of formal education, the less struggles they will experience at school.

"We understand life gets busy but it can simply be 5-10 minutes...there is library access and so many supportive reading based programs out there," she said.

The Fraser Coast Facebook community showed their support for reading to children after an ABC report suggested children who grew up with the practice were more likely to succeed in life.

Following the report an ABC reporter took to social media to question whether "in the interests of levelling the playing field - bedtime stories should also be restricted'.

Mary Ryan's Bookshop and Cafe owner Cate Akaveka said the early years were critical to a child's development and books were an important part of this growth.

"By the time they reach school, if they've been exposed to lots of books, they should be well on their way to independent reading," Cate said.

"It's important to remember that story time is a lovely opportunity for a child to bond with a parent or other adult," she said.

The passionate reader drew upon the words of famous author Mem Fox from her book Reading Magic.

"If parents understood the huge educational benefits and intense happiness brought about by reading aloud to their children and if every parent - and every adult caring for a child - read aloud a minimum of three stories a day to the children in their lives, we could probably wipe out illiteracy in a generation". - Mem Fox.

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