Bookstart makes a difference!

Bookstart children are not only been better prepared for starting school, but maintain their superiority throughout their first years of primary education.
Professor Barrie Wade and Dr Maggie Moore, 2000

The routine of sharing books, stories, songs and rhymes helps to build pre-literacy skills. It also provides a special time and place for you to build a strong and loving relationship with your child. 


Research by Wade and Moore proves the effectiveness of Bookstart

Even at a very young age, the benefits of Bookstart are clear

Bookstart children of 2- to 3-years-old were compared with a sample of children who didn't receive Bookstart packs.


The findings showed:  


  • 68% of Bookstart children looked at books as one of their favourite activities (21% for non-Bookstart)
  • 75% of Bookstart parents said they bought books as presents for their children (10% for non-Bookstart).


Researchers observed parents sharing a book with their children, again comparing Bookstart families with a non-Bookstart sample.


  • 83% of Bookstart parents read the whole text compared with 34% of non-Bookstart parents
  • 64% talked about the story, compared with only 24%
  • 43% encouraged the child to join in, compared with only 27%
  • 68% encouraged the child to make predictions, compared to 38%.


Bookstart families share more books but these findings also illustrate that the quality of the interaction between the parent and child in enhanced.

Bookstart children enjoy a wonderful start at school

The benefits of a Bookstart pack continue to be felt even once children start school

Professor Barrie Wade and Dr Maggie Moore researched a group of Bookstart children just as they were starting primary school and compared them with a carefully selected group of non-Bookstart children.

Upon starting school, the Bookstart children were significantly ahead of their classmates in all Reading and Number assessments.

At age seven the Bookstart children were still ahead in learning

Professor Barrie Wade and Dr Maggie Moore, 2000

Bookstart Corner

A recent independent evaluation of Bookstart's targeted programme, Bookstart Corner, shows an overwhelmingly positive response to the programme and highlights the impact the scheme is having in encouraging families to share stories with their young children.

The research showed that after taking part, parents are more confident in many aspects of sharing stories, such as using puppets and toys to act out the story, singing rhymes, discussing the story with their child and looking forward to reading with their child. Both families and practitioners saw the impact, with the majority of children’s centre staff (62%) saying they believed families were playing and engaging as a normal part of daily life after the programme.

The value of the programme was further demonstrated in additional research carried out by Booktrust with children’s centre practitioners. One practitioner commented:

‘The Bookstart corner programme has been a fundamental tool in reaching the most hard to reach families in our area. The programme has not only enabled workers to explore the habits of book sharing, songs and rhymes but it has also enabled workers to extend and discuss issues around routine, speech and language etc. This has subsequently led to families exploring other programmes in the home or at the centre. A very simple but effective tool.’


Find out more and download the full report

Bookstart outcomes

Did you know children who receive Bookstart packs are more likely to enjoy books and visit their library?