Reading Schemes

Reading Family Information Service

Time to Read

Helping your child get off to a good start with reading when they first start school is very important. Each year the Government supports this national scheme by giving a copy of a well known children's book to 4-5 year olds soon after they start school.

Children will be encouraged to bring the book home and share it with their family and friends. Each book will come with a booklet for parents and carers about reading with your child as well as suggestions for ideas and activities to help them with their reading. There are also more ideas and suggestions if you visit the Time to Read website.


What is Bookstart? 

Bookstart is a national programme that works through locally based organisations to give a free pack of books to babies and young children with guidance materials for parents and carers. It promotes a life-long love of books and is based on the principle that every child in the UK should enjoy and benefit from books from as early an age as possible.

Who is Bookstart for?
Bookstart is for every baby and young child - that's its appeal. We want every baby in the UK to get a Bookstart pack.
Bookstart is for babies 0-18 months
My Bookstart Treasure is for children between 36 and 48 months

How will it benefit my children?
Sharing books with babies and toddlers is a wonderful way to increase language skills and helps children to understand their world. The first five years are the best time for learning to talk and most of a child's language comes from the adults around them. Babies and toddlers who love books begin reading sooner and have a better chance at school. And what is more important, reading is fun for both children and adults!

What if my baby/toddler/child has not received a pack?
Any baby that did not receive a pack at their 7-9 month health check is eligible for a pack. If your baby did not receive a pack, first contact your local library to check whether there is a local scheme. If there is not a scheme operating in your area, contact Booktrust directly on 020 7801 8800. My Bookstart Treasure packs are primarily distributed via nurseries and playgroups. If your child does not go to any pre-school setting, contact your local library and if there is no Bookstart scheme in your area, contact Booktrust.

Booktouch /Bookshine

Booktouch has two packs available: Booktouch Baby (0-2 years old) and Booktouch Toddler (3-4 years old). Each pack has two touch-and-feel books and guidance around sharing books with blind and partially sighted children.

Bookshine is for children who are deaf, there are two packs: Bookshine Baby (0-2 years old) and Bookshine Toddler (3-4 years old). Each pack has two books, a rhyme place mat (with babies signing) and guidance around sharing books. The toddler pack also includes a bookmark showing British Sign Language.  Bookshine & Booktouch

Contact your health visitor for a pack.

For further information about Bookstart, contact your local library or visit Bookstart 

Reading Borough Council Libraries:

Battle Library
Caversham Library
Mobile Library
Palmer Park Library
Reading Central Library
Southcote Library
Toy Library
Whitley Library

To find out more about opening times events and activities please visit. Reading Borough Council - Libraries

Next review date January 2024

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Page last reviewed: 23/01/2023

Contact the Team

Family Information Service 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

SEND Local Offer 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

Adult & Carers Support 0118 937 3747 0118 937 3747
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