According to the annual Understanding the Children’s Book Consumer survey, only half of preschoolers are being read every day in the UK. In 2013, 69% of toddlers were read daily, this percentage dropping to only 51% in 2017. A decrease of 20% in four years and a real danger to their good development. When asked why they don’t read to their three to four-year-olds, 19% of parents answered that they lack the energy needed at the end of the day, while 16% of them reported their preschool kids prefers to do something else.
The Publisher Egmont, co-founder of the study, stated that this drop is correlated with the increase of watching online videos daily by almost 20% of kids, warning that such a “steep decline” in reading at this age “signaled a significant threat to child development, with potential long-term social impact”. Of course, parents struggle to balance work and family. However, at a so crucial time of their children’s growth, it’s important they understand the many benefits that reading can bring to both themselves and their kids.
Mother Goose reading written fairy tales, by Gustave Doré (Wikimedia Commons)