From little things...

In 2004, six communities and local libraries in Western Australia - Gosnells, Mandurah, Midland, Carnarvon, Halls Creek and Kalgoorlie - and just over 1,000 families were involved in the Better Beginnings pilot program which was later extended to include Armadale, Rockingham, Bayswater, East Pilbara and Ashburton. 

Better Beginnings reading packs were provided through libraries and community health nurses who gave them to parents bringing their babies to their six week health check. To build on this, Better Beginnings outreach tool boxes with books, puppets and literacy games were lent by libraries to community groups. A number of libraries established family reading centres and began regular rhyme time and story time sessions for families.

An independent evaluation of the pilot by Edith Cowan University demonstrated the program's positive impact on the attitudes, behaviours and practices of parents around early literacy. 

Better Beginnings gave me and other mothers a new insight into reading with our children...the program showed us how to have fun reading and teaching our children.
Parent, Joondalup Library, 2006

Funded by the State Government of Western Australia, The Department of Regional Development and Lands through Royalties for Regions, Western Australian Local Governments and Rio Tinto, Better Beginnings has reached more than 600,000 families. Every local government in Western Australia offers the program to families in their communities - from providing the free books and reading packs to running regular baby rhyme time sessions in libraries. 

...big things grow

Today, Better Beginnings reaches over 60,000 families each year throughout Western Australia from Wyndham to Esperance.  2010 saw the program expand when, as a result of a successful pilot, free reading packs and other resources were made available through local libraries to four and five year old children starting formal schooling. 



As a teacher of over 30 years, I have witnessed the Better Beginnings program helping to transform children’s lives and given them greater potential to grow, learn and develop, perform well at school and succeed in later life.
Councillor David Lagan, Deputy Mayor, City of Stirling

…I never thought of reading to my baby.  Better Beginnings has really boosted my confidence.