The State Library of Western Australia believes that literacy transforms lives.

Through Better Beginnings, we want every child to have the wonderful and very important experience of sharing books and stories with the adults in their life right from the time they are born.

Better Beginnings supports parents in reading to children so that they build the early literacy skills they need to become good readers and succeed at school.

44% of working age Australians don’t have the literacy skills they need to cope with the demands of everyday life and work.  As a parent, reading to your young child is one of the most important things you can do to build the skills they need to learn to read and do well at school. The stronger a child’s literacy skills – and the more they are encouraged to read – the better chance they have to explore new ideas and pursue their interests. The more a child reads the more options they have as they grow.

Literacy begins at birth. 75% of brain development happens in a child's first three years of life and by age five, 80% of their language is in place. As a parent, you are your child's first and most important teacher.  Children learn to read from being read to and from watching their parents read.

Better Beginnings aims to develop literacy skills in young children through fostering a love of books and language by:

  • Introducing children to developmentally appropriate books and language activities through the delivery of free books and reading packs to parents of newborns and children beginning kindergarten and preschool.
  • Supporting parents as their child’s most important teacher in modelling early literacy practices through providing interactive literacy and parenting information sessions at libraries and in the community.
  • Raising awareness of the value and pleasure of reading sharing stories with children through the program’s marketing messages, training practitioners delivering the program and lending literacy resources to child care centres, playgroups, schools and other community groups.
  • Linking families to the resources and services that libraries offer people of all ages.

Since its launch in 2005, Better Beginnings has reached over 250,000 families throughout Western Australia. Join us and become a Better Beginnings family today.  Find out more about our programs and Better Beginnings.




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 tell stories in Vietnamese and read to my children in English.  I only started reading English after receiving Better Beginnings. 

One mother reads with her four year old every afternoon after school now.  She said without these books, they would not have any to read. 
Teacher, Remote Community School

It’s wonderful to have support across the community emphasising the importance of reading and language development. 
Community Health Nurse

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