Better Beginnings puts research into practice.

Early years research shows that learning to read is the single most important factor in school success and that an early exposure to books and stories substantially contributes to success in early literacy. In developing Better Beginnings, the State Library of Western Australia recognises this early years research and best practice and focuses on working in partnership with families and communities to support children’s early literacy and learning.  

Find out more about the research that informs Better Beginnings.

A longitudinal evaluation of Better Beginnings by Edith Cowan University demonstrates that the program is having a significant positive impact on early reading practices, attitudes and beliefs across Western Australia.

  • 85% of mothers surveyed reported that they read to their child after receiving the Better Beginnings toolkit (only 14% of these mothers reported reading to their child beforehand). 
  • After being involved in Better Beginnings, 62% of mothers reported that their confidence in sharing books with their child had increased.

The powerful impact of Better Beginnings is summed up in these comments from mothers participating in the evaluation:

"If I didn’t get the pack, he might not even own a book."

"I think it was actually really good, like for someone like me that didn’t like reading or couldn’t read very well it was actually quite daunting to read to your own kids. 
You think that they know how bad you read but they don’t. 
That’s good to bring it back to the kids’ lives.

Find out more about how Better Beginnings supports reading to children, book use and library use.



I always knew reading to my kids was important, but this has opened my eyes to how important and how much.

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

I always knew reading to my kids was important, but this has opened my eyes to how important and how much.

I think it’s been a wonderful initiative.  I feel sure it’s going to benefit both the children and parents and develop links with the library.


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.

Better Beginnings gave me confidence. I know reading is an everyday tool and teaching my children will help them be more successful in life.