Babies getting a good Bookstart in Notts

Almost all babies in Nottinghamshire are benefiting from the national Bookstart scheme, a new report suggests. The scheme reached 99.4 per cent of all babies living in the county last year, according to the latest figures from Nottinghamshire County Council. Families moving out of the area contribute to the small percentage of babies who were not reached.

And this year, Nottinghamshire’s libraries are continuing to support the scheme which benefits babies, toddlers and young children by presenting them with special packs with two free books. The latest statistics have been reported by the county council’s Culture and Community group.

Peter Gaw, Group Manager for Libraries, Archives and Information, at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “We are delighted to continue to support the Bookstart scheme. Research nationally suggests the scheme promotes the popularity of libraries, reading and borrowing books from libraries among young children.”

The independent charity Booktrust manages Bookstart, a multi-agency partnership which includes local authorities and children’s publishers.

In Nottinghamshire, the key statistics for 2010-11 are as follows:

Bookstart Baby pack – reached 99.4 per cent of all babies born last year (There were 9,496 babies born in total)

Bookstart+ pack – reached 95.5 per cent of all toddlers (18 to 30 months) last year (there were 8,667 toddlers in total )

Bookstart Treasure Chest pack – 98.8 per cent of all three year olds (there were 8,364 in total)

There were also 6,446 Library membership forms returned by health visiting teams from Bookstart baby bags, and 6256 library membership forms returned by health visiting teams from Bookstart+.

For this year, the county council’s library service continues to co-ordinate deliveries to children’s centres across the county, and along with nurseries and through health visitors will gift the Bookstart Baby (for babies to one year old) and Bookstart Treasure (for pre-school children aged 3-4 years) schemes.

And a new Bookstart initiative called the Bookstart Bear Club, aimed at children aged between 0 and 4 years old, is another library membership initiative to increase library membership and usage by families of young children which will be promoted at the county’s libraries this spring.

For more details about the Bookstart scheme, call 01623 553409 or visit its office based at Sutton-in-Ashfield Library.