Storytime Foundation delivers programmes throughout New Zealand, including Rotorua, to improve attachment and early language development and to increase parental confidence in raising successful children by providing books, activities, positive messages and other resources.
Books for Babies: First 1000 Days is one of these programmes and is a collaborative venture between many health, education, libraries, marae and justice providers and aims to reach as many families in need as possible.
The Foundations vision is New Zealand children thriving in supportive home environments. This is achieved by supporting families who experience adverse circumstance – from helping them learn how to read to their baby and toddler and demonstrating the benefits of engaging with the baby through talking, reading, singing and playing.
As a result, parents/caregivers can learn more about their child’s development, especially the frontal lobe activity which is critical in the early stages of child development.
Rotorua Trust has previously supported the Storytime Foundation as part of the former Bay Brighter Futures collective and over the past year the programme delivery extended from 262 to 680 local families.
The programme directly aligns with the Trust’s health priority funding area, and the first 1000 days of a child’s life.
Rotorua Trust Chairman, Stewart Edward says the project is designed to work collaboratively with a multitude of organisations to improve outcomes for families by encouraging and teaching parents and caregivers to bond, read, talk and engage with their children, which also helps to develop confidence and parenting skills.
It is anticipated the new programme will benefit up to 1,000 children aged 0 to 3 and at least 1,000 caregivers in Rotorua.