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Clause 2

Part of Education and Skills Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 5th February 2008.

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Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Minister of State (Schools and Learners), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools and Learners) 4:45 pm, 5th February 2008

I certainly agree with the hon. Lady on that very important point. No age is too early to start reading and looking at books with babies and young children, not just for the sake of the literature, but for  the sake of creating special moments of bonding between parent and child. For young children and babies to have that bonding experience with parents, to learn to concentrate, and to enjoy listening to a story are all really important formative experiences. That is certainly something that children’s centres and other parent support services are trying to engender among parents who may not have had that experience when they were growing up. In this, the national year of reading, I hope that the message is going out to use public libraries and other ways of borrowing books, which are sometimes available through pre-schools, nurseries and children’s centres.