READER: Thomas Sellars borrows out a book at Kingaroy library after story time as Granny G looks on.
READER: Thomas Sellars borrows out a book at Kingaroy library after story time as Granny G looks on. Jessica McGrath

STORY TIME: Fostering a love of reading for under fives

EVERY week South Burnett parents take their children along to the story time and rhyme time library sessions.

The outing is an important part of Granny G's Family Day Care owner Gerry Scaife's schedule.

"Reading is important for their language skills, they're having to sit and listen, learning how to say the word through the repetition,” she said.

Granny G's day care children go along to the sessions to sing along to the rhymes with the other children, do craft and most importantly, listen to the librarian assistants read stories.

"They gain recognition through not just seeing the word, but also having it read to them,” Ms Scaife said.

She teaches the children how to borrow out the library books, so they read outside the story time sessions.

"The more reading you do with them, it broadens their mind and extends on their world,” Ms Schaife said.

The story time and rhyme time sessions run in the South Burnett libraries are part of a state government initiative called the First 5 Forever program.

Arts minister Leeanne Enoch said the funding for First 5 Forever was recently renewed in the Queensland government's 2018-19 budget, to continue to help children establish developmental and literacy competencies during the critical early years of life.

"The program underpins our government's aim to connect communities, encourage creative thinking, and give our children the skills and education they need to succeed," she said.

First 5 Forever is linked to a statewide network of more than 320 public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres, with more than 900,000 participants in 2017 alone, and library staff undertaking training to advance their knowledge of early literacy development, Ms Enoch said.

"Literacy is one of the keys to learning and the First 5 Forever will continue to unlock enormous potential for the young Queenslanders,” she said.