We recently met with Debbie Hicks who is the research director at the Reading Agency. She does a lot of working looking at the relationship between reading and child wellbeing. She has a passion for promoting reading in the early years of a child’s life and sees a lot of parallels between her work and ours.
There is a lot of evidence to show that reading regularly to a child in the first five years of their life can have a significant impact on their speech and language development. There is an interesting called The Early Catastrophe which looks at the impact of regularly reading and speaking to children in the first three years.
A recent article in the Guardian also explores the critical need for stimulation in a child’s early years. This research was conducted over 20 years and looks at the long-term impact on the child health in later life. The results, presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, showed that cognitive stimulation (eg. reading, speaking and play) from parents at the age of four was the key factor in predicting the development of the brain 15 years later.