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A Picture of Australia's Children 2012

31St October 2012

Most Australian children are doing well in terms of their health and wellbeing, but there is room for improvement for some, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The report, A Picture of Australia's Children 2012, shows almost three-quarters of children aged 0-2 have stories read or told to them regularly and most children achieve above the national minimum standard for reading and numeracy.

"The benefits of reading aloud to young children include the processing and acquisition of language and encouragement of phonological awareness; acquainting children with written language and providing opportunities for infants to begin to develop positive dispositions towards reading (CCCH & The Smith Family 2004; Klass et al. 2003; Makin 2006). The frequency and length of reading sessions are important factors in language development. The frequency of reading to children has been associated with children’s greater vocabulary and higher cognitive ability at 14, 24 and 36 months of age (Raikes et al. 2006)" [p36].

For the full report see