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Early years programme reaches more new families.
PlayTalkRead, the Scottish Government's early years campaign, has reached a record number of new families in 2015, the Children's Minister Aileen Campbell revealed today.
Visits to the website over the year were 179,991 – an increase of 46 per cent on 2014 and a 54 per cent increase in new visitors to the website. Benji, Bessie and Bertie, the PlayTalkRead buses, went to ten per cent more venues in 2015 and more than 27,000 people visited the buses.
This year the buses undertook a new programme of visits that ran alongside the general roadshow delivery, working with targeted groups who would benefit most from the service. Of those who visited the buses, 77 per cent have been introduced to new methods for playing, talking or reading with their children and 83 per cent did something different following a visit to the bus.
This year was the first full year that Bertie, the sensory play bus for children with disabilities or emotional and behavioural difficulties, was part of the campaign following a successful pilot in 2014. It visited seven local authorities and parents who visited the bus reported it helped their children increase in confidence, develop speech and build relationships.
Ms Campbell said:
"It's fantastic so many children and families got involved in PlayTalkRead this year either through the website or visiting the buses. I'm particularly pleased the campaign is reaching families who may need more support to help their children's learning and that the sensory bus is having such a positive effect on families who use it.
"The early years are so important in child development and playing, talking and reading with young children can give them the skills and abilities that will make it easier for them to keep learning throughout their lives. As a mum of two wee boys I've used PlayTalkRead to get ideas on how to turn daily tasks into fun activities that can help their development.
"Encouraging literacy and numeracy in the early years and parental involvement in children's education are crucial in raising attainment. That's why we are investing in initiatives like PlayTalkRead, Bookbug and Read, Write, Count which all encourage parents to play a part in their child's learning."
The PlayTalkRead buses are free for families to visit. Experienced play workers on board lead activities demonstrating simple and low-cost ideas on how to incorporate playing, talking and reading with children into daily routines.
For more information about PlayTalkRead, including the bus timetable, visit the website: www.playtalkread.scot
Website figures are taken from 1/1/15 – 14/12/15
Bus figures are taken from 1/1/15 – 13/12/15