Early language and literacy development begins at birth and continues through everyday social interactions and is driven by rich relationships with parents and caregivers. Through talking, playing, reading, telling stories, and singing children develop the skills needed to communicate effectively.
Children learn to communicate from birth. Infants learn to communicate by crying, making sounds and using their facial expressions. As they grow older they begin to communicate with gestures and words. Being responsive to a child’s attempts at communication encourages communication and fosters an understanding of how communication works.
According to Zero to Three, early language and literacy (reading and writing) development begins in the first three years of life and is closely linked to a child’s earliest experiences with books and stories. From birth to age three, children are beginning to learn about print, writing and how spoken language is reflected in symbols and pictures. Providing opportunities for children to explore books, reading to the children every day, playing, drawing, singing and interacting continues to build their understanding.