Mayor Kerry Hayes said the program and associated funding has benefited families with children and libraries alike.
‘Council was glad to be advised of the continuation of the First 5 Forever funding from the Queensland Government,’ he said.
‘Over four years, funding for our region amounts to some $166,000 and our libraries’ number of children’s sessions have increased by more than 50 percent between 2015 and 2017.
‘As a result, libraries recorded an extra 3024 people through the doors – an 80 percent increase.
‘Council’s library staff work closely with local organisations and community groups to promote early childhood literacy, and outreach programs have been established to better serve communities that don’t have regular children’s programs.
‘The funding enabled staff to access training to enhance knowledge and skills in implementing and promoting programs to assist parents to read, sing, talk and play with their children every day.’
The First 5 Forever initiative led by the Queensland Government is delivered to young families in partnership with public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres across the state.
It not only provides families with the opportunity to take their children to a safe location to listen to stories, socialise and take part in fun activities, it also provides them with the resources to extend their knowledge through library programs.
The data indicates that people are eager to take part in the programs and council’s library staff are constantly working towards providing new programs for families.
For more information visit your local library or the First 5 Forever website.