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Government renews Booktrust book-giving grant

Booktrust will retain its existing government grant for bookgifting schemes for the next two years and is to develop a new bookgifting programme aimed at disadvantaged two-year-olds.

The government has confirmed that it will give the charity £6m in 2013-14 and also in the following year, flat with this year's grant. There will not be additional funding for the new scheme.

Booktrust c.e.o. Viv Bird said: "I am grateful to ministers for this vote of confidence in the work of Booktrust, and their recognition of the importance of reading for pleasure . . . I am also excited that the government wants to use our expertise to develop a new scheme targeted at disadvantaged two-year-olds. We look forward to the challenge of delivering a successful scheme—especially as this proposal fits with our wider vision of giving every child the chance to discover the joy of reading and the lifelong benefits that it brings."

The new bookgifting programme will include a book gift targeted at two-year-olds taking up their free early education place. Currently every local authority funds some free early education for low-income two-year-olds and is looking to increase the number they reach ahead of the introduction of the new entitlement to free early education for two-year-olds in September 2013.

Accessible supporting materials will be provided for parents so that they can share books, rhymes and stories with their children in their home.