The National Literacy Trust (NLT) is urging more fathers to get involved with their children’s reading, after a survey revealed that only a third of dads said they have the most influence over their child’s literacy development.
The NLT’s report of 1,000 parents of children aged three to five, entitled "Early Literacy Practices at Home in 2014: Third Annual Survey of Parents", revealed that 36.6% of dads said they were the most influential person when it came to their child’s literacy. However, 71.5% of the mothers surveyed said the same thing.
Jonathan Douglas, director of the NLT, said: “Whilst it is promising that over one third of fathers felt they have most influence over their child’s early literacy development, there is a clear opportunity for more dads to share stories with their children from an early age.
“Dads and mums are both key reading role models for their children and by supporting each other they will help boys in particular to develop the literacy skills that will transform their future.”
The report also revealed a reading gap between the sexes because parents surveyed said 70.6% of their pre-school daughters read stories daily, compared to 61.1% of their sons.
Parents were also more likely to say there were no barriers to a child developing literacy skills if they had a girl (50.1%) compared to if they had a boy (43.1%).
The NLT is urging fathers to get more involved with their children’s early literacy development, with support from high-profile author David Walliams and education secretary Nicola Morgan.
Morgan said: “Every child should read widely and read well, giving them the best opportunity to get on in life. I would encourage everyone to spend a few minutes a day reading with their child.”