Family Reading to Young Children
Reading to young children promotes language acquisition and is linked with literacy development and, later on, with achievement in reading comprehension and overall success in school.105 The percentage of young children read to daily by a family member is one indicator of how well young children are being prepared for school.
Indicator Ed1: Percentage of children ages 3–5 who were read to every day in the last week by a family member by mother's education, selected years 1993–2007
NOTE: Data are available for 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2005, and 2007. Estimates are based on children ages 3–5 who have yet to enter kindergarten. Children without mothers in the home are not included in estimates.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Household Education Surveys Program.
- Fifty-five percent of children ages 3–5 who were not yet in kindergarten were read to daily by a family member in 2007. This rate is slightly higher than the rate in 1993 (53 percent), but the rate fluctuated in intervening years.
- In 2007, 74 percent of children whose mothers had at least a bachelor's degree were read to every day. In comparison, daily reading occurred for 55 percent of children whose mothers had some college education, 39 percent of children whose mothers had a high school diploma or equivalent but no further education, and 31 percent of children whose mothers had less than a high school diploma.
- A higher percentage of White, non-Hispanic and Asian, non-Hispanic children than either Black, non-Hispanic or Hispanic children were read to every day in 2007. Sixty-seven percent of White, non-Hispanic children, 60 percent of Asian, non-Hispanic children, 35 percent of Black, non-Hispanic children, and 37 percent of Hispanic children were read to every day by a family member.
- In 2007, the percentage of children in families with incomes 200 percent or more of the poverty level who were read to daily by a family member (64 percent) was higher than the percentages of children in families with incomes below the poverty level (40 percent) and those in families with incomes 100–199 percent of the poverty level (50 percent).
- A higher percentage of children from two-parent households than children from single-parent households were read to every day in 2007. Fifty-nine percent of children in two-parent households and 43 percent of children living with one parent were read to every day.
- The percentages of children who were read to daily by a family member in the Northeast and the Midwest (59 percent each) were not statistically different from those in the West (54 percent) and the South (52 percent) in 2007.
ED1 HTML Table