Early Literacy


Bathurst Library is dedicated to supporting children on their literacy journey and encouraging a love of books and reading from birth. Below are some resources and programs on offer at the library, as well as some further resources for additional support.

Library Programs

Baby Rhyme Time

Wednesday’s, 10.30am during school term.

Best suited for small children aged 6 months - 3 years.

Babies and toddlers will love listening to a story, rhymes and songs, with the chance to dance, move and use hand actions. Carers are encouraged to be fully involved in this session encouraging their little ones along the way. We take a few minutes to explore our sensory bags, full of items to touch, feel, read and play with as an extension of early literacy


Tuesday’s during school term

Best suited to ages 3-5yrs.

With a larger focus on books our storytimes use popular themes to engage children in reading and stories. Preschoolers will love listening to stories, singing along to familiar songs and rhymes, as well as the chance to dance and mingle with other kids.

1000 Books Before School

Ongoing Reading Program using our free app Beanstack

Enjoy reading 1,000 books with your little ones!

Research shows that reading to your child from birth helps them to develop important skills and prepare them for schooling down the track.

Join our 1000 Books Before School program and spend time sharing books with your little one while building early literacy skills.

The concept is simple. Read a book (any book) to your newborn, infant, and/or toddler. The goal is to have read 1,000 books before your child starts school. Every book your child reads, listens to, read at storytime or at day care counts!

The program finished once your child reaches 1000 Books or starts Kindergarten.


Physical Resources

Grab ‘N’ Go Early Literacy Kits

Introducing new themed kits focusing on building early literacy skills and enjoyment of playing, singing and reading with your child. Each kit looks a little bit different. They may include puppets, games, toys, sensory items, however, each kit will include a book and a tip sheet on how to make the most of reading, singing and playing with the kit at home and with your child.

View all our Grab and Go Early Learners Kits on our catalogue

Download a printable copy of our Grab N Go Kit Brochure(PDF, 1MB)

Decodable Reader Kits

Decodable books are simple books written for beginner readers. Each level introduces new letters and sounds for children to learn as they start and progress on their reading journey. Decodable Readers Australia books are designed to align with the requirements of the Australian Curriculum.

We currently have 21 kits available in three series. Early Reader’s, Main Fiction and Non-Fiction. Each series has books in different levels. Each level introduces new sounds and sequences. More information about the levels can be found on Decodable Readers Australia website.

View our collection of Decodable Readers

Decodable Readers Australia

Online Resources

Storybox Library

Storybox Library is an educational website and app, created for children to view stories by local authors and illustrators, being read aloud by fantastic, predominantly Australian and New Zealand, storytellers.


Additional Resources

Raising Literacy Australia

Bathurst Library Community Directory. Here you can find support services, school and day care information as well play group info. 

Importance of Early Literacy

Research indicates that 90% of a child’s brain develops in the first five years of life.[1] During these early years the importance of engaging children in reading, talking, singing, and playing is critical to developing the literacy and emotional skills needed for children to succeed in later learning.

It is during the first 5 years of a child brain development that neural connections and pathways that govern overall learning ability start to form.3 This development is critical for future learning as well as social, emotional, and physical wellbeing.  

Public Libraries play a crucial role in promoting early literacy in the communities they serve, building a love of reading and books, and supporting parents to engage in at home learning. 


Australian Council for Educational Research. (2023). Developing bright minds from birth to ages 12.

The Insight Centre (2023). Learning Starts at the Local Library: The Role of NSW Public Libraries in Solving the State’s Early Literacy Crisis. The Insight Centre.


[1] Australian Council of Research (2023). Developing bright minds from birth to ages 12.