First 5 Forever to continue

In today’s 2018/19 budget, the State Government announced $20 million over four years for the successful First 5 Forever initiative — an ongoing partnership between State Library of Queensland, public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres (IKCs) across the state.

This is fantastic news as First 5 Forever continues to grow. In its first three years, almost two million attendances have been recorded at free First 5 Forever activities across Queensland.. Through developing creative strategies that link to families in ways that suit the wide variety of Queensland communities, sessions are being held everywhere from hardware stores to mud pits; remote libraries to public pools.

To celebrate the hard work and results that libraries and IKCs have delivered to achieve this outcome, State Library is delighted to share the most recent report on the delivery of First 5 Forever.

All participating library and IKC staff should be very proud of what First 5 Forever has achieved, as it is the people who work in libraries and IKCs who create and nurture relationships with families and caregivers through encounters and conversations. These connections provide an important source of early literacy support that will continue to benefit Queensland children in years to come.

What families say

The library shows me what I am doing is right and tells me that it is really good to be reading and singing with (my child) at home, so then I feel good when I am doing it.’

‘I’m learning the songs and can sing them at home as well which increases her exposure to words.’

 ‘Facilitators tell us more about why session helps early literacy. Great songs, repetition, community spirit. ‘

 When my baby sees the library he is overjoyed.  When my husband gets home he is surprised at what new things the baby has learnt.’

The report also highlights many key achievements from 2017 and provides examples of the strategies that work for communities and families. With 62 reports and 526 supporting files received from councils, we were unable to include every example so remember that there are plenty more.

We invite your council to create your own blog post on your highlight so we can share and showcase First 5 Forever to a wider audience.

Combined statewide data shows a steep increase in attendances and significant growth in community participation in outreach events plus enduring relationships with community partners. In 2017:

  • over 99 per cent of Queensland’s population covered by 62 participating councils
  • 907,199 attendances recorded at early literacy sessions in libraries and in the community across Queensland (67 per cent increase from 2016)
  • engagement by libraries with 978 community partners (73 per cent increase from 2016)

But don’t hear it from us. Watch to these cuties sum it up.

These results reflect the findings from Evaluating the Impact of the First 5 Forever Initiative (QUT 2017) which revealed that First 5 Forever has achieved strong and enduring impacts across a wide range of measures benefiting Queensland communities. We encourage you to download the First 5 Forever report from www.slq.qld.gov.au/F5F to share with your stakeholders.

State Library is looking forward to continuing to working collaboratively with public libraries and IKCs to deliver strong literacy foundations for Queensland children.
If you have any questions about the report or First 5 Forever please contact us via email or phone (07) 3840 7807.