Introduction to First 5 Forever Professional Development

Sign in desk at First Five Forever forum

Last Friday, 29 November 2019, State Library hosted 68 library staff from 17 Councils across Queensland to introduce them to First 5 Forever.

Hard back picture books display

This full day workshop was a refresher for staff who were new or revisiting the principles of First 5 Forever, while providing foundational skills to staff new to facilitating early literacy sessions in libraries.

The program provided a good frame for the questions of ‘what’ and ‘why’ for First 5 Forever. Library staff were most astounded to learn that by the time a child is three years old, 90% of their brain has been developed1. This was bolstered by learning about the value of First 5 Forever including:
• baby, toddler and story time sessions,
• outreach strategies,
• information toolkits,
• local steering and advisory groups,
• professional development, and
• central coordination and evaluation.

Library staff picking up and squeezing black sphere props

Highlights from the day included sharing tips and tricks from one State Library of Queensland’s experienced storytellers, demonstrating the foundations of facilitation and the magic of stories. The group participated in a lunch time activity to identify a child-friendly scavenger hunt clue that encourages talking, singing, reading or playing between a parent/caregiver and a child to inspire connection to what they can find at their library.

State Library was pleased to host visitors from public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres across Queensland and look forward to sharing more professional development opportunities with the network in the months to come.

1. Source: Neuroscience and early childhood development: summary of selected literature and key messages for parenting (Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs, 2010).