Skip to main content

Early Literacy

Learning starts at birth!

It's never too early to think about literacy. Research on infant brain development shows that a child’s experience in the early years directly impacts later development and learning. With strong literacy skills, children are more likely to go further and succeed in school, find future employment, have a higher income and be healthier and happier throughout life. Bayside Library Service can support your young children in developing their early literacy skills that will create a foundation for success in later life. 


Visiting the Library with your baby

One of the easiest places to visit when you have a brand-new baby is the Library. It’s a great place to spend time, connect with the community, and get reading advice. The Sandringham Library is co-located with the Maternal Child Health Centre. We love seeing babies at the Library,so stop by and say hello!

Here are some tips for your visit:

  • Park your stroller inside the library while you visit
  • Find comfortable seating in the children’s section
  • Browse our collection of books, movies, music and digital content
  • Breastfeed (ask staff about a private space to nurse or pump) and change your baby
  • Bring a coffee and connect with other parents
  • Get book recommendations from library staff and advice about reading with your baby
  • Relax knowing you’re in a safe and welcoming space


My first library card
Begin a love of reading that lasts a lifetime with your child's very own Bayside Library card. A new library card has been designed just for young ones. 



Baby Book Bags
Reading to your baby is very important and Bayside Library wants to help you get started. Each baby born in Bayside receives a bag containing two board books and early literacy resources. This is handed out at your first Maternal and Child Health visit.

Reading together is the single most effective way to help children become proficient readers.

  • Read daily, at least once a day.
  • Read for any duration. 
  • Short, positive interactions are more important than long ones.
  • Read favourite books over and over again. 
  • Repetition deepens understanding.
  • Read together and talk about what you read.


Reading Together
Sharing stories with your child is a wonderful way to share they joy of learning new words and sounds. This is just a taste of so many great books for 3-5 year old's published every year.

Books to read together


Baby Rhyme Time
Baby Rhyme Time is designed for children aged 0 to 18-months and introduces your child to language, literature and the library. By exposing your child to a wide variety of the best books available and making reading an everyday part of life you will lay the foundations for a lifelong love of reading. Stimulate your child's brain development, speech and senses with nursery rhymes and fingerplays that you can enjoy at home. You will also meet other parents and caregivers. 

Baby Rhyme Time is held during school terms, at 10:30am.

Brighton Library : every Friday

Beaumaris Library : every Tuesday

Sandringham Library : every Thursday


Toddler Time
Toddler Storytime caters for the changes in children’s development after 18 months. These sessions include stories, songs and rhymes.

Toddler Time is held during school terms, at 10:30am.

Brighton Library : every Tuesday

Beaumaris Library : every Thursday

Sandringham Library : every Tuesday


Pre-School Story Hour
Story-time is especially prepared for pre-school aged children, 3-5 years and includes stories, songs and rhymes. 

Storytime is held during school terms, at 10:30am.

Brighton Library : every Thursday

Beaumaris Library : every Friday

Sandringham Library : every Wednesday


View our Storytime Hours

View our Special Events for Children

Storytime at Home Kits
Our Storytime at Home kits are carefully curated by our Librarians and feature everything needed to practice the critical early literacy activities of reading, talking, singing, and playing. All kits are available for loan at the library and can be reserved in advance using the links below. 

Each themed kit included:

  • 5 picture books
  • words for songs and QR code link out to music
  • instructions for a themed craft activity (materials not included)

Browse Storytime at Home Kits


eLibrary Reading Resources

Access these for free With Your Library Card!

Story box Library is a website that has a selection of videos for children. This includes children’s books that are read aloud by storytellers, and activities that are attached to stories that can be done at home, with minimal preparation.

National Disaster Recovery storybooks. Birdie stories are a collection of stories that help children and families in the midst of natural disaster recovery. Birdie and the big sickness could be an appropriate book to explain the current circumstances.

TumbleBook Library. Online collection of animated, talking picture books that teach kids the joy of reading in a format they'll love.

Kanopy Kids. Stream free kids TV shows and movies on any device with Kanopy Kids! 

Hoopla. Share stories with your young children using Hoopla Kids eBooks.


Big Topics for Little Minds

Our Picture Book Subject lists are curated reading lists compiled by our Librarians to help you explain difficult topics to young children.

Browse our Picture Book Subject Lists


National Simultaneous Storytime

At 11am on May 25th 2022, libraries all around Australia read the same book, Family Tree.

View my active saved list