Adult teaching a group of children to read their first book

Early Childhood Development

First Read Helping children develop literacy skills

Strategic focus: Education, Health, Safety

Preparing children for school and life by helping to develop essential literacy skills.

At Prudence Foundation, we recognised that many children in developing countries are not supported through the early years of their lives. This has the tragic effect of many children not obtaining the necessary skills to handle the challenges of primary school, resulting in high drop-out rates. So in response, we partnered with Save the Children who developed First Read, an innovative and holistic home-based early childhood care and development (ECCD) programme. First Read is designed to empower parents and caregivers to help young children develop essential literacy skills, preparing them for school and life.

The most critical brain development occurs from conception to age three, which is why good care and stimulation for this age group is so important. There is strong global evidence that early interventions can improve children’s development that lays the foundation for health, well-being, learning and productivity throughout a person’s life.

Empowering parents to give their children vital literacy skills

First Read encourages an interactive, pro-learning environment.

Between 2013 to 2019, First Read has directly reached over 222,000 children aged 0-6 years and adults, through activities that include developing early years reading material, providing parenting education and supporting community-based playgroup sessions. The programme to date has also benefited 483,000 community members indirectly through the sharing of knowledge and resources.

Programme impact to date

Empowering parents to give their children vital literacy skills

The programme has had significant impact across Asia.

First Read’s activities are mainly focused on home-based ECCD, which helps parents and caregivers understand the importance of creating a pro-learning environment. Home-based ECCD builds their confidence, providing them with the capacity, knowledge and skills to interact and raise their children. This ultimately helps ensure better parenting skills, which are linked to better school attendance, lower rates of repetition, and better test scores.

SAFE STEPS First Aid

in Asia

First read focuses on learning as a family and as a community

First Read provides families with locally produced learning materials.

The First Read Programme funds books in local languages from local publishers.

Our videos

First Read - Cambodia

First Read - Philippines

More ECD programmes

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