Read Aloud Survey: Many Parents Missing Critical Window for Brain Development

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A new survey conducted by YouGov for the nonprofit Read Aloud 15 MINUTES campaign finds that fewer than half (46%) of parents read aloud to their children every day, and only 34% do so for at least 15 minutes. survey_slides_read aloud

Even among those who do read aloud daily, few begin from birth — as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. And while six in 10 (62%) parents have received the advice to read aloud to their children 15 minutes every day starting from birth, only 8% actually do.

“Read Aloud 15 MINUTES believes that when these numbers change — when daily reading aloud, from birth, becomes the national caregiving standard — we will see a drastic change in school readiness,” says the non-profit’s President and Co-Founder, Dr. Candace Kendle.

The new Read Aloud survey is part of March Read Aloud Month. The campaign brings together a diverse coalition of partners — including Waterford — to reach a broad audience of parents and caregivers nationwide. To learn more or to participate in March Read Aloud Month, visit ReadAloud.org.

Other Key Findings From the Survey

  • 46% of parents read aloud to their children every day, and only 34% do so for at least 15 minutes.
  • Only 15% of parents begin reading aloud during their child’s first year of life, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  And while six in 10 (62%) parents have received the advice to read aloud to their children 15 minutes every day starting from birth, only 8% actually do.  Over 3 million children born each year are not receiving the benefits of reading aloud from birth.
  • Technology may serve as a distraction from reading aloud.  Over half of parents (65%) say their child watches TV or uses a tablet (54%) at home, and four in ten parents say their child spends too much time with TV, and a third say the same of devices.  Meanwhile, 41% of parents say their child does not spend enough time being read to.
  • There are barriers around time and materials.  Nearly 40% of parents who do not read aloud say they “can’t find the time in the day.”  Four in ten parents also say it is easier to find video games than books for their child, and half feel books for children their child’s age are too expensive.
  • Parents’ “vision” of reading aloud may be preventing them from making it a habit.  One third of parents who do not read aloud report that their child “won’t sit long enough” to be read aloud to, and very few parents take advantage of times beyond bedtime, such as during play or during bathtime, to read aloud.

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