The Government has pledged to give £30m over the next three years to support the bookstart programme - a scheme administered by the charity Booktrust to give every young child in England three free packs of books.  Soon after a baby is born, health visitors and others have given new parents a Bookstart pack of books, reading lists and information to bring books to babies. Booktrust is now rolling out two new packs for toddlers and slightly older children. They are:
  • Bookstart +
  • My Bookstart Treasure Chest.
Aim of Bookstart The aim of Bookstart is to bring babies and young children into contact with books. It has been proven that children who have an early introduction to books benefit educationally, culturally, socially and emotionally. Bookstart now distributes over 1,300,000 books a year to 670,000 babies and has grown into a public and private partnership with government and private sponsors. A love of books helps to develop imagination, a curiosity about life and encourages lifelong learning. Every home can be a place where learning is valued and books are fun. Some wonderful things about Bookstart that you should know:

  • a universal gift for every child
  • encourages babies and children to discover and enjoy books right from the start
  • promotes parents as the first and most natural teachers
  • encourages bonding. Sharing stories songs and rhymes helps to build strong and loving relationships
  • builds vocabulary and good communication and listening skills
  • promotes a book loving culture and will expand the book market
  • encourages some parents to seek extra support for their own literacy needs
  • promotes library membership for everyone - no more "quiet please!!!" in fact, children are positively encouraged to make a noise!
  • celebrates cultural diversity ~ dual language materials are available in a range of languages
  • many countries around the world are following our lead

National Book Token Involvement A special Bookstart/National Book Token voucher appears in the book lists which accompany the two new packs:

  • Welcome to Bookstart + Book List
  • Great Books for 3 - 5 year olds in My Bookstart Treasure Chest

This voucher offers parents £1 off any children's book or audio book if exchanged by a bookseller in BA membership who has agreed to be a Bookstart Supporter. To search for your nearest Bookstart Supporter click here. Around 1,200,000 of the Bookstart/National Book Token vouchers will be distributed to new parents each year through Health Visitors. No minimum purchase is necessary. For further information on Bookstart visit To search for your nearest Bookstart stockist, use the search below:  


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