Positive Partnerships: The Role of Child Health Nurses in an Early Childhood Family Literacy Program
Common Ground Publishing LLC
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education / Centre for Research in Early Childhood
Better Beginnings is an early literacy program, involving a partnership between child health nurses and public libraries. The aim of the program is to work with families to support children’s early literacy learning. This paper investigates the child health nurses’ perceptions of the implementation and outcomes of the program. Child health nurses, librarians and parents from four diverse communities were interviewed or surveyed each year, over four years. The results suggest that the partnership between the child health nurses and the librarians was crucial to the success of the program. Collaboration developed over time and helped to ensure effective outcomes for parents as well as benefits to the professionals involved. Commitment to Better Beginnings also helped to sustain and develop the program through ongoing interagency feedback. However, issues were raised about ways of enhancing communication between the professionals to extend the program to traditionally hard to reach families.