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Growing Readers Together
Growing Readers Together is a Colorado State Library Initiative Supporting Libraries Engaging Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) Caregivers in Early Literacy
Why Focus on FFN Childcare Providers?
In Colorado, a significant number of children aged 5 or younger (between 40% – 60%) are cared for by family members, friends, or neighbors (FFN) while their parents are at work. Yet, due to the personal nature of these arrangements, few FFN are included in the state's efforts to increase the quality of childcare. However, studies of Colorado's FFN providers indicate they have a high level of interest in learning more about caring for children and helping prepare them to enter school.
Colorado's 261 public libraries exist in nearly every corner of the state and are well-utilized, especially by families with young children. In 2019, over 23 million children's items circulated through Colorado's libraries, and over 82,000 children's programs were attended by more than 2.1 million of our youngest residents. As a trusted community resource with expertise in early literacy, Colorado's public libraries are a natural choice to support our state's FFN childcare providers.
The Growing Readers Together Toolkit is a comprehensive guide to identifying, connecting, and serve Family, Friends, and Neighbor caregivers in your community. It offers planning worksheets, outreach and marketing support, and early literacy kits and programming ideas.
Growing Readers Together Quick Bites are a series of 20 minute webinars covering topics about early learning and serving Family, Friend, and Neighbor caregivers. The full archive and a calendar of upcoming Quickbites can be found on the CSL Libraries Learn website.