Learning to read and write is critical to a child's success in school and later in life. Although reading and writing abilities continue to develop throughout the life span, the early childhood years — from birth through age eight — are the most important period for literacy development. The primary purpose of this position statement is to provide guidance to teachers of young children in schools and early childhood programs (including child care centers, preschools, and family child care homes) serving children from birth through age eight. By and large, the principles and practices suggested here also will be of interest to any adults who are in a position to influence a young child's learning and development — parents, grandparents, older siblings, tutors, and other community members.
International Reading Association (IRA) & National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). (2009). Learning to read and write: Developmentally appropriate practices for young children. NAEYC: Washington, DC.