Family & Community Support >> Reading, Singing and Telling Stories

Daily Reading, Singing & Telling Stories to Children (2017) 

Young parents were least likely to report reading, singing, or telling stories to their children every day. 

Reading to young children promotes language development and sets the stage for success in school. In a 2016-2017 survey of King County households with children ages 6 months to 5 years old, parents and caregivers were asked how often in the previous week they or someone in their family read to (or with), sang to, or told stories to their child.  

For 73% of children 6 months - 5 years, a parent or other family member read, sang, or told stories to them every day.  

  • Parent’s age: 32% of parents or caregivers age 24 or younger reported reading, singing, or telling stories to their children every day, a significantly lower percentage than among parents age 30 and older. 
  • Parent’s gender: Although results did not differ by child’s gender, 54% of male respondents reported daily reading, singing or storytelling, compared to 75% of female respondents.
  • Race and ethnicity: Results did not differ by broad categories of race/ethnicity. However, looking at more detailed race/ethnicity categories, 51% of parents of children who were Mexican, Mexican American, and Chicano reported reading, singing, or telling stories to their children daily.  This was significantly below the county average.
  • Language: Daily reading, singing, or telling stories occurred in 45% of households where Spanish was the language most often spoken at home, significantly below the county average.

Results did not differ significantly by household income, respondent’s education level, or King County region. We are currently working with community members on interpreting this data, so please stay tuned for updates and new insights. 

For more data on King County families, please see the Best Starts for Kids Indicator Dashboard

Source:  Best Starts for Kids Health Survey (BSKHS), 2017.