For Preschool Teachers and Childcare Providers

  • Looking at Writing
    Annotated writing samples from kids PreK to grade 3, plus teaching tips
  • Match Young Readers with Books They Will Love!
    Create custom booklists from our library of 5,000+ books
  • Reading Tips for Parents in 13 Languages
    How to help your kids (babies to grade 3) build their literacy skills!
  • Everyday Conversations
    Activities to encourage speech & language development
  • Fun with Phonemes
    Tips for teaching young children about sounds and letters
  • What Works
    Preschool language and literacy practices

Young children are like sponges. Every day they learn skills that will help them become readers. Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers become aware of books and print and learn about sounds and letters. Preschool educators play a critical role in promoting literacy, preventing reading difficulties, and preparing young children for kindergarten. The following research-based information was collected especially for preschool teachers, Head Start teachers, teacher aides, and other staff, as well as for parents. The information reflects what we know about instructional and parenting practices that build a foundation for literacy in the formative years between infancy and five years of age. See also: Pre-K: Getting Ready to Read and Write

Encouraging Young Storytellers

When adults respond to a toddler's efforts to communicate, they increase conversational skills, boost vocabulary, and propel the kids towards literacy.

Launching Young Readers series

Launching Young Readers Series

Our PBS series explores reading and writing development in young children. These shows focus particularly on preschool children:

Reading and writing readiness

Sounds of Speech

Sounds of Speech

Figuring out words that rhyme, coming up with words that share a beginning sound, and saying silly words all help build a child's phonological awareness — the ability to notice, think about, and play with sounds in words.

Print Awareness

Print Awareness

Print awareness is understanding that print is organized in a particular way — that print is read from left to right and top to bottom, words consist of letters, and spaces appear between words.


One strong predictor of success in reading is a child’s familiarity with the letters of the alphabet — knowing a letter’s name, shape and sound.
Oral Language and Vocabulary

Oral Language and Vocabulary

Kids who hear more words spoken at home learn more words and enter school with better vocabularies. This larger vocabulary pays off exponentially as a child progresses through school.


Even our youngest learners enjoy putting crayon to paper. What often starts as scribbling ends up being important clues to a child’s understanding that print carries meaning. Give kids lots of opportunity to practice!

Reading aloud

Reading aloud

Reading aloud is one of the most important things parents and teachers can do with children. Reading aloud builds many important foundational skills, introduces vocabulary, provides a model of fluent, expressive reading, and helps children recognize what reading for pleasure is all about.

Reading Rockets is proud to partner with: NAEYC

PBS Kids Raising Readers

Our Literacy Blogs

Connecting with Parents

Growing Readers Newsletter: Monthly Tips for Parents

Reading Tips for Parents of Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers

Great Children's Books
"Writing is thinking on paper. " — William Zinsser