Give Your Baby the Gift of a Lifetime!
As a parent or caregiver, you can open up a world of possibilities by reading, talking, singing, writing and playing with your baby every day.
EPL’s Welcome Baby program provides you with powerful early literacy tools and resources - essential for your baby’s happy and healthy development. Visit any Public Health Centre in Edmonton for your baby’s two-month immunization and receive a free Welcome Baby package, which includes:
Get your baby a free library card at any EPL location. Children under 24 months also receive:
- A second board book (available also in French)
- An illustrated Welcome Baby song and rhyme booklet
- 100 More Great Books to Read Together booklet
That’s not all! Help your baby develop into an active learner by discovering books, music, culture and play. Check out our fun-filled, drop-in, early literacy programs at any EPL location. Best of all, it’s all FREE!
Give your baby the gift of a lifetime and get your baby a free library card today!
Looking for books to read with your baby?
EPL staff have compiled excellent titles that are sure to thrill your baby! Find great books to read with your baby now!
Browse through informative early literacy tips and information for parents and caretakers below with EPL's recommended reading lists. Click on the images below to see the full page reading booklet (also featuring titles for toddlers and preschoolers!)
Pick up a FREE printed copy at any EPL location and personalize it with your baby's preferences and cherish memories forever!
Great Ways to Introduce Your Baby to the Library
Baby Laptime: Hear stories, share books and learn new rhymes, songs and finger plays. For babies up to 12 months.
Daddy and Baby Time: A special bonding time for babies and their male caregivers. Learn songs and rhymes that help support your baby's development in this relaxed environment.
Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn: Learn strategies to enhance your child's communication and development through repetition, visuals and movement. For babies and toddlers younger than 3 years.
EPL offers over 6800 programs each year; search the current listings to find one that's right for you and your family. Also, check out EPL programs, services and information for parents of toddlers and preschoolers.
EPL Can Help!
We have books, free programs, expert advise from staff and great early literacy resources - all ways to help your baby with essential early literacy skills.
It can be stressful for little ones to be naked and cold! To make bath and diaper time more positive and relaxing, try soothing your child with songs and rhymes! Try any of your child’s favourite songs too!
Bouncing rhymes are wonderful for rhythm! Hold your baby so that she’s facing you, so that she can see your mouth making the words, as well you can see how much of a bounce she likes! As she gets older, she may like bigger bounces, but some kids some prefer gentler bounces.
It's Never Too Early
Even though babies are too young to read, they are learning so much at this age. Your baby is absorbing so much information about the world, it's a wonderful time to build a foundation for literacy.
Here are some examples of how to build the 6 skills of early literacy in your baby (watch the matching videos):
- Point out letters on objects that are around the house.
- Play with toys that are different shapes, such as blocks, balls, or puzzles.
- Sing the alphabet song to your baby
- Read lots of books together, especially nursery rhymes and poems. These rhymes can contain a whole story.
- Describe what you're doing as you do it.
- Talk as if you were having a conversation with your baby, even when they can't understand you.
- Speak in 'parentese,' using a higher tone and a slower pace than your regular voice.
- Talk with your baby! Ask them questions, and when they babble, treat that like an answer.
- Sing songs with your child! Singing naturally slows down words and makes it easier for babies to tell the differences between sounds.
- Read books together. It's never too early to start!
- Point out words everywhere, such as on signs and labels.
- Encourage your child to become familiar with books; let babies hold them and touch them. Board books have big sturdy pages that are great for small, curious hands. You can also use cloth books or bath books.
- Let your child hold the books when they are able to
- Hold babies close to you as you read, making it a time of physical closeness
- Share books that babies can touch and hold, or have flaps, mirrors, or textures that are exciting for them
- Read books together and talk about the pictures
- Start talking with your child as soon as he or she is born
- Encourage your baby to babble and 'talk' – they are getting ready to say words!
Other Great Early Literacy Resources:
ABC Life Literacy Canada is a national organization that inspires Canadians of all ages to increase their literacy skills. There are lots of tips to help children and parents read, talk, and play together.
Located in Edmonton, the Centre for Family Literacy is dedicated to building, developing, and improving literacy with families and communities.
Find out about what the American Library Association is doing to help promote early literacy.
EPL's Welcome Baby program puts books and early literacy resources into the hands of newborns and their parents as part of the two-month immunization. A library card, books and story times are the first steps to a love and reading and success later in life.
With your financial donation every child in Edmonton will have that same opportunity. A child without early childhood education is:
- 25% more likely to drop out of school*
- 40% more likely to become a teenage parent*
- 70% morel likely to be arrested for a violent crime*
The estimated cost of the Welcome Baby program is $1.5 million for the first five years.
*"Why Investment in Childhood Work" by The Ounce of Prevention Fund
EPL is a registered Canadian charitable organization.The Welcome Baby program is 100% funded by donations to EPL. Please support this vital cause by donating today at epl.ca/donate.