Father Involvement in Young Children’s Lives

Volume 6 of the series Educating the Young Child pp 13-29


Fathers and Early Literacy

  • Glen PalmAffiliated withChild & Family Studies, St. Cloud State University Email author 

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The role of fathers in promoting early literacy skills in young children is a new area for both research and the development of intervention programs. The research literature examines how frequently fathers read to their young children, why do fathers read to their children and what are some of the barriers that limit father involvement in literacy activities. The research suggests that fathers engage in reading less frequently than mothers and they may not take the same level of responsibility for promoting early literacy in young children. Programs to engage fathers in early literacy activities with their children range from one-time events to weekly activities over a period of 5 months. Fathers appear to enjoy the programs and they increase the amount of time that fathers read and find it useful to learn new strategies for reading to their children. The chapter ends with some specific suggestions for program design and implementation.


Fathers Early literacy Parent education Early literacy programs