Children’s publisher Egmont has revealed that there has been a steep decline in the number of preschoolers being read to on a daily basis, with the number dropping by one fifth since the survey began in 2013.
The popular kids’ book publisher held its annual market and consumer insight day last week, revealing the results of its latest research study, Reading Magic, which looked at how reading with preschool children fits into family life.
In addition to revealing the dramatic drop in the number of preschoolers being read to, the research also found that the number of toddlers watching online video content daily has gone up by almost one fifth.
The study revealed that one in five parents feel uncomfortable in bookshops, with almost half overwhelmed by the choice of children’s books. Parents also reported feeling anxious about taking disruptive toddlers into a bookshop or library.
As a result of these findings, Egmont is calling for the industry to rally together to help create a healthy reading culture in the UK.
“This steep decline in preschoolers reading and being read to signals a significant threat to child development, with potential long-term social impact,” said a spokesperson. “We need to change the culture of reading and look at why parents aren’t reading to their children.”
Egmont has been working with a number of retailers, including WHSmith and Foyles, to explore how to increase the numbers of children being read to, and how to reach those families who buy the smallest proportion of books a year.