The 'Snuggle Stories' initiative is an action under the Waterford CYPSC Family Support Sub-group. It encourages parents and children to snuggle up and get comfortable reading and rhyming together.
Waterford Family Support Sub-group have identified Services for under 5’s and their families as a priority of their CYPSC's Children and Young People's Plan. Their 'Snuggle Stories' action meets the local CYPSC objective which is to support an increase in positive developmental outcomes for children through early intervention and prevention. This means taking a universal approach at the earliest stage possible to promote positive parent child relationships and the promotion of speech and language development.
The project aims to promote amongst families and communities an understanding of the importance of books and reading for the early language development of children from birth. 'Snuggle Stoires' supports families to understand the value of reading for the social, emotional and cognitive development of their children. The project also contributes to the development of a community-wide reading culture and receives support from local libraries across Waterford.
Free books and free library membership are distributed in a pack by Public Health Nurses to young families. Additional support for parents on a needs-basis is also provided and is a key component of the initiative. This second aspect of 'Snuggle Stories' supports targeted parents to build a strong foundation for bonding, social engagement, interaction and communication with their children. Coupled with this, it provides opportunities for parents to continue to develop their own literacy skills as a means to continue to support their child as they grow and develop.
So far the project has supported family learning in two geographical areas in Waterford; Tramore and the city.
Parents and grandparents have spoken of their personal experience of using the 'Snuggle Stories' pack and the enjoyment that it gave both themselves and their children and grandchildren.
'Snuggle Stories' will be further developed in 2017 with the intention of reaching out to targeted communities in rural Waterford, Portlaw, Cappoquin and Dungarvan. The two original sites where work has been established with parents will continue.
Parental participation is viewed as key in the success of this work. A significant evaluation of the project involving parents and stakeholders is informing the review and updating of the book packs. Feedback from parents/carers and grandparents, the CYPSC Family Support Sub-group members and the 'Snuggle Stories' task group are crucial to ongoing adaptations and developments.
This has been a very successful interagency project which brought together the Health Service Executive, Waterford Childcare Committee, Respond, the Sacred Heart Family Resource Centre, Foróige, Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board, Waterford City and County Council and Tusla - Child and Family Agency.
Working together has meant that an additional support for families with young children is available in Waterford.
To view a 'Snuggle Stories' slide presentation Click here
To read the Spring 2017 Waterford CYPSC Newsletter Click here
To read more about Waterford CYPSC Click here