Manchester children are being gifted their own library card at birth, to ensure they get the earliest possible head-start in learning.
Starting this month, every child born in Manchester is being gifted a library card and welcome leaflet at their birth registration. The free cards will also be distributed at local SureStart centres from later this year.
Babies respond to hearing stories, just as they do to songs, music and rhythm and so early visits to a library could kickstart a love of words and speech - which will strongly benefit children when they go to school and onwards into their adult life.
The free resources available at libraries for new mums and dads include baby board books with sound and textures, picture books and CDs of stories, rhymes and song – plus regular, free tiny tots and toddler group sessions, with stories and fun activities for children aged under five.
For parents, libraries offer a relaxing, welcoming place to bring their child and a free meeting place to socialise with other parents, grandparents and carers. Free Wi-Fi and internet - plus books, e-books, e-magazines, information and events relating to childcare, nutrition and exercise - are all available at Manchester Libraries. Most Manchester libraries offer baby-changing space, while staff are ready to offer a special welcome for grown-ups with a child.