Reading to Young Children by Family Members
Findings and Trends
- In the first two years for which data are available, a statistically significant uptick was observed in the share of children ages 3–5 (not yet in kindergarten) who were read to three or more times per week by a family member (from 78% in 1993 to 84% in 1995; Indicator V-02a). Over the next 17 years, however, the share held steady (the year-to-year changes depicted in the graph are not statistically significant).1
- When the data are broken out by the education level of mothers, however, we see more volatility. For mothers with only a high school diploma, the percentage of children read to by family members declined over the mid-2000s. The share of children of mothers without a high school diploma who were read to by family members rose from 2007 to 2012, making them the only group
- The likelihood of a young child being read to on a regular basis by a family member increases with the educational level of his or her mother. Throughout the 1993–2012 time period, at least 90% of young children whose mothers possessed at least a bachelor’s degree were read to a minimum of three times per week, while the proportion peaked at 82% for the children of mothers with only a high school education.
- For data on other family characteristics, make a selection from the drop-down menu in the upper right-corner of the data visualization window below. For the standard errors needed to determine whether year-to-year changes are statistically significant, please see http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/tables/ed1.asp.
- 1At the 5% level. See http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/tables/ed1.asp for the standard errors associated with the estimates depicted in the graphs.
V-02a: Percentage of Children Ages 3–5* Who Were Read to at Least Three Times in the Previous Week by a Family Member, by Selected Characteristics, 1993–2012Copy link
* Limited to children who had yet to enter kindergarten. Not all year-to year changes are statistically significant at the 5% level. See http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/tables/ed1.asp for the standard errors associated with the estimates depicted in the graphs.
** Including vocational/technical/associate’s degree.
Source: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2016 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 2016).
This indicator draws on data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ National Household Education Surveys Program.