Education Endowment Foundation:Preparing for Literacy

Preparing for Literacy

Build the foundations of literacy for three – five year olds.

First Edition


School Phases

Early Years

This guidance report offers early years professionals seven practical evidence-based recommendations to provide every child – but particularly those from disadvantaged homes – with a high quality and well-rounded grounding in early literacy, language and communication. 

One recommendation focuses on the importance of high quality interactions between adults and children to develop their communication and language skills. Another suggests using a range of different activities– like singing, storytelling and nursery rhymes – to develop children’s early reading and ability to hear and manipulate sounds. To arrive at the recommendations we reviewed the best available international research and consulted experts to arrive at key principles for preparing for literacy. 

This report is part of a series providing guidance on literacy teaching. It builds on the recommendations presented in our Improving Literacy in Key Stage One and Two reports, but is specific to the needs of three to five year old children.

Evidence and resources

The Reading House

Explore the rooms to access resources to support the different skills underpinning reading comprehension.
Read more aboutThe Reading House

Early language

Identifies priorities for improving practice in the support of children with delays in early language development