Get Leeds Reading: parents have ‘no time’ for bedtime stories

40 per cent of mums quizzed said they feel guilty when they don't have time to read to their children.
40 per cent of mums quizzed said they feel guilty when they don't have time to read to their children.
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Staggering results from a new study reveal only one in five parents read bedtime stories to their children each night.

In a shocking indictment of modern life, 15 per cent of those quizzed confessed they read to their little ones just once every two months and 17 per cent admitted they would rather sit their child in front of the television than read them a book.

The shocking statistics come as the YEP encourages families across the city to spend at least 10 minutes EVERY day looking at books together, as part of our Get Leeds Reading campaign.

We revealed how almost 1,000 pupils left primary schools in Leeds last year without learning to read properly.

That’s why we are calling on an army of YEP readers to sign up as volunteers with literacy charity Beanstalk and provide Leeds primary school pupils with one-to-one support.

Child psychologists warn that a lack of reading can impair language growth, emergent literacy and social skills.

Janet Skeen, Beanstalk’s area manager for Yorkshire and the North East, said: “Parents reading with their children for just 10 minutes can make a significant difference.”

The survey of 3,000 mums, dads and children, carried out by Alton Towers Resort – which is releasing new children’s book The Enchanted Village – found 65 per cent of parents wished they had more time to read to children but the pressures of work and chores got in the way.

The top five children’s stories, picked by the youngsters surveyed – from a list of 20 titles – were The Gruffalo; Little Red Riding Hood; Goldilocks and the Three Bears; Three Little Pigs; and Hansel and Gretel.

* Beanstalk is a national literacy charity that recruits, vets and supports volunteers to help children who have fallen behind with their reading.

The charity trains volunteers to read with pupils in their local primary schools for two 90 minute, one-to-one sessions per week for the school year, term-time only.

No previous experience is required as you will be fully trained.

All you have to provide is a minimum commitment of 12 months and a love of reading.

Contact – telephone 0845 450 0344 or go to