Background to the Global Network for Early Years Bookgifting


Early Years Bookgifting programmes, with a health sector lead or partnership, developed in the early 1990s in the USA and UK. In the UK this was BookTrust’s Bookstart programme, which also included key library partnerships. Bookstart spread to Europe and East Asia after the year 2000. At that time early years bookgifting programmes developed in Canada, Australia and elsewhere. European organisations met through EU Read; also through occasional conferences by EU Read members in the UK and in Germany; and we aligned more globally through BookTrust’s previous Bookstart Affiliate scheme. There is strong awareness of the value of sharing experience as peers – to foster innovation, excellence and resilience. These organisations have also helped advise nations beginning new programmes – which has been taking place across Nordic, Baltic and Central European countries from 2015. All this has led to this new initiative to share globally, using the digital opportunities now available to us – and in due course we hope also to meet in person.