Libromat’s are fun, comfortable spaces where parents can do their washing at affordable rates while they are encouraged to read and play with their little ones and get support.

This new initiative will allow us to reach out to parents with children in the age group 2 to 5 years that are not attending school and encourage them to aid their child’s development. We will do this by hosting weekly ‘moms and tots’ groups that will include an 8-week book sharing programme developed by the Mikhulu Trust and by having toys and educational resources the parents and children can use while their washing is getting done.

Scientific research over the past 30 years has taught us that the most important period of human development is from birth to eight years old. The majority of children in Dunoon are not exposed to early learning programmes and many parents do not understand the importance of early learning.

‘Dialogic’ book-sharing is a special kind of interaction between an adult and a young child using a picture book. It is not simply ‘reading’ to a child who listens passively – instead, it is an active exchange, led by the child, and supported by an adult who is attentive to their interests and communication.

This enjoyable and simple activity has been proven to improve children’s language and cognitive development and help children understand and get along with other people better.