Reading with a child provides quality time with them, developing bonds and usually one to one quiet time where the children can be calm, relaxed and also have your full attention.
Research on the benefits of reading from a young age
It allows a child's development to progress as they start to recognise objects, sounds, shapes and colours.
Children are like sponges - they are always listening even when you think they don't understand and this is why it is important to introduce books even to young babies.
You won't get much a conversation going with babies about the book, but it will on some level be sinking in! I personally feel books should be available to children to read throughout the day, so having a book shelf for their own books at their height allows them to choose a book whenever they want.
I have read many books in my career but to date my favourites are:
Baby Einstein (variety of books): these books are great for young babies, they are simple and full of colour and textures for them to explore. It again helps to develop the senses to touch and feel books from a young age.
Hairy Maclary series By Lynley Dodd: these series of books are a real favourite of mine. They are such great stories, with rhythm, fantastic pictures and allows the children to learn the repetition of each page. They keep the children's attention and get them excited as the stories get faster towards the end. A great book for all ages.
The Tiger who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr: This book is a childhood memory for me. This book is brilliant all the children I have looked after love it. It has great pictures and a really funny story that the children seem to love. It really holds their attention, as they are interested to see what the tiger does next!
Katy Hayden, Professional Nanny of the Year 2009-2010