Early Literacy Programs in Greater Bendigo

Book Box Library Program

Increasing free access to books for children in the Bendigo community

Book Box Libraries are like ‘Little Libraries’. They can be placed in community spaces, businesses, primary schools, early childhood services, health services and retail and shopping services.

A Book Box Library is a free children’s book exchange.

The aim is to promote literacy and the love of reading for children in the community.

Children can read and take home a book, swap and return books. All for free.

‘Read or borrow a book. Donate or swap a book.’

Find a Book Box Library near you!


Our Book Box Library locations:

Anglicare Victoria
Arnold Street Dental
Bendigo Community Health Services -Central Office
Bendigo Community Health Services -Eaglehawk
Bendigo Community Health Services -Kangaroo Flat
Bendigo District Aboriginal Services (BDAC)- Family Services
Bendigo Health – Intensive Care Unit Waiting Room
Bendigo Health – Speech Pathology, Stewart St Level 1 Waiting Room
Bendigo Health – Visitors Room, Level 3
Bendigo Health – Women’s Health Clinic Waiting Room
Bendigo Health – Women’s Ward, Level 3
Bendigo Healthworks Medical Centre – Golden Square
Bendigo Healthworks Medical Centre – Kangaroo Flat
Bendigo Healthworks Medical Centre – Kennington
Bendigo Healthworks Medical Centre – Strathdale
Bendigo Market Place
Bill Wilkinson Optical
Camp Hill Primary School
Centre for Non-Violence
City of Greater Bendigo – Main Office
Department of Justice
Eaglehawk Community House
Gianna Centre
Great Beginnings Epsom Early Education Centre
Havilah Road Preschool
Heathcote Dental
Heathcote Health- Primary Care
Heathcote Holy Rosary Primary School
Heathcote IGA
Heathcote Inn
Heathcote Kindergarten
Heathcote Primary School
Heathcote St Johns Budd Hall Op-Shop
Huntly Kindergarten
Intereach NDIS
Jenny’s Early Learning Centre – Bendigo Hospital
Jenny’s Early Learning Centre – Epsom
Jenny’s Early Learning Centre – Maiden Gully
Jenny’s Early Learning Centre – Strathfieldsaye
Katie Lovaglio-Hair Stylist & Make-up -Heathcote
Kennington Dental
LaTrobe University
Lightening Reef Early Childhood Service
Maternal & Child Health Centre – Eaglehawk
Maternal & Child Health Centre – Elmore
Maternal & Child Health Centre – Epsom
Maternal & Child Health Centre – Kangaroo Flat
Maternal & Child Health Centre – Marong
Maternal & Child Health Centre – Spring Gully
Maternal & Child Health Centre – Strathfieldsaye
Maternal & Child Health Centre -Kennington
Noah’s Ark
Pallings Brewery – Heathcote
Salvation Army
Shine Bright
St John of God – Young Mother Baby Program Horizon House

Literacy Champion Training

aims to improve language and literacy outcomes for children in the Greater Bendigo community

  • Are you passionate about developing children’s literacy in the Bendigo Community?
  • Are you interested in understanding more about lanauge and literacy development for children aged 0-5years? 
  • Would you like to support parents/carers to encourage their children’s language and literacy development?

If the answers is yes, then you should sign up for our Literacy Champion Training. Communities for Children (C4C) in partnership with ‘Parents for Change’ have developed FREE Literacy Champion Training aimed for parents, carers and community members.

The training focuses on activities that Literacy Champions can undertake to promote literacy and language development in the community. The FREE training provides information on:

  • Brain and language development for children aged 0-5years of aged
  • How to engage and support children in building a love of reading
  • Available resources and services in the community that  support children’s language and literacy development

Our next training sessions will be held on in November in Bendigo and Heathcote. To find out more information, click the Literacy Champions info flyer for Greater Bendigo 2019. To be added to a waiting list, click here.

Bendigo Reads
  • Contact

    Hayley Davis (Language and Literacy Project Worker)


    5454 8396


Mother Goose

Come along, enjoy songs, rhymes, stories & snacks. No cost involved.

The Mother Goose Program is a group experience for parents and their babies and young children which focuses on the pleasure and power of using rhymes, songs, and stories together.  Parents gain skills and confidence which can enable them to create positive family routines during their children’s crucial early years and give their children healthy early experiences with language and communication.

Please note: School Children welcome during School holidays.

Session Times & Venue

Tuesdays 9:30 – 11:00am

St Peter’s Church
63 High Street, Eaglehawk

Wednesdays 9:30 – 11:00am

St Matthew’s Church
153 Eaglehawk Road, Long Gully

Read more about the Mother Goose Program.

Off To An Early Start (OTAES)

Delivered in partnership with the City of Greater Bendigo.

The aims of OTAES are to:

  • To enable children’s access to playgroups and pre-school through supporting families whose children do not or irregularly attend early years programs, pre-school and primary school.
  • To educate families on the need for and the importance of early years learning for pre-school children.
Off to an Early Start

Talking Matters

Free Speech Pathology drop-in clinic for children under school age.

A speech pathology drop-in clinic is a place where families can come to discuss their child’s speech and language concerns without having a referral or a pre-arranged appointment.  The service is available for children aged birth to school entry.

No appointment is necessary and a 20-30 minute timeslot will be allocated to you on arrival. A brief discussion of your concerns regarding your child’s language development will occur, with some suggestions provided to assist your child’s communication.



Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters.

The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) is a home-based early learning and parenting program for families with young children. It is a fun, activity-based one on one program aimed at children in the year before they go to school. The focus is supporting the parent to be their child’s first teacher.

This website also provides information and resources for parents: hippyaustralia.bsl.org.au

Story Time at Goldfields Library

Nurture your child’s listening, language and learning skills in these fun-filled sessions running each week of the school terms. For session times, click the link below.

Books for Babies – Bendigo Health

A Communities for Children initiative to provide a book and early literacy information to every family with a newborn baby at Bendigo Health.

The early and positive development of language and literacy skills of children are vital to the health of the Bendigo community – now and into the future. In recognition that children’s language development is everybody’s business, the Books for Babies program was established at Bendigo Health by the Bendigo Health Foundation in September 2015.

Supported by the Community Enterprise Foundation & Communities for Children.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Bendigo

The Imagination Library program improves early childhood literacy for children by giving them a free, high-quality, age-appropriate book each month from birth to age 5.

Click here to visit the page