Bookstart Korea is social support for childcare under the motto of 'starting life with books'. Bookstart Korea aims to inspire, stimulate and create a love of reading that will give children a flying start in life, distributing a free pack of picture books to every baby in Korea and providing follow-up programs such as book play events. Also, Bookstart Korea programs suggest a novel paradigm of the family communal culture through books, at the same time propagate the idea of cooperative childcare based on the partnership among all parents.

First books are given to babies of 0~18 month age cohorts with no specific target population and Bookstart Plus packs for 19-35 months of age, and Bookstart Treasure Chest packs for 36 months-6 years of age.

Bookstart in Korea started in April 2003. So far, 152(66%) local areas are covered by programme nationwide, Bookstart package reaches over 156,000 babies each year, and the number is rapidly increasing every year.

Bookstart Korea prepare packs of picture books for babies with the help of government grants and people’s donations. Libraries, health care centers, village offices and local culture centers deliver free packs of picture books to babies throughout the country. And then, Bookstart Korea provides parents and babies with book plays and follow-up programs through those organizations.

Bookstart Korea programs have contributed to establishing the novel paradigm of childcare and enlarging the equal right to have free access to knowledge in Korea, propagating the idea of partnerships among all parents. Also, Bookstart Korea programs have tried to develop the family communal culture through books.

Bookstart Korea programs in the Jinhae Miracle Library have led many local families to the library. Consequently, the Jinhae Miracle Library as the children’s library could take a major step forward to be born again as 'the families’ library'. Many people who had experienced Bookstart Korea programs made some volunteers’ clubs such as 'Boni Companion' and 'Paly with Kkuri', to make up social support for childcare. Those spontaneous clubs is an indisputable proof that the efforts of Bookstart Korea bear fruit in the end.

Bookstart Korea encourages organizations to affiliate with the program, and tries to make the program become a large-scale undertaking. Bookstart Korea has been giving support to educational courses, meetings for mutual exchange of information and seminars on cooperative childcare as well as providing free packs of books to children in the local communities. All the members of Bookstart Korea can promote the reading culture in the local communities and take advantage of Bookstart Korea programs as the opportunity to foster the family communal culture through books. Also, Bookstart Korea hold conferences and festivals for the participants in the program.

Bookstart Korea plans to provide all the children of the relevant regions in Korea with Bookstart packs. With this in mind, the committee on the regional Bookstart will be set up. Moreover, Bookstart Korea plans to expand 'Bookwings' program as Bookstart for elementary school children, making agreements with local education authorities, providing 'Bookwings' packs and meetings with authors, and supporting book clubs in schools.

bookstart KOREA

Objectives of Bookstart programme

1) Social support for childcare
2) Providing communication tools between parents and babies
3) Initiating babies’ access to books
4) Giving parents tips of bringing-up children
5) Enhancing cultural welfare for local communities
6) Beginning of lifelong education

Distribution of Bookstart packs

Bookstart packs are distributed by Public health centres, public libraries, the Miracle Libraries (children's libraries established by Book Culture Foundation), village offices and other public institutions.

Fund of Bookstart programme

Budget-based support by local governments and public libraries, donations by individual/corporate supporters, and public resources organized by Book Culture Foundation.


A research team headed by Prof. Kwak Geum-Ju (Dept. of Psychology, Seoul National University) had conducted a six-month research in 2003 on the effect of Bookstart on child development research findings include very positive evaluations of Bookstart programmes.

The programme`s goals

Around 300,000 babies are born each year in Korea, and Bookstart Korea hopefully plans to reach every baby born in the country.

Interational Affiliates

Bookstart Korea is affiliated to schemes in Europe including the UK, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Thailand and the Falkland Islands, and has links with other schemes in New Zealand, the USA and Canada.


Kyung K. Leigh, Project Director
#2F, 40, Dongsung 3-gil, Jongno-Gu, Seoul, 03085, Rep. of KOREA

Phone : +82-2-3675-8782 ~ 4
Fax : +82-2-3675-8788
E-mail :