The family that reads together grows together
This understanding of the role reading plays in a child's earliest years has shaped the Better Beginnings programme.
At a baby's six-week check-up, the health worker gives parents and child the first of the free Better Beginnings book packs. And not long after, they can attend talks, story time and rhyme time sessions at their local library, given by Jo-Anne or her colleagues who deliver the Better Beginnings programme.
Over the next few years the child will receive more books and other materials to keep in step with their evolution as a reader and ensure literacy is central to their overall development.
But Better Beginnings doesn't simply target children. Its mission is to take the entire family on the journey toward fully functioning literacy, in which picking up a book is second nature.
"We now know that those children who grow up in households surrounded by books and by people who read regularly will themselves pick up the habits and become readers," says Jo-Anne.
"We encourage new parents to have some books with them in their nappy bags. So while you're waiting at the doctor's or you're in the park, you've got a book that you can share with your child."
Of course, Better Beginnings needs books to give out, which is why Jo-Anne and others involved in the programme are grateful for the support of Rio Tinto.
"Every child in Western Australia deserves to have a book," she says.
"Rio Tinto has been absolutely essential to the success of Better Beginnings." says Margaret Allen, "Not only have they helped us with funding, but they've also helped us to stretch our thinking, they've helped us with advice and they've challenged our assumptions."
Main image: Margaret Allen, CEO, State Library of Western Australia