As part of the “Crecer Juntos” (Growing Together) law, which guarantees that early childhood exercises its rights and receives quality comprehensive care, a total of 15 baby libraries were launched today by First Lady Gabriela de Bukele. These spaces provide library and play services for early childhood, their families, and pregnant women, with the aim of promoting reading enjoyment, fun, play, and emotional bonds.
The launch of these baby libraries, also known as “bebetecas,” is the first stage of a larger initiative to provide comprehensive early childhood care in El Salvador. 13 of the spaces are fixed and located in cultural centers, public libraries, parks, and other locations, while the two mobile units travel to open spaces, community areas, and educational centers.
“This is an action established in the policy and law of ‘Crecer Juntos’, aimed at investing in early childhood,” emphasized First Lady Gabriela de Bukele. The fixed baby libraries are located in various departments across the country, including La Unión, San Miguel, Cabañas, La Paz, Ahuachapán, Santa Ana, Sonsonate, La Libertad, and San Salvador.
According to the First Lady’s Office, the importance of baby libraries lies in the early sensory stimulation and fostering a love for reading with a playful approach for children aged 0-7. Furthermore, they promote neurodevelopment, creativity, personality, creative imagination, communication, interpersonal relationships, and assertive parenting practices.
“The baby library is a space with a focus on rights and inclusion. Here, we receive babies, children, and families, and work on different early stimulation activities. We always focus on play and mainly instill reading. The activities we work on here are based on a story, which we plan and the children can do them here but also take the idea home,” explained Meymi Gamero, a baby librarian at the CUBO Zacamil library.
Daysi Cerón, who attends the baby library at CUBO Zacamil with her son, highlighted the support provided to her son for cognitive development, language enhancement, and relationship with his cultural identity. “This space is useful for children to express themselves better, lose the fear of interacting with others, and develop fine and gross motor skills, learn about other activities and games, but most importantly, learn about reading and books,” said Cerón.
The baby libraries have different zones for development and stimulation, including reading, video library, multisensory-motor, symbolic expression, and artistic expression.
Through the launch of these baby libraries, El Salvador takes an important step towards ensuring early childhood development and fostering a culture of reading among its youngest citizens.