According to the International Reading Association, children benefit from an introduction to early reading skills in their homes.
The home environment is an important component in promoting early literacy learning. A literacy rich home has easy access to books, adults who model reading and support their child’s interest in books, and frequent read aloud times.  Easy access to books is beneficial to promoting early literacy and an enjoyment of books.
Young children develop early reading success when books and other forms of print are plentiful in the home. Visiting libraries and bookstores helps the child to develop a desire for reading and learning.
In addition to books available on a daily basis, children also need adults who model reading and writing. Parents should model reading for pleasure and for knowledge. Children naturally mimic the habits of family members.
When children see their family members read and write for different reasons, from writing a shopping list, paying bills, to leaving notes for one another, they begin to understand the uses of written language. They understand that reading and writing are important activities.  
Adults also need to nurture the child’s early literacy steps. The adult encourages the child’s literacy growth by providing books, frequently reading aloud storybooks, answering the child’s questions, showing the child letters and words in their surroundings, asking the child to write a letter or shopping list, and taking trips to parks, libraries and museums.
Reading aloud to a preschooler develops the child’s oral language, early literacy skills and later reading achievement.  Storybook reading builds positive attitudes about books and reading, models skilled reading and reading habits, and develops vocabulary and ideas.  Familiarizing children with stories encourages them to pretend to read stories, a natural step in learning to read.
Reading aloud to a child develops the reading skills necessary to being a proficient reader. These skills include an interest in books, vocabulary, alphabet knowledge, narrative skills (the ability to describe items and tell stories), the ability to handle a book and to follow words on a page and phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is the knowledge of the individual sounds that form spoken words.
Additional development of these skills is achieved with games and other engaging activities. Games may include rhyming words and matching beginning or ending sounds of words.
Learning these skills early makes more complex learning easier when the child is enrolled in school. Reading aloud to children is the single most important activity in building a foundation for learning to read.