Despite the number of stay-at-home fathers in Britain doubling over the last decade, many are not reading to their children as much as they should be.
According to research from Book Trust only a quarter of fathers aged 15-24 read to their child.
The research carried out last year also found that almost 50 per cent more mothers read with their child at 0-11 months than fathers and a quarter more mothers read with their five-year-old compared with fathers.
Diana Gerald, Book Trust chief executive, said: “It is alarming to see that fathers are still behind mothers when it comes to reading with their children.
“Now more than ever we need both parents to step up and make time to read with their children because one in five leaves primary school unable to read well.
“We are urging not only fathers but all parents, grandparents and carers to make a promise this National Bookstart Week – to read to their children for at least ten minutes every day and make some wonderful memories they will never forget.”
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show there are now 229,000 men who stay at home with their children – up from 111,000 in 1993.
Founder of The Dad Network, Al Ferguson said: “Reading to your baby is arguably as important as your baby’s feeding and sleeping. Even before your baby is born, reading to your baby in the womb makes a lot of sense. They get used to your voice way before they grace us with their presence.
“In essence, reading to your baby is exactly the same as speaking to your baby. Babies need to be surrounded by words and books are the best way to do this. It helps avoid feeling like a wally too!”
The study between February and March 2014, looked into the reading habits of 2,415 parents across Great Britain.
Last month, research from the National Literacy Trust revealed growing numbers of youngsters are catching the reading bug.
In its annual survey, it found more than half of the 32,000 eight to 18-year-olds questioned said they enjoy reading quite a lot or very much.
That is the highest it has been since the survey began in 2010.