Programs around the world are contributing to improved learning outcomes for students in the early grades of primary school. Attention has been focused on developing materials and training and supporting teachers to improve literacy instruction in the first few years of school. While early results are promising, additional gains can be made if families and communities can also be enlisted to support children reading. A greater understanding is needed of how parents, other adults and children interact during the crucial early years when children are expected to build language and literacy skills. This paper reviews the literature on behavior change communications, examines the research from the health and education sectors to identify effective behavior change strategies, and proposes a research design that draws on those effective strategies to test the impact of behavior change communications on how adults and children interact in relation to language and literacy development, and how those interactions contribute to children learning to read.