141:7 Both men and women are obligated to hear the Megillah read, both at night and during the day. Even single girls should go to shul for this, but If they don’t, someone must read the Megillah for them at home. (It is preferable for a woman to hear the Megillah read by a man than to read it herself – Mishnah Brurah 689:8.) Young children must be taught to listen to the reading of the Megillah, though one should not bring very young children to shul because they disturb the concentration of others who are listening.
141:8 We may not read the Megillah at night before the stars appear, even if one is greatly distressed from the fast. (In a compelling circumstance – MB 692:14,) one may have a bit of something like coffee before reading the Megillah in order to give himself a little strength after the fast.