Facing the Screen Dilemma: Young Children, Technology, and Early Education


The authors of this guide represent three organizations whose missions overlap in a commitment to the wellbeing of children. We share concerns about the escalating misuse and overuse of screen technologies in the lives of even the very young. We recognize the primary importance of nurturing young children’s active and hands-on creative play, time with nature, and their face-to-face interactions with caring adults and other children. We see how screen time can interfere with these and other essentials of early childhood.

Each of us has worked with and for young children for decades. Our combined experience includes preschool teaching and preschool management, teacher education, and helping children through play therapy. We each have worked intensively to mitigate the harmful effects of screen media on young children. That said, we are by no means technophobes. Collectively we tweet, text, blog, Skype, and enjoy new technologies in all sorts of ways. Our backgrounds include creating, and performing in, media programs for young children and consulting on their content; helping teachers grapple with the impact of media on children in their classrooms; and working extensively with families struggling with screen time issues.

Based on mounting evidence, we are worried about the harm done to children’s health, development, and learning in today’s media-saturated, commercially-driven culture. It’s clear that both the nature of what children encounter on screens and the amount of time they spend with screens are vital issues. We agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics and other public health organizations that many young children are spending too much time with screens—and that screen time should be discouraged for infants and toddlers, and carefully limited for older children.

In the interests of children’s wellbeing, we believe the early childhood community needs to study the issues surrounding screen technologies, make informed decisions about their use in classrooms and child care settings, and work with parents to manage screen time and content in ways that best serve young children.

Source: Alliance for Childhood

Available at: http://www.allianceforchildhood.org/sites/allianceforchildhood.org/files/file/FacingtheScreenDilemma.pdf

Rising Prevalence and Neighborhood, Social, and Behavioral Determinants of Sleep Problems in US Children and Adolescents, 2003–2012


We examined trends and neighborhood and sociobehavioral determinants of sleep problems in US children aged 6–17 between 2003 and 2012. The 2003, 2007, and 2011-2012 rounds of the National Survey of Children’s Health were used to estimate trends and differentials in sleep problems using logistic regression. Prevalence of sleep problems increased significantly over time. The proportion of children with sleep problems in children. 

Source: Sleep Disorders

Available at: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sd/2013/394320/

User Guide for the Licensing Toolkit Action Sheets


NRC Goals for Licensing Toolkits to Limit Screen Time in Child Care:

  • To develop tools and products to support states’ child care licensing personnel and child care providers in ensuring environments that promote healthy weight by focusing on high-impact standards of best practice related to reduced screen time
  • To facilitate conversations among licensors, child care and early education providers, legislators, health professionals, and families

Administrators of State Licensing programs have numerous responsibilities. Developing and revising state licensing requirements are among the most important. In areas where new findings are rapidly accruing, it is difficult to be aware of all the research and information that may influence licensing requirements. This Licensing Toolkit is intended to assist Licensing Administrators as they develop and revise licensing requirements addressing guidelines for reduced screen time in the prevention of childhood obesity.1

The Toolkit consists of three components:

  1. Licensing Agency Action Sheet
  2. Child Care Provider Action Sheet
  3. Legislator Action Sheet

Here you will find suggested uses for each of the three Action Sheets.The NRC encourages you to find other uses for the Toolkit. Please let us know how you use them.You can email us at info@nrckids.org. We will share your ideas with others in the professional licensing community.

Source: National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education

Available at: http://nrckids.org/ToolKit/LimitScreenTimeinChildCare.pdf