The following, (after the introductory comments by the AYCNP), was republished with permission from The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), a non-profit in Boston, MA in response to new policy statements from The National Association for the Education of Young Children concerning recommendations on computer use in early childhood settings, particularly preschool (or daycare).
The position of the CCFC is that the NAEYC and other agencies should more closely "support the public health community's recommendations of no screen time" for children under two and limited screen time for older children." Also, "Requiring children to spend time with screens in preschools will take time away from activities with proven benefits-like engaging in creative play or interacting with adults."
|While there is some value in the balanced use of computers equipped with educational software, screen addiction for some children can start from preschool years onward.
The AYCNP notes that in inner-city schools of Newark, NJ, there is a certain subset of young children from preschool through all levels of early childhood into grammar school, who become addicted or compulsive to computer use in the early childhood and grade school classroom.
By the time children approach middle school years, usually around fifth grade, the predominant inclination of many pre-teen children in the public school classroom, and this includes a significant subset of children in early childhood, are inclined towards video games with no educational value, but which are aggressively oriented in one way or the other, more often than not involving shooting one thing or another, whether it be using serious virtual weapons or shooting parachuting penguins.
Many non-educational websites get around the filtering systems of public schools by labeling their non-educational games as "educational" or "math games," when in fact, the only math in the games is counting the points for every object you shoot or destroy.
The addictive and compulsive elements of the computer screen for some early childhood children, many of whom who do not have stable emotional attachments outside of school, leads educators to consider closely or reexamine the position, as noted by the CCFC, of restricting screen time on the computer to children out of the early childhood years. (Early childhood generally refers to pre-school through third grade).
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC)
Republished with permission
preschoolers already spending an average of 32 hours per week with
outside of classrooms, the last thing they need is mandatory screen
in school or daycare.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children has
draft of its new position statement on Technology in Early Childhood
Programs. Because NAEYC is the nation's premier professional
for early childhood educators, the statement will have a profound
on young children's media use both in and out of classrooms.
NAEYC clearly put a lot of effort into crafting this statement, but
draft's recommendations are troubling. As it stands, the statement:
Undermines major public health efforts to reduce screen time
order to help curb childhood obesity and other child wellness
problems. It does not support the American Academy of Pediatrics'
recommendation of no screen time for children under two and limited
screen time for older children. In fact, reducing the amount of
children spend with screens isn't even a stated priority.
Prescribes that screen technologies should be included in all
childhood settings, regardless of the age of the children served or
type of program. Even play-based and outdoor preschools will be
expected to incorporate screens.
Provides no objective criteria or guidance to educators about
whether or when to incorporate screens into their classrooms.
Does not address the growing problem of screen-based
-- NAEYC's statement on Technology in Early Childhood Programs
support the public health community's recommendations of no screen
for children under two and limited screen time for older children.
Instead, the current draft undermines national efforts to address
childhood obesity and other wellness problems.
-- The draft mandates all childcare and preschool programs include
technologies. Yet there is no evidence in the research that having
technology in an early childhood setting provides any comparative
advantage to young children.
-- Requiring children to spend time with screens in preschools will
time away from activities with proven benefits-like engaging in
play or interacting with adults.
-- It is irresponsible to advocate for the use of screen
without addressing the commercialism that is so rampant in screen
As it stands, the
statement on Technology in Early Childhood Programs is likely to
both the time that children spend with screens and the amount of
commercialism to which they are exposed.
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
89 South St., #403
Boston, MA 02111