How much time should your child spend in front of a TV or tablet?

We know that parents and nursery staff alike are very aware that television and other screens can have a negative impact on young children if used excessively. For this reason, we are sharing a little information we received this week just to get you thinking!

‘Screen time

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published new guidelines on screen time for young children. The guidelines recommend children under three have no sedentary screen time and children aged 3 to 4 should have no more than an hour. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPH) responded to these guidelines, stating that they are “useful benchmarks” but the screen time limits are disproportionate to the harm caused. The RCPH also states that barriers to physical activity for children are often related to housing, family stress, and lack of access to play spaces.’

It is important to judge for yourself how much screen time is appropriate for your child- and this includes those occasion when you might resort to handing over your phone so they can watch Peppa Pig! The key points to consider are the types of use which may include: watching educational programmes, relaxation material or the active use of child-centered programmes to promote computer/ learning skills. It worth mentioning that families may enjoy socializing by watching a children’s film together at the weekend or taking their children to the cinema as a planned family outing.

As with everything, allocating screen time is a matter of balance. Outdoor playtime, leisure activities such as gymnastics and swimming or even nature walks are important elements that we should be including regularly throughout every child’s week. This helps children to develop and to feel valued. We are all aware that It is the level of personal interaction children receive that truly encourages and stimulates them. This is very obvious, but sometimes when we have busy schedules or are extremely tired we can withdraw a little without realizing. Sometimes we make life easier when we plan family activities in advance which allows children to have their time, giving parents a well-deserved rest later. It is also worth remembering that children who receive consistent, positive attention are more likely to be less demanding.

Our Approach
We limit the use of screen time at Toots and encourage a great deal of physical activity, preferably outdoors weather permitting. All screen material that we use is carefully selected in line with the children’s learning and they are only in front of screens for a short period of time. The children enjoy their viewing and ‘programmes,’ usually short videos are discussed prior to viewing in order to prepare them so that they benefit fully from the episode. Pre-school children also use the computer with supervision and we are happy that screen time is well planned and executed across the

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