When children spend less time in front of a screen, they learn valuable social skills. Learn strategies and tips for reducing screen time in family child care and early education settings.

Appropriate and Effective Use of Technology

Early Learning and Use of Technology: This policy brief provides guiding principles for early educators and families on the use of technology by young children, and also issues calls to action to ensure technology is advanced in ways that promote children’s healthy development and learning.

Educational Technology Landing Pad of Resources: This “landing pad” from SCRIPT-NC includes materials regarding the appropriate and effective use of technology in early childhood — suitable for use in training, technical assistance, or sharing with families and colleagues.

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center: Case Studies on Joint Media Engagement

The RAND Corporation has recently released a series of policy briefs on the effective use of technology by early childhood professionals and families. These include:

» Getting Early Childhood Educators Up and Running: Creating Strong Technology Curators, Facilitators, Guides and Users 

» How Much and What Kind? Identifying an Adequate Infrastructure for Early Childhood Education

» Moving Beyond Screen Time: Redefining Developmentally Appropriate Technology Use in Early Childhood Education

Technology and Early Childhood Education: Technology is used throughout schooling around the United States, from preschools to universities. Take a look at this infographic to see how technology is being used to increase security, learning, and classroom organization in early childhood education centers across the country.

Articles and Research

Do children learn how to watch television? The impact of extensive experience with Blue’s Clues on preschool children’s television viewing behavior. Crawley, A. M., Anderson, D. R., Santomero, A., Wilder, A., Williams, M., Evans, M. K., & Bryant, J. (2002). Journal of Communication, 52, 264–80.

Healthy Habits for TV, Video Games and Internet: TV, interactive video games and the Internet can be excellent sources of education and entertainment, but too much plugged-in time can have unhealthy side effects. This article from Nemours’ KidsHealth contains tips for reducing screen time and also covers Internet safety for children.

How TV Affects Children: This article from Nemours’ KidsHealth explains how too much viewing or the wrong type of programming can lead to violence, risky behaviors and obesity in children. Also discusses commercials, TV ratings and how to teach good TV habits to children.

Equity and Screen Time

Selected Research on Screen Time and Children (Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood): The American Academy of Pediatrics, The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity, and others recommend discouraging any screen time for children under the age of two, and less than two hours a day of educational programming for older children. This PDF presents stats and possible health effects of too much screen time in young children.

Television Viewing Can Negatively Impact the Self-Esteem of Young African Americans (The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education): A study published in the journal Communication Research finds that television has a negative impact on the self-esteem of young blacks. The results found that for black and white girls and young black males, their self esteem was lower the more they watched television.

Zero to Eight: A Common Sense Media Research Study Children’s Media Use in AmericaZero to Eight is a nationally representative survey of parents of U.S. children ages zero to eight. Covering TV, video, reading, music, computers, video games, and mobile digital devices, time spent and frequency of use are examined; differences in children’s media use by gender, race, or socio-economic status; the home media environment; educational media use; and more.


Tip Sheet: Setting Limits for Screen Time (PDF): Tips for parents on how to limit screen time at home and spend more quality time as a family.

Turn Off the TV, Turn On Play (PDF): This handout, available in English and Spanish, reviews what happens when children spend too much time in front of a screen.

We Can! Screen Time Chart: Parents can fill out the We Can! Screen Time Chart to see how much time the family spends in front of a screen.

Sleep Strategies

4 Month Sleep Regression (PDF): As baby’s sleep becomes more developed and organized around the 4-month mark, some babies who were previously sleeping well will begin waking more and napping less. This article will explain why “good” sleepers sometimes turn into “poor” sleepers around 3-5 months old.

8, 9, 10 Month Sleep Regression (PDF): It is very common for 8-10 month old babies to have sleep problems. You can also refer parents to this article: 8, 9, 10 Month Sleep Regression.

7 Tips For Making Daycare Nap Schedules Work For Your Child (PDF): This is a great resource for families whose children are struggling to nap well at daycare, and who are becoming overly tired and cranky as a result.

10 Tips for Safe Baby Sleep (PDF): Knowing where to turn for safe sleep information is challenging. Safety recommendations to prevent SIDS (crib death) have changed over time. This list provides ten tips for safe sleep, compiled from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

20 Baby Sleep Myths (PDF): There are many myths or areas where parent intuition is not always true. This handout will help put those myths to bed.

Baby and Toddler Bedtime By Age Chart (PDF): This chart helps parents select age-appropriate bedtimes as their children grow.

Guide for Parents of 0-6 Month Old Babies (PDF): This handout provides a great overview of how sleep changes in the first 6 months of a baby’s life. It also provides two sample daytime schedules parents can use for reference.

A Guide to Getting Started with The Baby Sleep Site®: The Baby Sleep Site strives to offer a wide range of resources, products and services for parents and families who need additional information or help with their child’s sleep.

Infant Toddler Safe Sleep and SIDS Risk Reduction in Child Care (North Carolina Child Care Health and Safety Resource Center): This training prepares caregivers to set up safe sleep environments and follow safe sleep practices that may reduce the risk of injury and death from SIDS deaths.

Naptime—How Much Sleep Do Kids Need: Bright Horizons provides basic guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation on how much hours of sleep kids need.

Safe Sleep: Child Care Aware of North Dakota has a selection of resources on safe sleep. You can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or other sleep-related accidents by following safe sleep practices.

Safe Sleep Environment Checklist: The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services created a checklist for providers to use to evaluate sleep environments.

Safe Sleep for Babies (Video): Learn the steps to ensure a safe sleep environment for baby with host Joan Lunden, CPSC, Keeping Babies Safe and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Successful Sleep Strategies in Child Care: Child care providers have a role in providing a sleep environment that is comfortable and safe for the children in their care. This resource provides safe sleep strategies in a child care setting and the home.

Toolkits, Training and Webinars

Healthy Kids, Healthy Future—Reduce Screen Time: This learning module from PennState and Better Kid Care will help ECE providers identify the benefits of reducing or managing screen time, understand best practice recommendations for screen time for young children, determine strategies and ideas to reduce or eliminate screen time in ECE programs, and learn about resources available.

Is Media the Other Parent? The Influence of Media & Technology on Young Children (PDF): This webinar contains an overview of the media landscape for young children; research on the media’s impact on children’s health and development; tips on educating kids to be “media-smart”; and strategies for engaging parents, program staff and your community.

Screen-Time Reduction Toolkit for Child Care Providers (PDF): This toolkit from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will teach you how to involve staff and families in the process of developing a plan for limiting screen time. Learn facts about kids and screen time, how to work with parents, tips for older children, how to write a screen-time policy and more.