Early Learning Centre – Screen Time and Young Children

Our integrated approach to wellbeing ensures students build on their self-confidence, resilience, empathy and integrity under the watchful guidance of our highly qualified staff. The weThrive Wellbeing@StCatherine’s Program commences from ELC, themed around weExplore – who we are, through learning, through play, the thematic and age appropriate wellbeing program builds towards equipping children with the skills required to navigate challenges with confidence and resilience.

This week, Safer Internet Day raised awareness about online safety and encourages everyone to help create a safer internet experience. Families are encouraged to consider the recent discussion and current thinking surrounding the impact of screen time on young children. It has become increasingly prevalent in modern society for young children to engage in screen time on a range of devices on a daily basis.

Risks associated with lengthy periods of screen time may impact upon the child’s physical, social and emotional wellbeing, as well as their capacity to learn effectively. Prolonged engagement with a device or television can lead to difficulties with social interaction, speech and language, making eye contact with others, concentration, focus and sleep.

Balancing screen time with other experiences is important. Young children require opportunities to play outdoors, connect with nature and engage in physical activity; as well as hands-on engagement in creative and imaginative play. Most importantly, children respond positively through regular interaction and conversation with family members and peers actively learning to communicate, interact with and relate to others.

Child development experts recommend limiting children’s daily screen time. The Raising Children Network suggests screen time can be part of a healthy lifestyle for preschoolers when it’s balanced with other activities that are good for your child’s development, like physical play, reading and socialising and includes some tips to help you encourage your child to use screens in a balanced and healthy way.

We encourage families to take a considered approach to screen time by ensuring that it is limited and supervised, and balanced with other opportunities for play, learning and interaction.

Ms Sarah Bethune Head, Early Learning Centre