It is natural for today’s parents and caregivers to wonder about the role screens play in the lives of the babies and toddlers they love. Because ultimately, babies today are born into a world where screens and human interaction are often seamlessly interwoven. Screen Sense describes what is known at this time about the effect of screen media on young children’s learning and development.
Screen Sense—developed in partnership with leading researchers in the field of media and young children—describes what is known at this time about the effect of screen media on young children’s learning and development. We hope this report, with the help of the Screen Sense parent resources, will serve as a useful tool in guiding parents and professionals in making mindful, informed decisions about screen media use with children from zero to 3—so that if they choose to make screen media a part of children’s lives, they can do it in a way that harnesses the potential of technology to enhance learning and development.
The developmental research tells us that creating a healthy screen media environment for children is about more than just screen time; it’s also about selecting media experiences informed by the individual child, the context in which the media is used, and the content of children’s media exposure. With this in mind, we have organized this report to reflect these “3 C’s”, describing the latest research on each and summarizing each section with evidence-based guidelines to help caregivers make informed choices for their specific situations. We end by considering the research on screen time in childhood, using the 3 C’s to help readers unpack the hidden nuance in these findings and apply them as appropriate. Throughout the report, we provide recommendations for parents and other adults in children’s lives that reflect the current research on screen media use and young children’s learning and development. With this report, we hope to empower caregivers with the information they need to build a screen sense that works for them and their families.