The use of technology at an early age can have a lasting impact on a child – both positive and negative. Of course, this all depends on how much, how often, and to what extent a child uses technological devices. Although many childcare centers and preschools will incorporate technology into their curriculum as an educational tool, some schools and parents alike resort to technology as way to occupy a child when they are unable to entertain them – and this is when problems arise. However, used in the appropriate way, technology can be a valuable developmental tool for both parents and childcare centers.
Problem: Too Much, Too Often
Some public health organizations and professionals have voiced their concerns that health issues could arise during child development from overuse of passive technology. Many believe if the children are glued to a screen for hours on end every day, it could lead to a sedentary lifestyle, which could lead to obesity.
Too much time spent on the tablet or the computer could also play a role in weakening the bond between parent and child. The more time children spend connected to their device, the less time they will spend connecting with their families.
Solution: Time Restrictions and Quality Time
Limiting the amount of time your toddler spends sitting in front of a screen is a simple way to prevent any potential health issues. You can do this by making a screen time schedule, and sticking to it.
The next time you think of handing your child your smartphone or tablet to keep them busy or entertained, swap it out for a book that you could read to them and have a discussion. This will not only limit the amount of time your child is spending on a device, but it will also foster a deeper connection between you and your child as you spend quality time together.
Benefits of Technology in Childcare
When used the right way, technology and technological devices can be a huge benefit to our children. Many preschools and childcare centers have recognized the value of technology and have implemented the use of computer labs and workstations in the classroom. At home, you can do the same by finding educational computer games for your child, and downloading educational apps on your tablets and smartphones. Doing this will ensure that there is an educational purpose behind everything your child does with technological devices. With structure and guidance, your child can learn so much from technology.
Technology at Prep Academy
At Prep Academy, we offer a healthy balance of technology and hands-on exploration. We believe that introducing young children to the appropriate use of technology can better prepare them for success in the 21st century! Our campuses have modern computer labs and our tech-savvy team of educators is committed to teaching essential computer skills. Students learn the basics of keyboarding, educational internet use, word processing, and the latest in ‘edutainment’ software in daily classes.
We also use technology to stay connected with parents and families. Prep Academy Schools uses ProCare and Brightwheel childcare management software to strengthen the communication between our staff and the families we serve. The ProCare system allows us to share student information and billing with families via an online parent portal. The Brightwheel software system allows us to connect with families on a regular basis via an app service that provides electronic classroom management and parent engagement features.
With our balanced approach, students get a jump start on learning that includes innovative technology, hands-on discovery, and so much more!