Young Children Thriving in a Digital World


Technology as the Beach, blog post

Children’s use of digital technology such as tablet computers, mobile phones and TVs is a hot topic of community interest. However, parents and professionals working with children and families currently receive conflicting messages about how best to use technologies with young children. Read the blog post here.


Conflicting Guidelines on Young Children’s Screen Time and Use of Digital Technology Create Policy and Practice Dilemmas, commentary

This paper articulates the differing perspectives of education and health authorities that result in a dilemma for those charged with providing for young children‘s health, care, education, development, and well-being—that of conflicting advice regarding the use of digital technology in early childhood.


Nine reasons why screen use guidelines should be separated from public health 24-hour movement guidelines in Australia and internationally, Working paper

The aim of this paper is to stimulate health policy, practice and research thinking around how guidelines could best support children’s wise use of screens. To do so it outlines the historical development of Australian screen use guidelines including reasons for them being embedded in physical activity and 24 hour movement guidelines. The evolution of guidelines in other countries is also outlined, highlighting recent changes in thinking. Nine reasons are presented for why screen use guidelines should be separated from physical activity/movement guidelines.


Early Childhood Australia, Statement on young children and technology

Early Childhood Australia launched the Statement on young children and digital technologies at the 2018 ECA National Conference. The Statement, developed in consultation with the sector and under the guidance of ECA’s Digital Policy Group, provides an evidence base from which educators can make decisions regarding digital technologies that are relevant and sensitive to the digital contexts experienced by children and their families.


United Kingdom, The health impacts of screen time – a guide for clinicians and parents

Published January 2019, these guides provide a summary of existing research on the health effects of screen time on children and young people, and outline recommendations for health professionals and families.


Australia, Department of Health Guidelines – For infants, toddlers and preschoolers (birth to 5 years)

Being active is important for babies and young children to grow healthy, and sets good habits for life. Read about how much activity small children should do each day, limiting sitting time, avoiding screens, and making sure they get enough sleep.


Beyond ChatGPT – The very near future of machine learning and early childhood, blog post

Current commentary about the tools has tended to focus on the disruptive, negative and scary potential impacts of these tools, reminiscent of the moral panic that has accompanied many technological innovations, including books and TV. Yet these tools are in their infancy, with best practical and ethical practice still being developed. This blog post considers some of the issues children will need to explore related to the use of generative AI.


Panel links

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child acknowledges the First Australian owners of the lands on where we gather and pay our respects to the Elders, lores, customs and creation spirits of this country.

The Centre recognises that the examples we set in diversity and inclusion will support young children to respect and celebrate differences in all people. We embed diversity, inclusivity and equality into all aspects of the Centre’s activities and welcome all people regardless of race, ethnicity, social background, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and national origin.