Screen Time Use

Limiting or eliminating screen time for young children is important. Too much screen time for young children may lead to attention problems, difficulty at school, and obesity later in life. Below you can find resources about limiting screen time and offering alternative activities.


Best Practices

The resources in this category are the same for all of the following best practices.

  • “Allow no screen time for toddlers and infants.”
  • “Ensure that televisions/DVD are never turned on during meals or snacks.”
  • “If available, limit computer use to a set time of day and not more than 15 minutes at a time for preschool children.”
  • “Limit screen time for preschool children to 30 minutes or less per week.”
  • “Never use TV/video watching as a reward.”
  • “Store televisions outside of rooms where children spend most of their time (or do not have televisions).”
  • “When providing television/DVD viewing for preschool children, it is exclusively commercial-free, age-appropriate, educational programming.”


5 Healthy Goals: Reduce Screen Time 

Summary: This website includes facts about and tips for reducing screen time.
Source: The Nemours Foundation


Action Guide: For Child Care Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies

Summary: A guide for creating policies including rationale, steps for creating policies, and policy recommendations. 
Source:  Connecticut State Department of Education

Get Active Be Healthy

Summary: A series of fact sheets and handouts for parents, kids, and teachers. Contains information for teachers on page 10.
Source: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest

Media and Children

Summary: This website includes information about media time and how it impacts children.
Source: The American Academy of Pediatrics

Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) Manual

Summary:  This manual provides the best practice recommendations for each question on the self-assessment. The manuals also include the rationale behind each recommendation, challenges to implementing recommendations, and tips for changing current practice.
Source:  Michigan Healthy Child Care

Nutrition and Wellness Tips for Young Children

Summary:  Collection of tip sheets for nutrition and physical activity. Each tip sheet focuses on a specific topic and includes a practical application section to help apply the tips to a child care program for children ages 2 through 5 years old. See pages 63-71.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service


Sample Child Care Physical Activity Policy

Summary : This is an example of a physical activity policy for a child care. It outlines the daily play, role of staff members and times of play. 
Source:  South Carolina Early Child Care and Education


Screen Time Reduction Toolkit for Child Care Providers

Summary: Includes tips to reduce screen time, letter to parents, tips to reduce screen time, games to reduce screen time. Policy Examples are provided on page 8.
Source: Michigan Department of Community Health


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