Partners of the Plan News:
Screen Time Reduction Tools Evaluated

Researchers recently completed an evaluation of a ten year initiative to help child care professionals and families reduce screen time for young children. The project is called Washington Active Bodies, Active Minds, or WAABAM. It consists of web-based resources and online trainings (see links at right).

  • Reach: WAABAM initiatives have successfully provided more than 1,400 early childhood professionals with evidence about the adverse consequences of excessive screen time in childhood and resources to reduce screen time for the children they serve. These professionals in turn have applied this information to their work with approximately 23,400 children.
  • Effectiveness: Evaluations of WAABAM initiatives found that they increased awareness about the problem of screen time use, increased use of screen time reduction policies and environmental changes in child care settings, and increased parent education related to screen time.
  • Adoption and Implementation: A majority of early childhood professionals reported that after screen time reduction training they planned to adopt some of the suggested screen time policies and practices and to share information with parents. Interviews with 16 WAABAM partners indicate that WAABAM web-based resources and trainings are being implemented across the state.
  • Maintenance: WAABAM partners have strong interest in continuing this work in Washington State. WAABAM partners are especially interested in targeting screen-time reduction messages to specific populations; increasing awareness of the importance of screen time reduction; collaboration with additional organizations; advocacy for policy change; and the use of social media.
  • Summary: The WAABAM project has been successful in meeting the immediate and intermediate goals of reaching early childhood professionals with information and materials about screen time and increasing their awareness, encouraging the adoption and implementation of policies and screen time reduction practices in the child care setting, and increasing parent education related to screen time. Key partners affirmed the usefulness and importance of the WAABAM project and provided suggestions for the next steps in screen time reduction work similar to strategies already in use in the WAABAM project.

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