Partners of the Plan News:
Evaluation Shows that Screen Time Training Leads to Policy Development

Nearly half of the child care providers who participated in free online screen time reduction training said they planned to develop a new policy for their child care setting to limit television and other forms of screen time. “Media Aware Child Care” is a STARS-approved online training course through the Washington State Department of Early Learning. STARS stands for State Training and Registry System. Participants earn one hour of continuing education. People interested in participating can learn more details about the training here.

Participants could choose to participate in a post-training survey.  So far, 223 have completed a survey, 86% of all participants.  The survey asked them to list three ways in which they would use this information in their work with children and/or families. Their responses to this open-ended question fell into these categories:

  • Sharing information with parents: More than 200 providers planned to include the topic of screen time in communications with parents: newsletters, parent conferences, handouts, posters and making sure their current screen time policy (if they had one) was included in the parent handbook.
  • Policy and environmental changes: Eighty-eight participants said they would reduce or eliminate screen use in their programs in some way. Fourteen participants stated that they would write an official screen time policy.
  • Sharing information with children: Eighty-three participants stated that they would discuss screen time with children, including its harmful effects, and talk about fun things to do besides watching screens. Participants that work with older children stated that they would also include the topic of food marketing.
  • Sharing information with staff/colleagues: Participants planned to remind staff about current screen time policies (and the reasons behind them) and recommend the Media Aware Child Care online training to staff and colleagues.

The evaluation survey requested input from participants about what they liked best about the training and what improvements they would suggest.

What participants liked best about the training

  • Convenience (can take at home, at own schedule and pace)
  • “Eye opening” statistics regarding screen time use
  • Fact-based content with references
  • Handouts and other printable information
  • All the links and resources
  • Question-and-answer format
  • It was free

What participants would change about the training

  • More information and depth: Some participants made specific suggestions for additional content, including: information on the effects of too much screen time on both preschool and school-aged children; how to educate preschoolers about screen time; effects of violent television content on young children; effects of educational programming on children.
  • More visuals, graphics and charts
  • Make available to parents

Anyone can participate in the free training via the link on this page.

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