One in three pre-schoolers ‘have their own tablet’

Written by Anthony Strzalek

A growing number of children under five have their own digital device, according to a new independent study.

The latest figures from the Childwise Pre-school Report 2017, also found that more than half of three to four-year olds now have a tablet or laptop of their own and all but a few have regular access to an assortment of digital devices.

Seven out of 10 under-fives have access to either a tablet or computer at home, according to the data. Meanwhile, fewer than one in three seek out entertainment on a mobile phone.

The report reveals that most children are already competent users of touch screen technology by the age of three to four. This age group can open apps they want to use, use them independently, adjust volume controls and take photos on a device with relative ease.

The report also shows how pre-school children and their parents are increasingly focusing their viewing attention towards on-demand services.

More than four out of five households now use these to some extent, with YouTube further consolidating its position as the most popular destination for video-on-demand services this year.

By age three to four, the majority of pre-schoolers are using video-on-demand services to access TV shows. However, the majority of parents say they are at ease with the amount of time their child spends watching video content each day.

Childwise research manager, Jenny Ehren, said: “Pre-schoolers have become accustomed to borrowing or sharing connected devices such as tablets; it is an everyday occurrence for many of them. But in recent years we have seen a noticeable shift towards personal ownership, which in turn has resulted in far fewer under fives pestering their parents for access to mobile phones or games consoles.

“The behaviours and habits children are exposed to at an early age become the behaviours and habits they carry into adulthood” says Jenny. “By age three to four, most pre-schoolers have become self-sufficient on a tablet or portable device of some kind and are becoming independent players when accessing apps, games and downloadable content.”

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