Friday, 25 January 2013

TV in nurseries


                                              Televisions in nursery settings - good or bad?
I overheard a conversation today between some Mums who were discussing their first impressions of nursery settings they had looked at. One Mum was totally put off that in one baby room, the babies were all placed in Bumbo seats and put in front of the television. This led me to look into what parents think about the use of the television in childcare settings and whether or not they are a good or bad things.

A survey carried out in the EU into obesity prevention in 2012, known as the "toy box" survey, suggested that televisions in kindergartens in Europe were not helping the rising obesity levels. They recommended that instead children should be exploring more physical activities, encouraging them to move around, rather than be sat down.

When looking at peoples views on parenting discussion boards, the feeling is quite strongly against the use of televisions. Many people feel that they do not pay their childcare fees for their child to be placed in front of a television set. Some nurseries justify it as being "only educational viewing", but quite often parents catch them watching programmes which are cartoon in style.

I have worked in a setting where the television was used frequently. It was placed on for winding down moments in the routine, such as after their lunch or at the end of the day. But, it soon became used too frequently and sometimes because the staff wanted to sit down and watch something rather than the children. The television was taken away, and wind down times were put to better use, using story time or calming music to help them relax, which proved a lot better for the children's learning.

There are good times where the television can actually be of use to childcare settings. In one nursery where I worked, the children were really into the cinema and had been role playing going to see a film. We decided to take the learning further and had a cinema day. We asked the parents if they would mind their child taking part and the reasons behind it and brought in a television for a film, making small bowls of popcorn for the children and making tickets to give to the staff as their gateways to finding a seat! At another setting, we were lucky enough to be next to a cinema and took them to see a children's movie (again, with the parents permission) as they too had shown an interest in cinemas in their play.

What are your thoughts??

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