Three-quarters of under-fives use tablet computers

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The number of pre-school children using tablets and mobile phones has risen sharply, research suggests.

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Most under-fives are adept at using tablets by the age of four

According to a new report by Childwise the number of children using tablets and mobile phones has risen from 27 per cent in 2012 to 73 per cent in 2015.

Figures from the independent research specialist show more than a quarter of pre-school children have their own computer or tablet, while one in two use a mobile phone.

More than half of pre-school children use an app of some kind.

Most children are self-sufficient on these devices by the age of four.

Childwise research manager Jenny Ehren said, ‘Pre-schoolers appear to have rapidly adopted the tablet.  It has quickly emerged as a most-wanted device for children, even among the very young, and parents have encouraged this.

‘Parents consider tablets and the games and apps on them a great way to keep small children entertained and provide a learning benefit.’

The results are taken from an online survey of more than 1,000 parents, who were asked about their children’s media use.

Online games are the main past time for pre-school children, followed by educational and activity-based apps.

On demand services are also becoming increasingly popular among pre-school children. Under fives now spend over two- and a-half hours a day watching internet catch up services.  

  • Two experts debate ICT in the early years in Nursery World's next issue, out on Monday.
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