Preschool Children’s Television Viewing in Child Care Settings

From Pediatrics, November 2009, research on the difference between preschool home-based and center-based childcare in terms of television viewing.

Article: Preschool-Aged Children’s Television Viewing in Child Care Settings

Authors: Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, and Michelle M Garrison, PhD

Objective The goal was to quantify television viewing in day care settings and to investigate the characteristics of programs that predict viewing.

Methods A telephone survey of licensed child care programs in Michigan, Washington, Florida, and Massachusetts was performed. The frequency and quantity of television viewing for infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children were assessed.

Results With the exception of infants, children in home-based childcare programs were exposed to significantly more televisionon an average day than were children in center-based programs(infants: 0.2 vs 0 hours; toddlers: 1.6 vs 0.1 hours; preschool-agedchildren: 2.4 vs 0.4 hours). In a regression analysis of dailytelevision time for preschool-aged children in child care, center-basedprograms were found to have an average of 1.84 fewer hours oftelevision each day, controlling for the other covariates. Significanteffect modification was found, in that the impact of home-basedversus center-based child care programs differed somewhat dependingon educational levels for staff members; having a 2- or 4-yearcollege degree was associated with 1.41 fewer hours of televisionper day in home-based programs, but no impact of staff educationon television use was observed in center-based programs.

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