Charity & Community

Screen time impact findings on young children

Nursery Teacher Paula Franklin, from Squirrels Nursery & Forest School in Beaconsfield, is playing a key part in the first UK based study around the impact of handheld screen time on the development of speech in babies and young children.


The findings indicate that all participants involved were in agreement that handheld screens are negatively impacting on the speech development of children in the early years. Participants highlight the resulting decline in interaction caused by digital distraction, both in the community and within families, causing babies and young children to lack the vital two-way feedback required for the development of social communication.

The following specific areas of development were perceived to be negatively affected by screen use:

• listening and attention
• social skills
• eye contact
• word pronunciation
• ability to use expressive language
• mood and physical development

“There has been a lot of recent media coverage regarding the effects of high screen use on children, but the early years age group is rarely mentioned. With crucial brain development occurring in the first years of a child’s life, it is important to remember that technology can never replace social interaction or physical experience, therefore it is crucial that we prioritise face-to-face interactions with our children and provide them with opportunities to make sense of the world around them.”

“Having taken part in the first stage of research on this subject, which is being conducted by Birmingham University, I’m delighted to have the opportunity to share my findings with them and to be involved in the next phase.” Paula Franklin BA (Hons)

Squirrels Nursery & Forest School, OFSTED outstanding and award-winning, is an independent nursery that has been running since 2001. It offers both a Nursery setting and Farm & Forest set in 60 acres of natural beauty ensuring children can foster a life-long love of learning.

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About the author

hiya bucks

hiya bucks

Here at hiya bucks we go on regular walks exploring the local towns, villages, public footpaths, gardens, rivers, lakes and more! We love getting out and about discovering new places to visit and we thoroughly enjoy going to local events and getting involved with the community. We hope to inspire others to step out of their daily routines and see more of our Beautiful Buckinghamshire.