Although the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Bill was passed in January, we need to keep pressure up on Congress to reauthorize The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, H.R. 2824, which the House passed in September and is being considered by the Senate.
With both Parties haggling over the DREAM act, the Continuing Resolution to keep the Government open past February 8 is being held hostage to non-budgetary issues. We support giving legal status to the DREAMers, and we hope, that when Congress looks seriously again at individual appropriations for the current Fiscal year and FFY 2019, they will increase the allocations to child care subsidies and quality improvement measures, and will authorize funding for paid family leave.
Check in with us at https://peaceeducators.org/take-action/ regularly to keep up to date with our action alerts.
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Tell Facebook to Pull the Messenger Kids App.
As the world explodes with new technology, in December of 2017 Facebook began offering the free Messenger Kids app to parents – the first designed for children under 13 years of age. The new app focuses on animation, emojis, and connects children online with their “friends”. Recently, the Campaign for a Commercial – Free Childhood, CCFC, a Boston based non-profit organization, sent a letter signed by many early childhood organizations and professionals, children’s advocates, parents, and others to demand that Facebook remove this Messenger Kids app.
Please go to https://ccfc.salsalabs.org/fbmessengerkids/index.html to add your name to the growing list of people demanding that the app be abandoned.
The app makes the children who use it subject to online abuse, opens them to data mining and marketing that warps their values, and absorbs their time that is needed for the development of social skills, learning, and growth. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that:
“In young children, use of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers, has risen dramatically since the Kaiser Family Foundation first began surveying parents of 0- to 8-year-olds about their technology use. For example, in 2011, 52% of children 0 to 8 years of age had access to a mobile device (although only 38% had ever used one). By 2013, this access had increased to 75% of 0- to 8-year-olds. Although these national surveys continued to demonstrate a digital divide on the basis of economic status, with less access to mobile technology and the Internet in lower-income families, a smaller study in 2015 called this disparity into question by showing that almost all (96.6%) 0- to 4-year-olds recruited from a low-income pediatric clinic had used mobile devices, and 75% owned their own device. This study also showed that most 2-year-olds used mobile devices on a daily basis and that most of the 1-year-olds assessed (92.2%) had already used a mobile device. Although a digital divide likely still exists in terms of access to quality content and reliable Wi-Fi, it is now clear that most young children seen by a pediatric health care provider will have used or have been exposed to mobile technology.”
At http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2016/10/19/peds.2016-2591, the AAP makes to following recommendations to families [and others who care for young children]:
- “Avoid digital media use (except video-chatting) in children younger than 18 to 24 months.
- For children ages 18 to 24 months of age, if you want to introduce digital media, choose high-quality programming and use media together with your child. Avoid solo media use in this age group.
- Do not feel pressured to introduce technology early; interfaces are so intuitive that children will figure them out quickly once they start using them at home or in school.
- For children 2 to 5 years of age, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programming, co-view with your children, help children understand what they are seeing, and help them apply what they learn to the world around them.
- Avoid fast-paced programs (young children do not understand them as well), apps with lots of distracting content, and any violent content.
- Turn off televisions and other devices when not in use.
- Avoid using media as the only way to calm your child. Although there are intermittent times (e.g., medical procedures, airplane flights) when media is useful as a soothing strategy, there is concern that using media as strategy to calm could lead to problems with limit setting or the inability of children to develop their own emotion regulation. Ask your pediatrician for help if needed.
- Monitor children’s media content and what apps are used or downloaded. Test apps before the child uses them, play together, and ask the child what he or she thinks about the app.
- Keep bedrooms, mealtimes, and parent–child playtimes screen free for children and parents. Parents can set a “do not disturb” option on their phones during these times.
- No screens 1 hour before bedtime, and remove devices from bedrooms before bed.
- Consult the American Academy of Pediatrics Family Media Use Plan, available at: www.healthychildren.org/MediaUsePlan.”
Moving Forward: You’re Important to Us!
As P.E.A.C.E. moves forward into 2018, we need your help and your input. Please contact email@example.com if you’d like to become more active and engaged in P.E.A.C.E.’s work, especially if you have submitted a proposal for a peace education-related session at either NAEYC’s Professional Learning Institute (PLI) in June, or its Annual Conference in Washington, DC November 14-17. We also plan to have a presence at NAEYC’s Public Policy Forum in Arlington, VA, March 4-6.
Please remember that you can be kept up to date by joining our Action list serve, firstname.lastname@example.org, either directly through Googlegroups, or by an email to email@example.com. Please feel free to post there any peace-education related action requests that engage your enthusiasm. And if any of our suggestions for action motivate you to tell your friends and colleagues about them, please do forward them. Thank you!
Finally, we need to remind you that we don’t charge dues, as we value your participation more than your money. But we do have expenses that are needed to keep us going, so we always welcome your donations through our website, www.peaceeducators.org.