Technology in the Early Childhood Years


 It is very common for parents to ask about policies in early childhood programs relating to technology and technology usage.  When speaking of technology we are encompassing a broad area including television, video games, smartboards, iPads, and social media.  Although some research suggests that some preschoolers are familiarized with digital devices before becoming familiarized with print (Hopkins, Brookes, and Green, 2013), there is no body of scientific evidence proving detrimental long-term effects.  In fact, major changes in the brain resulting from screen time is highly unlikely. (Mills, 2014) Early childhood programs can effectively integrate technology to reinforce fundamental skills, encourage physical movement, and make real world connections.

Unsure about how much screen time is too much for young children?  Check out these guidelines established by the World Health Organization:

0 minutes/day for children younger than 2 years of age

Infants (under 1 year of age)

  • should experience interactive floor-based play
  • 30 minutes of prone time (tummy time) for those not yet mobile
  • 14-17 hours of sleep (0-3 months) or 12-16 hours of sleep (4-11 months)

Children 1-2 years of age

  • 180 minutes of physical activity 
  • 11-14 hours of sleep
  • No greater than 60 minutes of sedentary time (including stroller rides or sitting)
  • No screen time for one year olds
  • Less than an hour of screen time for two year olds


60 minutes or less for children ages 3-4 years of age

Children ages 3-4 years of age

  • 180 minutes of physical activity
  • 10-13 hours of sleep
  • Less than an hour of sedentary time
  • No greater than one hour of screen time   


In conclusion, follow the ancient adage:  “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”   Providing stimulating and engaging opportunities throughout the course of day promotes these healthy habits.  By doing so, children will not request nor miss screen time. The easiest way to achieve this… lead by example.  Turn off your cell phone and computer and read a book, play a game, or exercise.  The gain to all is well worth it!


Discipline: Bridging the Gap from Dependency to Self-Sufficiency


As every teacher knows, education is ever-evolving, as all sciences. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to bring Abbi Kruse, a certified instructor from Conscious Discipline  and a leader in the field of social-emotional learning, for our back-to-school professional development day.  

Conscious Discipline ® (Bailey, B.A. (2015),  Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Classroom, Expanded & Updated Edition, Loving Guidance Publishers) equips students with the tools to respond from the higher centers of the brain rather than react with the lower centers of the brain.  This model requires the shift from a model of compliance to a relationship building mindset.  Conflict is viewed as an opportunity for growth. 

Changing our perspective on behavior management is essential.  In the United States, 60% of adults report having adverse early childhood experiences. The impact of COVID is now evident based on the newest study out of Stanford University. Researchers at Stanford used a structural topic model to effectively analyze 38,171 parent responses from April 2020 until April 2022. Although some aspects of daily life have shown improvement (i.e. restrictions, employment opportunities, etc,) challenges with well-being and emotional distress continue to escalate.  

Conscious Discipline ® has seven skills:

  • Composure
  • Encouragement
  • Assertiveness
  • Choices
  • Empathy
  • Positive Intent
  • Consequences (natural, logical, & problem-solving)

These skill sets compromise the core competencies:

  • Safety
  • Connection
  • Problem-solving skills

Start simply by ensuring safety first, building connections, and allowing consequences to occur.  Try these acronyms to get you started on this new approach:

NARCS to create a safe environment


Asserting (not being permissive or authoritative)



Securing a safe space

REJECT (to reduce undesirable behaviors)

Rituals for connection




Choices (limit to 2)

The school family

Change begins within us all and may be transferred to our children.  Shifting mindsets to create independent, responsible, compassionate world citizens may be cumbersome, but the results are surely well worth the effort.  In the words of Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

(Bailey, B.A. (2015),  Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Classroom, Expanded & Updated Edition, Loving Guidance Publishers)






With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to plan for a day or a weekend away with your little one(s)!  Whether it is a fun ride with family to lull an infant to sleep in the car seat or an adventure with preschoolers, there are many local attractions nearby! 


  1.  Take a ride through the covered bridges of Pennsylvania to absorb some history for the adults and soothe infants into a peaceful slumber. Visit the Bucks County Covered Bridge Society to plan your route:
  2. Enjoy the display of flowers, trees, fountains and architecture at Longwood Gardens.  Late summer is ideal to take advantage of the sites in full bloom.
  3. Collect seashells, soak up the sun, enjoy the amusement rides and games, and check out the aquarium at Jenkinson’s pier in Point Pleasant, New Jersey.
  4. For a quick ride, check out Kids Castle, an amazing playground located in Doylestown, PA.
  5. Is your little one obsessed with cars, and trucks, and things that go?  Check out Diggerland, the only construction theme & water park amusement complex in West Berlin, NJ-just 20 miles from Philadelphia!
  6. Love to explore nature?  Check out Churchville Nature Center, an environmental area of 65 acres in a nature preserve.
  7. Keeping in the same vein, check out Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed in New Jersey, a 265 square mile area crossing 5 counties.
  8. Adult libations paired with a petting zoo are available at ShadyBrook Farm during their Friday night, “Music on the Patio” series.
  9. Looking for a “pick your own” farm experience, check out Terhune Orchards, a 250 acre sustainable farm in Princeton, NJ.
  10. For the animal lovers, check out the llama farm & events at Woodsedge Farm in Stockton, NJ.
  11. Animals, farming, and history prevail at Howell Farm in Lambertville, NJ.   Check out their events at  Sheep shearing, corn planting, and hog slopping are some of the upcoming events.  
  12. For the art lovers, check out the Crayola Factory in Easton, PA.  This is one of 5 locations throughout the US.
  13. To accommodate the youngest to the eldest in your group, try American Dream, an amazing mall  in East Rutherford, NJ.   This state-of-the art complex offers mini golf, an aquarium, indoor surfing, Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, indoor ski resort, Legoland, water park, ice skating rink, and more!  
  14. For the blossoming engineer, check out Legoland Discovery Center in Philadelphia.
  15. Animal lovers can enjoy a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo.
  16. For the tactile-kinesthetic explorer, try the Please Touch Museum, a museum designed specifically for children to allow them to play with purpose and use their imagination.
  17. An amusement park specifically designed for small children is Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA.
  18. For those learning about nursery rhymes and classic children’s characters, a great day out may be had at Storybook Land in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.
  19. Looking to get some energy released indoors, try Playpad, Bucks County’s 5,000 square foot indoor play space for children up to age 9.
  20. Sesame Place is always a great day out that is close to home in neighboring Langhorne, PA.


This is just a small glimpse of the many things that our area has to offer.  Whether you have one of these destinations in mind, an alternate destination, or just taking a ride in the country, spending time engaging with your child/dren is a great way to support social-emotional learning and create bonds to last a lifetime. 

Do You Know a Fall Guy (or Gal)?



It’s never easy for a teacher or school administrator to tell a parent that his/her child took a fall while at school; however, in the world of infants and toddlers it is an everyday occurrence.  The statistics are staggering, but it is reassuring that it is completely appropriate and part of development.


In a study of 130 children conducted several years back, it was found that toddlers ages 12 months to 19 months fall an average of 17 times an hour.  At the onset of walking, the number of falls increases to 69 times an hour.  Thankfully, being so low to the ground and having such great flexibility makes these falls relatively easy to overcome.  


Once the walking has become part of daily living, two year olds become much more confident and exhibit little fear.  The result?  An even greater number of falls.  The average two year old falls 38 times per day.  With time and practice, this number lessens.  Pediatricians consider it within the norm to have children fall all the way up to age 4!  


Why does this occur?  There are several reasons.  Due to the rapid rate of growth,children outgrow shoes quite quickly.  If shoes are not fitted properly, this can be an issue.  Additionally, sudden growth spurts means having to re-learn balance and finding  a new center of gravity.  Finally, most toddlers are farsighted, creating issues with depth perception.  This may cause toddlers to overstep or misjudge distance.


To limit the number of injuries due to  falls, be sure to check corners  and furniture stability.  Keep all cords, drawers, and appliances out of reach.  Check the fit of all shoes, use non-slip socks or go barefoot in the home.  Good traction equals good mobility.  And . . . most importantly, try not to overreact.  Strong reactions can create fear.


Remember the struggle to learn how to skate or ski.  With practice and determination you were able to conquer the task; your little one will learn proficiency over time, too!