pre-school (0-5)

More and more pre-schoolers are using their parents’ computers, smartphones or tablets to play games, use apps, and watch their favourite TV shows. There are simple things you can do to make sure they’re using the internet safely.

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Habits

of children aged 3-4 use the internet through a PC or laptop ¹

Behaviour

of children aged 3-4 watch TV programmes on devices other than a TV ²

Concerns

of parents worry about how much time their children spend online ³


Learn e-safety tips with our interactive video

This video helps you understand what you can do to give very young children the best experience of going online. The clickable links will lead you to more information.

Internet safety checklist for pre-school children

Explore together

Talk to your child about what the internet is and explore it together so you can show them all the great fun and educational things they can do.

Put yourself in control

Install parental controls on your home broadband. Most internet-enabled devices also allow you to set parental controls so you can manage what content your child can see and how they interact with others online.

Use passwords

Keep your devices out of reach and set passwords on all your internet-enabled devices and don’t share them. Then you’ll know when and where your child is accessing the internet. You can also make sure they’re not making additional purchases when they’re playing games or using apps.

Search safely

Use safe search engines such as Swiggle or Kids-search. You can save time by adding these to your ‘Favourites’. Safe search settings can also be activated on Google and other search engines, as well as YouTube.

Be involved

Encourage them to use devices in a communal area like the lounge or kitchen so you can keep an eye on how they’re using the internet and also share in their enjoyment.

Manage access

Set your homepage to a child-friendly site like CBeebies and create a user account for your child on the family computer or device which only allows access to sites you’ve chosen.

Help them learn through games

You can choose safe, fun and educational online games to play with your child and that you’ll be confident about them exploring. You can find good free of charge examples from companies like Disney Junior, Nick Jr and Fisher Price.

Set boundaries

It’s never too early to start setting boundaries. Set some rules about how long your child can spend online.


Learn about what pre-school children might be doing online

  1. Ofcom Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report (Oct 2014) p.38, Figure 13
  2. Ofcom Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report (Oct 2014) p.30, Figure 16
  3. Cybersafe Opinion Leader Report (Sept 2013)