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.
Use our list of practical tips to help children under-5s have a safer online experience and build up their resilience to get the best out of the digital world as they grow. You’ll also find a range of helpful tools and expert tips for further support.
Checklist: Supporting 0-5-year-olds online
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 m
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.
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.
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.
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 Cbeebies and companies like Disney Junior, Nick Jr and Fisher Price.
It’s never too early to start setting boundaries. Set some rules about how long your child can spend online.
As part of our new partnership with the BBC, we’ve worked together to create an interactive guide to give you practical tips on how you can keep your children safe online. It covers 7 key areas such as “Taking control with tech” and “What kind of parent am I?”.
Parent Info is a collaboration between CEOP and Parent Zone. It provides high-quality information to parents and carers about their children’s wellbeing and resilience. Schools can host the content on their own website and use it in any other ways (in letters to parents etc) that they want.
Use the Good App Guide to get independent reviews of children’s apps, parenting and child development advice. It is run by Fundamentally Children an organisation dedicated to helping children develop skills through play
Made for young kids, this child-friendly version filters out inappropriate content and hides comments on videos giving parents peace of mind and a child a safe online viewing experience. Download as an Android or iOS app.
The Sky Kids app offers a fun and safer way for pre-schoolers to nine-year-olds to enjoy a wide range of popular kids TV. Parents have been involved in the development of the Sky Kids app. The result is an app that kids will love, supported by safety features that parents need.
Duck Duck Moose Apps are Free educational apps that allow young children to explore and learn in a safe and fun environment. The range of apps covers; reading, emotions, maths, creative expression and play.
BBC iPlayer Kids app gives children easier access to their favourite programmes, while parents can be confident they’re watching shows appropriate for their age and free from adverts. All apps are free to download on iOS from Apple and Android via Google Play or Amazon.
The Kids Mode App helps to keep your children safe whilst being entertained using a Samsung smartphone or tablet. The app has a range of fun features and over 2,500 unique education and recreational apps all within a safe space.