Early Years Resources

Free e-safety teaching materials

While many games and social media apps are designed for older children, children in early years education still use devices online and off. That’s why it’s important to give them the skills they need to make safe choices with quality early years resources.

From child-friendly apps and games to resources that support balanced screen time, teachers can help prepare children for technology as they grow and learn.

Free early years resources for teachers and parents.

Common online safety issues for under-5s

The digital world offers a variety of benefits to children and young people, but children in Early Years do not understand the harmful risks that may affect them online. Below are common e-safety issues that children under 5 may experience. See what they are and how teachers can support them.

Inappropriate content

Most social media and gaming platforms require users to be 13-years-old or older. However, Ofcom’s 2022 report found that 21% of 3-4-year-olds and 33% of 5-7-year-olds already had a social media profile. Only 42% of parents in the same report could identify the correct minimum age for having a social media account. Children at this age don’t understand the reasons behind age requirements. So, it’s important to teach them.

Inappropriate content can include anything not suitable for a child’s age such as:

  • pornographic videos or images
  • nasty language
  • hate speech
  • content promoting eating disorders and self-harm
  • images or videos showing violent or cruel acts
  • sexism or misogynistic content

Children in Early Years are unlikely to search for this content online. However, while parental controls and restrictions will usually filter out inappropriate content, some may slip through. It’s important to teach parents how to monitor their child’s online use at this age to ensure they are not harmed by content that is not appropriate for their age.

Additional reading

Primary school resources to support children

Screen time

17% of children aged 4 to 5 have their own mobile phones but are more likely to use tablets for online entertainment (78%). Most use video-sharing platforms like YouTube with options like YouTube Kids available for parents to use. Many also use devices to watch TV, send messages and use live streaming websites.

On average, children aged 4-15 spend just under six hours per week watching video content. In the same report from Ofcom as the above, 40% of parents say they struggle to manage their child’s screen time. Support from educators is vital in helping children understand how to balance screen use.

Balanced screen use means using devices for different purposes. This may be watching TV or videos but could also include learning life skills, reading, counting and more. It also means taking breaks from digital to focus on offline activities. At this age, children need support to help manage this balance.

Additional reading

Primary school resources to support children

Top apps and platforms for children in early years

Learn about highly-rated apps and platforms for children under 5 that many use to understand and interact with their world.

Featured early years resources to share with parents

Our free e-safety resources help make teaching online safety easy. From detailed lessons to unique tools, these resources for early years cover some of the most important online safety topics for children in early years. Share these with parents to help make online safety education easier.


Guide to apps

Help teach children in early years how to use their devices in different ways. This guide features apps and games that help children learn life skills they can take with them.



Digital agreement

Help children think about how much time their families spend on devices with this family agreement template. Have families create one together to teach those in early years good screen time balance.


Image of girl with parent looking at a smart device

0-5 online safety advice

Give parents online safety advice tailored to their child in early years. From expert guidance to platforms for children, encourage parents and carers to explore young ones’ interests and safety early.



Gaming guide

As children in early years grow, they are likely to play online video games if they aren’t already. This guide can help get them started safely to start building good habits early.


Other resources

Tackling online hate and trolling
As children spend more time interacting with each online, it's important to help them recognise behaviours that can spread harmful content. The growth of hate speech and trolling online can often have real-world consequences so equipping them with the tools to address these issues is essential.
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Online Safety Guide
Children’s use of the internet is becoming more mobile and interactive offering young people more opportunities to interact and meet new people, so it’s never been more important to make sure you are helping your child stay safe in the digital world.
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Internet manners
We’ve created a list of what we think are the top “Internet Manners” (or netiquette) to help you and your children get to grips with behaviours that can help maintain a safer internet.
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Parent pack: Posters
Use our range of posters to raise awareness of online safety at parents evenings, one-to-one sessions or as a simple take-away.
Use our range of posters to raise ...
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