Digging Deeper- The Importance of Diversity in Children's Media

Go NAPSACC recommends that children 2 years of age and older are allowed 30 minutes of screen time or less each week. When screen time is offered it should be educational and commercial free.  

In moderation, educational, high-quality screen time can reinforce good habits and skills. However, media programming often lacks diversity, representation, and inclusion. And, when programs do include diverse characters, they are often secondary characters or follow stereotypes that may lead to harmful consequences. 

Watching media that lacks diversity can create implicit biases and has been linked with lower self-esteem for children of color. Research has also shown that all children benefit from viewing realistic and diverse media. This promotes understanding of others and exposes children to new ideas and cultures. 

When screen time is offered, it is important to keep this in mind. Choose educational programming with characters, stories, and dialogue that are realistic, differ from harmful stereotypes, and represent diversity in:  

  • race, 

  • ethnicity,  

  • language,  

  • religion,  

  • ability, and more.  

This can help children grow up to be confident, thoughtful, and informed. You can also share your favorite diverse media for children with your program’s families to help promote inclusivity inside and outside of the classroom! 

Finally, when you offer diverse, educational, high-quality screen time, be sure to talk to children about what they see. This helps children learn and relate screen time to real life! 


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