by Ashlyn Van Gramberg
A Perth mother has spoken out about Perth childcare centres which she claims use iPads as virtual babysitters.
Full-time Mum Sharon Thompson, from Southern River, said she tried searching for a suitable place where the carers interacted with the children instead of leaving them to play on their own.
“When you send a child to day-care it’s meant to be an environment where it’s conducive for learning in a group,” Sharon said.
Sharon says some childcare centres in Perth’s southern suburbs have begun using iPad’s as learning tools for children before they begin primary school.
As the mother of a three year old, Sharon disagreed with this approach and removed her daughter from the childcare centre.
“When you send them to childcare, you’d expect them to interact with the kids more rather than putting an iPad in front of their face,” Sharon said.
“It’s hard because my daughter does get quite obsessed with playing on the iPad at home as well.”
Childcare educator Caris Boalch has worked in the industry for more than six years and has witnessed the astounding effect technology has on children.
“Technology has its place, you can’t pretend it’s not happening. They’re going to be exposed to it no matter how young or old they are,” Caris said.
Caris’ experience as an educator has allowed her to try different methods to engage children.
She found that iPad apps have the ability to be educational for children at a young age.
“Sometimes it’s good to use technology as a reward to children, but not as a main source of learning,” she said.