According to the Department of Education’s Guiding Principles for Use of Technology with Early Learners, the Departments discourage technology use in ECE programs for infants and toddlers. Instead, families and educators should use technology during this time to cultivate positive and reciprocal relationships. This might include using apps to strengthen communication such as Skype and Google Hangout – which can be used to video chat, access online calendars, and schedule meetings and conferences. The Departments recommend that parents and families begin to introduce their children to technology around 18 months. This technology should include high-quality content and parents should always co-view content and use technology with their children (Department of Education, 2022).


You have been an infant/toddler teacher for the past 20 years, and you have noticed a big change — very young children are being exposed to the use of smartphones and tablets. You understand that while children do learn from media and touchscreens, it is easier for young children to learn from engaging, hands-on experiences.

At drop-off this morning, a parent enters your infant classroom holding their cell phone up to 3-month-old’s face so that he can watch a cartoon video. They mention this is the only effective way to calm the otherwise fussy baby when they hand the baby over to you and leaves for work each morning. You understand that it takes babies a lot of effort to watch screens and you have noticed that watching the screen on their cell phone makes the baby very tired. Since the baby is not yet old enough to turn their head away for a rest, you notice that baby becomes instantly distressed.

As the parent takes off the baby’s coat and hangs it in their cubby, you notice that the parent props up their cell phone so that the baby can continue to watch the cartoon videos on the screen. Suddenly, you notice a scary image appears across the screen during an advertisement. The imagery includes a monster and horrible faces, and you know that scary visual images can stay in a young child’s mind for a long time. This kind of imagery can pop up no matter what else is going on in the cartoon video or how lovable the characters are. Babies can be scared when a normal-looking character transforms into a frightening one, particularly if they see the character changing. Scary images or scenes can upset babies.


You have decided to plan a one-on-one parent-teacher conference with this parent to encourage them to avoid passive screen time as much as possible and consider engaging and interacting with their baby when incorporating technology throughout the day. For example, joining in by dancing and pointing to lyrics as the baby moves along to a dance video, or interacting with the baby while reading an eBook by asking questions, discussing pictures, etc.

In preparation for this meeting, you are going to write a 3-4 page reflection in APA format to gather your thoughts in one place regarding the ethical concerns discussed in the scenario.

Address the following items in your reflection:

Ethical Concerns:

What ethical concerns do you have regarding this scenario? Considering the Department of Education’s Guiding Principles for Use of Technology with Early Learners Guiding Principles, provide at least three examples.

Do you believe allowing the baby to watch cartoon videos on the cell phone was a good idea or not? Explain your answer.

  1. Describe why you believe this situation might violate the guidelines? What do the Departments recommend in situations like this?
  2. What is your ECE program’s policy on developmentally appropriate technology use for children under three years of age?
  3. Consequences:
  4. Consider Guiding Principles #1-4 and how they help guide teachers’ and parents’ decisions in situations like this one. What are some potential negative consequences for the teacher, for the parent, and the child?
  5. Do you believe, as the teacher, you could get in trouble for this parent’s actions? Explain your answer.
  6. Could the parent get in trouble for this action? Explain your answer.
  7. Recommendations:
  8. What are some boundaries you might set regarding parent-child interactions during drop-off times?
  9. How will this result in a more positive outcome?
  10. If you were the parent in the scenario, what would you have done differently to soothe and calm the baby during drop-off?
  11. Identify two activities, strategies, or techniques you will recommend to the parent to promote a smooth drop-off and support separation anxiety.