The latest figures from the CHILDWISE Monitor Pre-school Report show that 73% of children under five use tablet computers and phones – up from 27% in 2012.
By the age of two, most children are now using these devices, with access not far off universal by the age of four.
“Pre-schoolers appear to have rapidly adopted the tablet. It has quickly emerged as a most-wanted device for children, even among the very young – and parents have encouraged this,” says Childwise research manager Jenny Ehren.
The survey found that using apps has become a mainstream activity for pre-school children this year, as more than half use an app of some kind.
“Parents consider tablets and the games and apps on them, as a great way to keep small children entertained and provide a learning benefit.’
More than a quarter of pre-schoolers have their own computer or tablet, according to the new data. One in two use a mobile phone. The number using apps has soared since 2012 with more than half now using them
“Parents consider tablets and the games and apps on them, as a great way to keep small children entertained and provide a learning benefit. The length of an average session is testament of parent’s approval, with toddlers typically entertained for around one and half hours at a time,” says Jenny Ehren.
Studies have previously shown the older the child, the greater the likelihood that they will own and use computers, smartphones and the internet. However, this new report breaks the traditional correlation previously seen between increasing age and device ownership.
By four most youngsters are self-sufficient on a tablet or computer and a significant minority are becoming independent players across the spectrum of mobile phones, TV and the internet.