July 2010

Worried About Young Children's Screen Time? Here's What You Can Do; Currently In the CCFC Blog; No More Delays! Tell Federal Agencies to Release Food Marketing Standards; Now Showing on YouTube: Lenore Skenazy's CCFC 2010 Summit Keynote; Meet Kevin Hepner: CCFC's Newest Steering Committee Member; Broad Coalition of Advocates Asks FTC to Update Children's Online Privacy Protection Act; Support CCFC

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Worried About Young Children's Screen Time?  Here's What You Can Do

Did you know 36% of center-based child-care programs include TV, for an average of 1.2 hours a day, and 70% of home-based child-care programs include TV for an average of 3.4 hours per day?  This week, we have an important opportunity to reverse that troubling trend.  The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is updating its position statement on Technology and Young Children for the first time in 14 years and has issued a call for public comments. Because NAEYC is the nation's premier professional organization for early childhood educators, the statement will have a profound effect on young children's media use both in and out of the classroom.

On Monday, CCFC sent a letter signed by 70 leading early childhood educators, pediatricians, and child development experts urging NAEYC to join the American Academy of Pediatrics and the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity in taking a strong stand for limiting screen time in the lives of young children.  The letter includes a list of research-based recommendations we hope NAEYC will adopt, including that young children have little or no exposure to screen technologies in child-care, preschool or kindergarten settings.  You can read our letter here.  We are also urging CCFC members to support our recommendations or suggest their own.  For more on what you can do, please visit http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/actions/naeyctechandchildren.html

Currently In the CCFC Blog

The Audacity of Reducing Children's Screen Time - Susan Linn on, however great the content, too much is too much.

And So It Begins - Josh Golin on how commercialism is already forcing its way into his 20-month-old daughter's life . . . thanks to Elmo.

Family doctors debate if they should take Coke money, after they took it - Michele Simon on the "debate" surrounding the American Academy of Family Physicians decision to accept a six-figure grant from Coca-Cola.

Plus a brand new blog feature: "The Commercialism Corner" - Your one-stop shop for quick summaries and links to all the latest about the commercialization of childhood complied by CCFC's researcher extraordinaire, Shara Drew.

No More Delays!  Tell Federal Agencies to Release Food Marketing Standards

Last year, Congress passed an important law requiring a number of federal agencies to work together to develop model nutrition standards for food marketing to children. While those standards were supposed to be released in February, parents and public health experts are still waiting.  And a recent front page story in The New York Times suggests food industry opposition is the reason for the delay.

Under the food industry's current self-regulatory regime, foods like Fruit Gushers, Kid Cuisine Pepperoni Double Stuffed Pizza, and Cookie Crisp Sprinkles cereal are considered healthy foods that are OK to market to kids.  That's why we need real science-based nutrition standards.  The Center for Science in the Public Interest has launched a letter-writing campaign calling on the agencies to release strong marketing standards this summer.  To send a letter, please visit https://secure2.convio.net/cspi/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1025.

Now Showing on YouTube:  Lenore Skenazy's CCFC 2010 Summit Keynote

Here's some screen time we can recommend: Lenore Skenazy's keynote at CCFC's Consuming Kids Summit in April.  Who knew a presentation on the disappearance of childhood could be so hilarious?  Lenore describes how she earned the title "America's Worst Mom" and why she started the whole Free Range Kids movement.  In between the laughs, she makes a strong case for letting go of our media and marketing-driven fears and trusting our kids, ourselves, and our neighbors.  Watch for the first time, or, if you were at the Summit, relive the experience at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1AhBgL0B84.

Meet Kevin Hepner:  CCFC's Newest Steering Committee Member

We are pleased to announce that Kevin Hepner has joined the CCFC Steering Committee.  Kevin is a certified public accountant and has worked in the non-profit sector since 1989. In January 2008, he assumed the position of President and CEO of United South End Settlements (USES).   Prior to that, he served as Vice President at Judge Baker Children's Center where he worked very closely with CCFC.

Kevin is also an instructor at the Boston University Schools of Social Work and of Management, Board President of the South End Community Health Center, past Board Chair of The Center for Teen Empowerment, Founding Board member and President of the Massachusetts Bay Self Insurance Group, and is an organizational consultant to Project Muso, a program serving low income women in Mali, Africa.  We are thrilled to have someone with such a wealth of nonprofit experience and expertise working with CCFC.  Biographies of all CCFC Steering Committee members are available at www.commercialfreechildhood.org/about/bios.htm.

Broad Coalition of Advocates Asks FTC to Update Children's Online Privacy Protection Act

CCFC is one of seventeen child advocacy, health, consumer, and privacy groups urging the Federal Trade Commission to update its rules under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to adequately protect children and teens in today's digital environment.  In comments organized by the Center for Digital Democracy, the coalition called on the FTC to extend COPPA's privacy protections to mobile phones, online gaming consoles, interactive television, and other new digital platforms that are increasingly used by marketers to track and target children. Other recommendations included updating the FTC's definitions of "personal information" and websites "directed at children."  The coalition also called on the FTC to develop a separate set of privacy protections for children 13 and older.  To learn more and read the comments, please visit http://www.democraticmedia.org/FTCkidsprivacy.

Support CCFC

We rely on you because we will not compromise our commitment to children by accepting corporate funding. To make your tax-deductible donation please visit: http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/donate.