TV, video working in childcare

A new study indicates that television has become part of a typical day at the majority of childcare centers.

The Public Broadcasting Service and Statistical Research Inc. found in a survey of more than 200 childcare centers nationwide that 86% use television or videotapes.

Sixty-nine percent, or nearly seven out of 10, reported that watching TV is among the activities on a typical day for children at their facilities, and about six in 10 (59%) noted that they had used television during the past week, according to the study released Tuesday.

Although 91% of the centers have one or more TV sets and 85% own at least one videocassette recorder, only 30% receive cable.

PBS’ preschool programs were the most widely viewed programs, with its shows cited nearly twice as often as commercial or cable series (34% and 18%, respectively) by those who used TV in the week before the survey.

The results point to a need for more expansive research on pre-schooler audiences, said Alice Cahn, director of children’s programming for PBS.

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