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New day care law curbs technology for more physical exercise in Broward County

Children need more play and less computer time in day care centers.
Children need more play and less computer time in day care centers.
Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Toddlers need more play time versus television/computer time says Broward County Commissioners who unanimously voted to push a law forward in this county. According to The Sun Sentinel on August 12, 2014, day care administration will be forced to cut electronic media from their programs or face fines (between $20 to $50 per day).

This law will affect about 90,000 children in this county, as well as a large number of after-school children who attend these programs. Along with the cutting of electronic devices will also be rules for healthier nutrition.

Here is the proposed platform:

  • Children ages one and older will need at least 40 minutes of physical activity (play) for every three and a half hours that they are in day care. Infants and young toddlers cannot be restrained in swings or walkers.
  • Toddlers (ages two and under) cannot watch television or streaming via computers. Even if it’s raining they must be involved in other type activities.
  • Children from age two to five are limited to only 90 minutes of electronic media per week to replace physical activity and another 90 minutes for educational purposes. During rain, this timing loosens up to two hours during that day.
  • The withholding of physical activity cannot be used as a punishment.
  • Outdoor play areas must be shaded.
  • Only white milk (skim and low-fat) will be served. No more chocolate and strawberry flavored milk.
  • Snacks brought in by parents must be commercially prepared.
  • Child care workers will promote healthy food choices and table manners.

Commissioner Marty Kiar states that “most day care centers already do a wonderful job with our kids” who has two children in a center. “But, there are some that just get by. This would ensure all our children have proper nutrition and are given proper physical activity throughout the day.”

The actions of this law are being drawn up to be set during a final hearing on September 9, 2014.

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