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Reports & Research

KIDS COUNT Data Book, 2013

California Report Card, 2011-12

Educationally/Insufficient? An Analysis of the Availability & Educational Quality of Children’s E/I Programming, 2008


The Effects of Interactive Media on Preschoolers’ Learning, 2007

See All Reports & Research



Related News

Children Now Asks FCC to Put Teeth in Tentative Kids Ad Conclusions (Broadcasting & Cable)

Special Report: Does Anyone Care About TV’s Content Ratings? (TV Guide)

FCC Explores Improved TV Ratings, V-Chip (National Journal)


Disney Looking Into Cradle for Customers (NY Times)

‘Dora’ Special Explores Influence on Children (NY Times)

See All News



Facts & Figures

Since 1996, television broadcasters have been required to air at least three hours of children’s educational programming per week. They are also required to label those programs with an educational/informational icon so parents can identify them.

A Children Now study found that only one in eight TV episodes labeled “educational/informational” is highly educational. In contrast, nearly twice as many were found to have only minimal educational value.

In 1990, Congress passed the Children’s Television Act to ensure broadcast TV stations provide programming specifically designed to serve the educational needs of children—in return for the free use of publicly-owned airwaves.


See All Facts & Figures



Policy Priorities

Respond quickly to public complaints about the adequacy of TV broadcasters’ compliance with the Children’s Television Act.

Actively monitor TV broadcasters’ compliance with the Children’s Television Act.

Strengthen the guidelines for what constitutes “educational/informational” TV.


The Future of Media in Children’s Education

Media and technology’s potential to positively impact children’s education is undeniable. Ensuring that this potential is realized, however, will require not only the advancements made by pilot programs, but also will rely on effective advocacy to gain the support needed from policymakers and interest groups to bring any education innovation to scale.

In September 2009, Children Now, in partnership with The Future of Children, a collaboration of Princeton University and The Brookings Institution, delivered a national conference that explored open issues of using media and technology to improve children’s education. The program focused on tweens, featuring research from The Future of Children journal and presentations from top experts in the field.

View the conference agenda

See biographies of speakers & panelists

Welcome & Keynote Address

Welcome: Ted Lempert, President, Children Now

Keynote Address: Milton Chen, Executive Director, George Lucas Educational Foundation

Remarks: Susanna Loeb, Professor, Stanford School of Education

Panel 1: Learning Throughout the Day:
Examples & Research

Moderator: Elisabeth Donahue, Future of Children

Presenters: Sasha Barab, University of Indiana; Kaveri Subrahmanyam, California State University, Los Angeles; Doug Evans, George Washington University; Eric Marcos, Lincoln Middle School; Jessica Becker, Bayside S.T.E.M. Academy; Nathaniel Carter, Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center; Sarah Berg, Ripple Effects

Panel 2: Ensuring Media’s Potential to Educate:
How To Achieve the Goal

Moderator: Vicky Rideout, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Panelists: Sandy Calvert, Georgetown University; Jeanne Elliott, Bayside S.T.E.M. Academy; Gay Krause, Krause Center for Innovation, Foothill College; Craig Wacker, MacArthur Foundation