Tips on how to stay safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic

eSafety Early Years

Online safety for under 5s

The eSafety Early Years program has been developed to support our very youngest Australians to have safe and enjoyable experiences online.

The program provides a suite of advice and resources to help families and early childhood educators encourage young children to have positive relationships with technology and build their understanding of online safety.

Evidence-based approach

Our resources are based on evidence gathered from focus groups with families and early childhood educators, as well as research including our reports on parenting in the digital age and digital parenting.

We have also worked closely with leading experts to ensure our resources are practical, relevant and engaging. We are consulting with Professor Susan Edwards, Director of Early Childhood Futures at Australian Catholic University, and we are collaborating with Early Childhood Australia to develop professional learning modules for early childhood educators.

Key advice

Parents, carers and educators have told us they want to know how to talk about online safety without focusing on all the bad things that can happen. The eSafety Early Years program encourages them to share four simple messages, to help children develop online safety awareness and habits they can take to school and beyond.

Be safe

Help children understand the connected world and how they can protect their personal information. 

Be kind 

Show children how to be kind and respectful online and model good habits around device use and online sharing.

Ask for help 

Teach children to ask for help and let them know they can come to you with any issue.

Make good choices 

Help children to think critically about the content they watch and how they spend their time online.

Build positive relationships to technology

The eSafety Early Years program provides families and educators with advice about how to build and foster positive online experiences for young children, in ways that reflect how they are already using technology, such as:

  • SAY and SHARE with technology — communicate using video and voice chat technology with family and friends to encourage language capabilities and help children build positive relationships.
  • MAKE and DO using technology — play online games and other activities that encourage creativity and empower young children to learn with and about technology.
  • WATCH and EXPLORE on technology — engage with stories and games from their own and other cultures that provide opportunities to develop critical thinking skills, as well as self-regulation skills such as stopping an online activity when time is up.

Parents and carers
Advice and resources for parents and carers of children under 5, including practical tips.

Educators
Classroom resources and professional learning modules for early childhood educators.

 

Feedback

We are continually updating the resources in our eSafety Early Years program. We look forward to your comments and suggestions on how we can improve these resources. 

 

Contact us