Taking part in the school readiness program at Fairy Kingdom in Revesby this week, were Emily Vorn, Jesse Walshe and Arnay Kabra. Photo by DANIELA GEDZ.
IT is a question almost every parent will ask themselves - at what age should children be allowed to use digital devices?
Most children are able to navigate smart phones and iPads long before they can read or write, and some preschools have brought digital devices into the classroom and made them part of the curriculum.
But there are concerns about the long-term effects these devices may have on young children's brains.
Excessive use of digital devices can lead to a number of issues, including behavioural problems, attention deficit disorder and eye strain.
Some children can also experience back, neck and shoulder pain from hunching over to look at small screens and focus on small text. Many of these health issues can go unnoticed, as symptoms may not be apparent at first.
Mindful of the effects of the over-use of digital devices, many local pre-schools are implementing strict policies when it comes to screen time.
Revesby's Fairy Kingdom educator Fiona says that even TV is only allowed at the centre when it is raining.
"We do have a laptop and Ipad but only the four-year-olds in the school readiness program are permitted to use them and only for half an hour a week," she explained.
"We are very strict about that as believe all of their learning at an early age, comes through play. We try to keep our children as physically active as possible and ensure they're meeting all of their milestones."
Taking it even a step further, Alma Rd Early Learning Centre in Padstow has no screen time or digital devices on offer.
"We don't allow devices here; maybe some get to do it at home but we think it is very sad that a lot of children today don't get to enjoy what we did as kids."