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Let Pre-School Kids Access Tech, Parents Say

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The importance of IT to the lives of people now is widely recognised, and it could be much greater still in the future. That may be why a new survey has shown 70 per cent of parents believe children should be able to access technology before they even start school.

Independent Education Today reported that a survey of 1,017 parents and carers by research firm Sapio on behalf of education show Bett had shown the level of importance they attached to this aspect of education.

Indeed, the quality of IT equipment and training was ranked even higher in importance by those surveyed than the skills of head teachers.

When it came to the leading priority, 22 per cent identified the ability to use IT and online data easily, while 18 per cent listed the development of coding and IT skills. This put such skills ahead of priorities such as artistic or musical skills (15 and 14 per cent respectively).

Education advisor and member of Bett’s Global Education Council Dr Ger Graus said: “Technology in this day and age is as much part of everyday life as getting up in the morning and going to bed at night.” He added that this applies to everyone, even the “very young”.

At the same time, the findings also showed the value of coding camps for kids and other supervised settings in which youngsters can learn coding and other IT skills, as parents revealed they felt supervision was important for those learning tech from scratch.

The survey found that 24 per cent approved of allowing kids as young as three access to tech at nurseries and other “controlled environments”.

Among those who think three is old enough to start learning to code is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

His wife Priscilla Chan revealed to the Sunday Times Magazine in November that the social media pioneer has been helping his daughter learn this skill since her birthday last August.