The share of parents of children entering kindergarten reporting on several key aspects of home environment. These include whether children are read to daily, and how much television they watch and screen time they have. For television and screen time, the share of parents saying their children have 2 hours or less per day is reported. Screen time includes television, computer, or video games.
Daily reading with young children and limiting television time are important in getting children ready for learning. Reading, even to children as young as infants, stimulates brain development, builds listening skills and develops early literacy skills, from phonemic awareness (connecting letters and sounds) to letter recognition. Children who have more than 2 hours of television or screen time daily are at higher risk for emotional, attention and behavior problems, and of becoming overweight.
In Rochester in 2015, 55% of parents said they read to their children daily, up from 42% in 2002. In 2015, 49% said their children watched 2 hours or less of TV each day, compared to 75% in 2014 and 53% in 2002. With regard to screen time, 32% said their children have 2 hours or less of screen time daily, compared to 41% in 2008. So overall, a higher share of children are being read to daily, but a somewhat lower share are having limits on their TV and screen time.
This information is collected via a larger survey administered to parents of entering kindergarten students. The number of parents filling out the survey varies, from a high of more than 2,000 in 2005 to 65 in 2007. In 2014, just over 500 parents answered the survey.