The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority, ECA, has launched the first of its kind, “Child Online Protection guide”, in the UAE, as part of the Takween Summer Program 2020.

The guide focuses on providing a holistic approach to all potential threats and risks of harm that children at an early age, and beyond, may encounter online on social media platforms, electronic games and other digital platforms. The guide is available for parents and caregivers to download via the ECA website.

With high internet usage in the UAE and 99 percent of the population being active on social media, the guide is intended to support parents in the development of good digital habits while providing local and international resources to ensure they can fulfil their responsibility in keeping their children safe online.

The “Child Online Protection Guide” will help parents understand how they can guide their children by supporting safe, structured and healthy online activity from an early age.

It also helps parents understand the potential risks of children using the internet and electronic games, such as cyberbullying and child abuse. The guide provides information on dealing with problems and reporting them. Besides, the guide introduces the most important resources that the internet can provide to children of determination to meet their educational, social and entertainment needs.

ECA reaffirmed that the internet can be a wonderful tool for young children, particularly during this current period, where it can help facilitate distance learning. However, an increase in the amount of time spent online by children also brings online risks such as cyberbullying, inappropriate content, and online predators. This guide has been created to empower parents and provide them with the knowledge and tools to protect their children online. It also aims to develop their skills such as access to educational content, logical thinking, problem-solving, research and language.

The Authority calls on parents and the workforce in the early childhood development sector to familiarise themselves with the guide by visiting the parents’ platform, which was recently launched within the Takween programme via for all to benefit from the ECA initiatives and activities, and enhance their experiences and skills to protect their children and provide optimal child development, enrich the family and educational environment with diverse learning resources, knowledge to establish a safe and healthy environment, and ensure optimal use of the summer vacation.

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