It’s undeniable that technology has become indispensable to the everyday life of the average Australian. For small children born in this era, technology has shaped their entire outlook and they struggle to perceive a world without it. To learn more about the impact technology has on Australian children’s early development, Viacom recently conducted a study.

Traditionally, parents have used a variety of books and toys to facilitate early childhood learning. While there is still a greater focus on offline experiences, children under age 3 have already begun to use mobile apps for unstructured learning and entertainment. Technology is most commonly used to develop soft skills for children 3 to 5 years old, but usage patterns shift towards more structural and formal learning at age 6 to 8, when learning becomes more academically focused.

Often, parents feel insufficient, unqualified and time-poor to support their child’s learning. As a result, many parents see app-learning as a way to ensure that their child receives a well-rounded education. Not only does this include technical skills like coding, which many Australian parents see as essential; apps are also a resource for developing soft skills like confidence, creativity and curiosity. These factors are especially valued by Australian parents, who tend to emphasize experiential learning and push back on academic pressure.

To a lesser degree, Australian parents also find the babysitting potential of mobile devices to be appealing. Even though kids sometimes struggle with self-discipline and get bored easily, mobile apps offer personalized, customized and fun content that keeps children entertained.