The Digital Beginnings project explored young children’s use of popular culture, media and new technologies in the home. It was conducted from September 2004 to July 2005. The project was funded by BBC Worldwide and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
A survey was conducted of 1,825 parents and carers of children (aged 0-6) who attended 120 individual maintained and non-maintained early-years settings in England. A total of 524 early years practitioners who worked in 104 of these settings were also surveyed in order to determine their attitudes towards children’s use of popular culture, media and new technologies, and to explore to what extent they planned for their use in communications, language and literacy curriculum of the foundation stage. The study also included an evaluation of the success of action research projects which took place in nine of the maintained and non-maintained early years of settings. These projects were undertaken in order to identify the impact of interventions in which aspects of popular culture, media and new technologies were introduced into the communications, language and literacy curriculum of the foundation stage.