QuickReport: Discovering Kids’ Apps: Do Family Strategies Vary by Income?


Almost all young children today have access to mobile devices, regardless of family income. So while the question of whether they have access to digital media  is becoming less pressing, researchers are turning their focus to developmentally appropriate use of mobile apps, and to understanding how children gain access to these digital resources. At the heart of these issues is the discovery process that determines the kinds of media young children are consuming.  

In 2016, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center conducted a national survey of nearly 1,200 parents with children between 3 to 6 years of age to gain a better understanding of how families discover and select children’s apps.  Of particular interest was how family income might play a role in the sources and strategies that parents utilize to select apps for their children. While exploring differences and similarities across families with differing income levels, this QuickReport shares survey findings that detail families’ perceptions of children’s apps and approaches to finding them, and surfaces critical next steps in examining young children’s digital equity.

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