The internet offers great opportunities for learning, play and expression, but it also creates opportunities for harm.
This is why the Alannah & Madeline Foundation and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) are joining forces to raise awareness of these issues and educate parents and carers of very young children.
Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta said details of the partnership with the AFP are still in the early stages, but the initiatives being developed will focus on resources for parents of very young children, staff of childcare centres and preschools, as well as parent groups to provide education on digital safety.
“We don’t talk about how to communicate online to our kids from an early enough age. Leaving the discussion on cyber safety until children reach school is too late,” Lesley said.
“Children are online before they can even read. It isn’t about scaring our children. Just as we taught children in the fifties that televisions did not contain little people inside the set, conversely we need to help our children understand that the game screen is actually connected to real people with real people talking to them.
“We make sure we know who comes into contact with our children when they are in the park. It is equally important we know who might be in contact with them when they are playing an online game," she said.
The agreement will include activities such as information sessions, building on the Foundation’s Digital Licence online cyber safety challenge, as well as both organisations potentially working with parents and teachers from childcare centres and preschools to increase knowledge and awareness of digital safety.
Click here to read more about the work of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation.
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