Angelica Velazquez is the Director of the Institute’s Informal Family Child Care Project. She is also on the board of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC). We asked Angelica to share information about CCFC and their upcoming Children’s Screen Time Action Network Conference in Boston, Massachusetts.

What is the CCFC?

The mission of CCFC is to support parents’ efforts to raise healthy families by limiting commercial access to children and ending the exploitive practice of child-targeted marketing. In working for the rights of children to grow up, and the freedom for parents to raise them, without being undermined by corporate interests, CCFC promotes a more democratic and sustainable world.

What does CCFC do?

CCFC has built a powerful movement to end the exploitive practice of marketing to children and promote a childhood shaped by what’s best for kids, not corporate profits. This advocacy is grounded in the overwhelming evidence that child-targeted marketing undermines healthy development and the belief that society bears responsibility for, and benefits immeasurably from, the wellbeing of children. CCFC works to reduce marketers’ access to children through a variety of tactics and approaches. These approaches include changing attitudes, changing how children spend their time, changing children’s environments, and changing rules.

What is the goal of the Children’s Screen Time Action Network Conference?

The goal of the conference is to teach, learn, and develop innovative solutions to the serious issues surrounding screen and device use among children.  The conference will also promote collaboration by bringing together professionals dedicated to reducing children’s screen time, such as teachers, childcare providers, social workers, and family therapists.

Are there any featured speakers at the conference?

The conference will include a variety of speakers and presenters including, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, author, Taking Back Childhood: Helping Your Kids Thrive in a Fast Paced Media Saturated Violence Filled World , Victoria Dunckley, Integrative Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatrist, author, Reset Your Child's Brain,  Douglas Gentile, author, Media Violence and Children, Diane Levin, author, Beyond Remote Controlled Childhood, Susan Linn, author, Consuming Kids and The Case for Make Believe, special guest Paula Poundstone, NPR’s Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me and author, The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness  and many more.

Is this the first conference of its kind? If so, what prompted the creation of this event?

Yes, this is the inaugural Children’s Screen Time Action Network Conference. The Children’s Screen Time Action Network launched in November 2017 to share screen overuse resources with those providing direct service to families, including tools to share with parents, methods that work with families, and ways to communicate about screen limits without judgment. The conference provides an opportunity to share these resources and collaborate across disciplines such as pediatrics, education, and child development.

What are the benefits of attending this conference?

The benefits of attending this conference include learning about health risks related to screen and device overuse, workshops designed to communicate more effectively with parents, meeting other professionals who believe that reducing children’s screen time is necessary and possible, and exploring opportunities for partnerships.

What are the next steps/future implications of the conference?

It is our hope that participants will leave with lots of great information, strategies and resources to bring back to their respective roles and communities.  We further hope that the exchange of information, insight and experience started at the conference will continue within CCFC and in communities, institutions and homes as we continue to build momentum around these important issues.

To register for the conference, click here.