Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ele?

The Fred Rogers Center Early Learning Environment™ (Ele) is an innovative online space where early childhood teachers and home-based providers, families, and others who care for young children can come together in a safe environment to find and share digital resources that support early learning and development in children from birth to age 5.

Who are the users of Ele?

Ele is for all adults who care for young children and thus play an important role in their learning and development.

Do I have to pay for Ele?

No. Joining Ele is 100% free. Thanks to the generosity of organizations whose activities are featured on Ele, and to the funders who have supported development of the site, the Rogers Center is able make these rich resources widely available.

What do I get when joining Ele?

When you become a part of the Ele Community, you are joining other adults--teachers, parents, home-based providers, and other caregivers--who are all part of the community of educators responsible for teaching our young children up through the age of 5.

You will be able to mark favorites and add activities to Play!Lists that you can shape and organize to suit your needs.

You will be able to share Play!Lists, write in the "Let's Talk" message board, make comments and rate activities, and post videos and pictures.

You will be an active participant in the Fred Rogers Center's national early learning community, where we all learn from each other.

What kinds of activities does Ele have?

Ele provides great activities to do with children, including games, songs, electronic books, and videos. You can also find resources to help you learn more about your child's development.

Each activity has helpful hints on what you can do during the activity to help your children, as well as information on why each activity is important.

How do I find an activity?

Try visiting the Activities section. If you'd like, you can narrow what you see based on the categories at the top of the Activities page. Pick an activity type, like reading or art. Or, if you only want to see videos, books, or other kinds of media, click on those boxes. You can also find activities based on a child's age. Another way you can zero in on what you want is by clicking on the tags listed below each activity.

What are the stars on the Activity Cards?

Ele Community members are able to rate activities. To rate an activity, just click the number of stars you think it deserves. You must be logged in to rate activities.

Who can make comments on Activities?

As an Ele Community member, you can become an active participant by commenting on an activity, or posting videos or pictures.

How do I find an activity that is age appropriate?

Click on the boxes next to the ages to find age appropriate activities.

What is a Play!List?

A Play!List is a way for you to collect and organize your favorite activities into an easy-to-use group. Adding an activity to your Favorites creates a default Play!List for you. You can create additional Play!Lists to share with families and teachers. Then you can add activities to your Play!List. You can share your Play!List with the Ele community or keep it private. You can also see other Ele Community members' Play!Lists.

How can I share what I find on Ele with others?

You can share individual activities and Play!Lists through Facebook, Twitter, and email. Look for sharing icons in the top right of activity pages and Play!List pages.

Why does Ele focus on early literacy?

Early literacy starts well before children can read. Encouraging adults and children to think and talk about what they’re seeing and hearing is a way to support early literacy skills. The research is clear: literacy paths start early. Children who start school with few high-quality early literacy experiences are more likely to struggle and fall behind their peers, harming their chances for later school success. The development of literacy skills must begin at birth, and talking with children is a great way to promote language and literacy development.

How are activities selected to be included in Ele?

All activities within Ele are media- or technology-based. We select activities that can be used with children, as well as those that can serve as a resource for adults. Several considerations are taken into account, including "How fun or entertaining is it?", "How easy to use it?", "How much does it encourage adult-child interaction?", and "How well does it translate research into practice in understandable ways?"

Are you sharing my information with anyone?

No, Ele does not rent, sell, or share personal information about you with any other person or organization. For more information, please see our terms of use / privacy policy.

How old do you have to be to become a member?

The site is intended for individuals 13 and older. We request that individuals under the age of 13 not submit any personal information on Ele.

Has Ele been tested and evaluated?

Ele has been developed with input from families, early learning teachers, family/home-based care providers, and other early childhood and literacy experts. Ele has been the subject of focus groups and pilot testing to ensure that the site is easy to use and informative. An evaluation of Ele that examines how the site is impacting caregivers' practices and children's early literacy skills will be conducted in 2012-2013.

Still have questions? Try visiting our discussion forums, Let's Talk. Or, send an email via our contact form. For technical support, please also use the contact form.