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  • The Good Things Foundation - The Minimum Digital Living Standard for Households with Children

    Created: 27/03/2024
    News/Events Category: Technology
    This item will show under the following categories: Children and Families  

    The Minimum Digital Living Standard (MDLS) includes, but is more than, having accessible internet, adequate equipment, and the skills, knowledge and support people need. It is about being able to communicate, connect and engage with opportunities safely and with confidence.

    Headline Stats

    • 3.7 million households with children do not meet the MDL standard. This is 4 in 10 households with children in the UK today.
    • Digital access is essential for family life - families have made clear how this impacts them on feeling included, opportunities, and everyday tasks 
    • Poverty is a barrier to meeting the MDLS - predictors of being below MDLS include low socio-economic status, living in a deprived area, being a single parent household, a household with more than two children, a household led by someone with a disability, and/or with non-white ethnicity
    • 45% of households with children are below the MDLS 
    • Digital safety is a big issue for parents and young people - families see this as a shared responsibility with schools, state, and tech companies 
    • 27% of households with children have parents missing the critical skills for understanding and managing digital risk

    What Is 'Enough' MDLS? 

    • Availability of goods and services e.g. smartphones, large screen devices, wi-fi 
    • Functional and practical skills for engaging online, using devices, and managing data 
    • Critical skills to identify risks and evaluate quality of information

    The MDLS report also identifies recommendations to reduce barriers to digital inclusion for households with children. 

    Read the full report here. 

    If your organisation supports people who face digital barriers, you can join the National Digital Inclusion Network run by Good Things Foundation. Ask about free resources including the National Databank, National Device Bank, and Learn My Way. Visit or e-mail [email protected]

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