Designed to help parents and caregivers of all achievements and backgrounds make informed decisions about which new products are right for their children, the Parents' Choice Awards is the nation's oldest nonprofit program created to recognize quality children's media. The Parents' Choice Awards program honors the best material for children: books, toys, music and storytelling, magazines, software, videogames, television and websites. Parents' Choice Foundation's panels of educators, scientists, performing artists, librarians, parents and, yes, kids themselves, identify the very best products for children of different ages and backgrounds, and of varied skill and interest levels.
The Evaluation Process
The multi-tiered evaluation process is as true to its integrity today as it was when Parents' Choice Foundation was established almost thirty years ago. The Parents' Choice Awards Committees evaluation process offers objectivity, respect, and expertise – and all with a sense of humor. Learning is fun – and we want kids to know that.
The Parents’ Choice Awards evaluation process is a lengthy and confidential one. We don’t offer “feedback” to producers or manufacturers because we don’t work for them. We work for parents, caregivers, librarians and educators.
Approximately 20% of those items submitted to the Parents’ Choice Awards™ program receive a commendation in one of the six award levels: Classic, Gold, Silver, Recommended, Approved, and Fun Stuff, underscoring the influential and celebrated achievement of being honored with a commendation from the Parents’ Choice Awards program.
What Do the Committees Look For?
Parents' Choice helps parents make informed decisions. It's as simple as that. But for the Parents' Choice Awards Committees, the process is anything but simple. It is multifaceted – and it doesn't happen overnight. We don't take shortcuts.
The Parents’ Choice Awards committees look for products that entertain and teach with flair, stimulate imagination and inspire creativity. Judges are interested in how a product helps a child grow: socially, intellectually, emotionally, ethically, physically. Products must be free of bias. Above all, products must not extol violence.
Adhering to rigorous standards, Parents’ Choice honors material that respects a child’s age, interests and abilities, and adheres to universal human values. Our jurors and judges offer expertise in and respect for the subject and the media.
The Parents’ Choice Awards Committees look for products that close the Generation Gap. We look for material to help parents and kids connect. We look for products that teach, without being preachy.
The Parents’ Choice Awards program has established the benchmarks of achievement in children’s media. Placing a product in nomination for a Parents’ Choice Award in no way guarantees receipt of commendation. Products are through their paces. Among the considerations of the jurors and judges: the learning value, the play value, the appeal and the cost. A product’s originality weighs heavily in the judges’ decisions.
In landscape swelling with products marketed as “educational”, the Parents’ Choice Awards Committees help identify products our experts believe live up to the marketing claims. We don’t recognize or commend those that don’t.
Parents’ Choice Awards are trusted.
Many an educator has said of Parents’ Choice that we set the benchmark for achievement in children’s media that help kids grow mentally, morally, and physically.
We provide a service to the millions of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and caregivers all over this country who are time-pressed and work-stressed and simply don’t have even a moment to pre-screen every product they give the kids in their lives. We do that for them.
By Store Owners:
Many an independent toy store and book store base their buying decisions on Parents’ Choice recommendations. Online retailers large and small carry Parents’ Choice Award winning products, as do catalogues and museum shops. Manufacturers, producers, writers and musicians tell us how significant a Parents’ Choice Award is when making presentations to buyers.
By the Press:
Parents’ Choice has long been a resource for journalists. Recently inquires have weighted heavily in matters of products’ advertising promises: the soundness, power and credibility of marketing claims and if educational products are pushing kids too fast, too furiously and too soon. Others query if we’ve seen a “Back to the Future” trend towards board games and backyard bug exploration and away form video games. In 2006, Parents’ Choice Foundation will be participating in national panel discussions about the state of children’s television and the new powerful tools with which parents can accept or block programming in their homes.