I was wondering if the mac is a safer computer for toddlers than a PC. Thoughts?
Safe in what way? CTRL+ALT+DEL is a keystroke combination used to send an interrupt to the PC's OS letting it know you need its attention now - I don't really know what the relevance is in relation to a device being safe for a toddler or not.
Both devices pose the same dangers in the absence of responsible adult supervision.
Mac doesn't use ctl-alt-del to bring up the task manager or to shutdown the system.
If one studies that system, both of those actions are accessible to every user.
What specific actions would you like to restrict/control?
Depends on what aspect of "ctrl-alt-del" you are looking for. If you want to force a program to close that is locked up, you can get there by "command-option-esc". If you want to know what programs are running, how much CPU usage, network usage, disk activity, ect you can open the Activity Monitor (Applications -> Utilities).
Your post title and your post content are completely different things (at least not without further discussion on your part). I wouldn't trust a toddler unsupervised with either a Mac or PC. If your goal is to give them something to entertain themselves with while you do something else, then perhaps a Wii is a better choice.
Well on the mac mini and the imac the power button is located on the back if that helps.
My bad. I should have been less opaque.
I know that Ctrl-Alt-Del enables you to do a host of dangerous stuff on Windows. Shut down a running computer; get into running programs and processes and generally cause havok. I was wondering if the Mac has these problems and if it is a more child-friendly device. I see the iPad is pretty successful in this area.
I'm glad that you are so concerned for your children but I think that your definition of "a host of dangerous stuff" may be a little uninformed. Any operating system is going to have a way to halt the system, shut it down, and kill unresponsive processes.
My suggestion would be to talk to the IT folks at the school and get their input on what devices are appropriate for a child in the target age range. If you are concerned about a child shutting down a computer via task manager, perhaps the child is not ready for unsupervised computer use.
As has been pointed out, there is nothing about Ctrl-Alt-Delete that makes it dangerous in the hands of children. Windows supports per-account security, and it is generally a bad idea to allow unsupervised children to log in under an account that has administrative rights on a PC environment where you are concerned about data, or any scenario that you're unable to repair using the very simple system restore feature. That is a matter of good parenting and is not a technology issue.
Mobile devices like tablets or phones are much more limited purpose, they do not allow the user to do many things, because they have a much narrower scope of functionality. In the hands of a menacing child they are likely to be more inherently bulletproof from a data perspective, but more likely to be dropped or damaged. They are also very difficult to get any level of real work done on, so its best to use the right tool for the job.
From a perspective of running task manager, killing specific processes, etc. there is not much difference in available features across Windows, OSX, or any other desktop OS, while mobile OSes typically have no need to allow this level of control.