PBS to Roll Out New 24/7 Kids Programming

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A new round-the-clock children's channel (also be available as a live stream) could provide a healthy diversion for kids while mom and dad work -- or watch their adult programs.

Your kids will soon be able to watch “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Wild Kratts,” “Curious George” and all their other PBS faves whenever they want on a new round-the-clock PBS kids channel.

According to PBS, it plans to launch its new 24/7 children’s network later this year, most likely in the fall. You’ll be able to watch the kids channel as a digital subchannel on PBS stations nationwide — just as you can watch other PBS subchannels like Create and World — but the network will also be available via a live stream online at pbskids.org and on the PBS Kids Video app.

“Parents know that PBS Kids makes a difference in their children’s lives, which is why so many have said they would value having access to our content throughout the day,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger.

This announcement comes just six months after PBS surprised (and angered) many parents and other public broadcasting supporters when it revealed that “Sesame Street” – the iconic children’s television show that has aired on PBS since 1969 – was moving to premium cable network HBO.

Of course, you can still watch past seasons and archived “Sesame Street” shows on PBS, but the new episodes of the popular kids show aren’t available on PBS until nine months after they’ve aired on HBO.

The new kids network, like all PBS content, will be free and have an educational focus.

“Television continues to be the most widely used platform for children’s educational content, especially among low-income families,” Kerger explained. She said the new channel will ensure that educational kids shows are “available to all families, all the time and via a platform that works for them. Given that 54 percent of all children nationwide do not have the opportunity to attend preschool, providing access is a critical element of our public service mission.”

Although PBS already airs a number of kids shows during the day, PBS is hoping its new 24/7 children’s programming will provide an alternative for kids on weeknights and weekend afternoons and evenings when most regularly scheduled TV programming is adult-focused.

I’m excited about this. I love PBS and its kids shows, and so do my children, so having their programming available during the evenings, when I’m cooking dinner or doing other things, will be great. I’d much rather my children watch PBS kids’ shows, with their focus on education, than some of the shows they like on Netflix.

What do you think about PBS’ plans for a round-the-clock kids network? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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