Children's programming

How do I know if a program is appropriate for my child?

With so many viewing choices, it can be hard to know what is appropriate content for your kids so consider the following three questions when you are making your decisions:

  • Is the program made specifically for children?
  • What specialised children’s programs are on-air?
  • Is it okay for my kids to watch shows other than children’s programs?
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Is the program made specifically for children?

Find out if the program’s content is age and developmentally suitable for your child by checking if its classification is C or P, which can be identified on screen and in TV guides by these symbols:

Australian television classification symbolsP is for pre-schoolers
C is for children younger than 14 years.

C and P classified programs are created especially for children’s interests and presented in an appropriate manner, however they are only broadcast on commercial free-to-air (FTA) television.

 You can be assured that C and P programs:

  • are made specifically for children and are entertaining
  • are well produced with high standard scripts, cast, camera work and sound
  • will enhance your child’s understanding and experience
  • are appropriate for Australian children
  • do not advertise alcohol or screen material that encourages dangerous activity or presents unduly frightening or distressing images.
    In addition, advertising is prohibited during P classified programs.

These classifications can give you the confidence to know that your child can watch the content unsupervised, as they are regulated by compulsory Children’s Television Standards (CTS). The CTS aim to ensure children have access to a variety of quality television programs made specifically for them and are protected from possible harmful effects of television. It is governed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

It’s important to be aware that children’s programming broadcast on ABC, SBS and subscription television (STV) is not covered by the CTS, however, the ABC and STV offer a range of channels that are popular with children including ABC KIDS, ABC3, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. Please ensure you check the classification and reviews of individual programs on these channels when deciding on program choices.

What specialised children’s programs are on-air?

You can find out what C and P classified programs are currently on-air via your local TV guides or electronic program guides, such as Freeview and Your TV. Children’s programs are generally broadcast during the C viewing band which is:

  • Monday to Friday: 7.00am to 8.30am and 4.00pm to 8.30pm
  • Saturday, Sundays and school holidays: 7.00am to 8.30pm.

Preschool programs are generally broadcast during the P viewing band which is:

  • Monday to Friday: 7.00am to 4.30pm.

Commercial broadcasters show specialised children’s and preschool programs mainly on their digital multi-channels, while the ABC offers programs on ABC KIDS and ABC3. ABC KIDS runs 5.00am-7.00pm daily and ABC3 runs 6.00am-9.00pm daily.

Free-to-air television channels broadcasting children’s programs

 TV service Channel
 Seven 7TWO
 Nine GO

 ABC KIDS (pre-schoolers)
 ABC3 (ages 6 to 15)

Puggles logoWhen selecting ABC KIDS programs for younger pre-schoolers, parents might wish to look for the  ‘Puggles’ symbol which helps to identify shows designed for this age group. ABC KIDS also offers apps for safe use for pre-schoolers. Visit the ABC website for more information about the ABC KIDS iview app and the ABC KIDS play app.

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