YouTube is releasing a child-friendly app aimed at bringing kid-appropriate content to mobile users. The free YouTube Kids app will be available for download on Android devices only, starting Feb. 23. There is no word on iOS availability.
Designed for smartphones and tablets, YouTube Kids will feature original content from DreamWorks TV, Jim Henson TV, Mother Goose Club, Talking Tom and Friends, and more. And programs from National Geographic Kids, Reading Rainbow, and Thomas the Tank Engine will provide hours of free babysitting.
“At a time when a child’s access to media can be overwhelming and filled with empty calories, I’m excited that YouTube Kids is making this commitment to give families a safe environment to spark curiosity while still entertaining,” Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton said in a statement.
Users can browse channels and playlists in four categories: Shows, Music, Learning, and Explore. Or search for topics like seashells or spaceships to find specific videos to feed your kids’ curiosity. Keep an eye out for new content from YouTubers Vlogbrothers and Stampylonghead, as well.
“We want kids of all ages—and their grownups—to enjoy our playlists and spark their curiosity to go out in the world and learn more,” said Michelle Sullivan, National Geographic Kids’ Vice President of Digital.
According to The Wall Street Journal, YouTube exec Malik Ducard is expected to discuss the project more during a keynote at Monday’s Kidscreen Summit.
A person familiar with the matter told the Journal that the app is expected to include parental controls. You can, for example, set a timer to limit how much time your children spend on the service.
The news comes after the Web giant in December confirmed plans to create versions of its popular products specifically for consumers 12 years and younger.
As the Journal pointed out, Google will have to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which, among other rules, requires websites to obtain parental consent before gathering information on kids under 13.
Last year, Google had to refund $19 million in in-app purchase charges made by kids via Android devices.
Last month, meanwhile, Twitter-owned Vine released Vine Kids, which offers up tons of animated videos that are appropriate for young audiences. Children can simply swipe left or right to watch a new Vine, and tap the screen to hear fun sounds.
For more, check out the best tablets and phones for kids in the slideshows above.