YouTube Kids comes to the UK and Ireland

A world of family-friendly video to explore, created with parents and children in mind

For years, my family and I have watched countless hours of videos on all kinds of topics. We use video to learn and listen to nursery rhymes, to enjoy the shows we love and to ask and answer questions on maths, science, space and beyond … With a world of video in our pockets, there’s a world of possibility and knowledge at our fingertips.

Today, we’re launching YouTube Kids in the UK and Ireland - an app built with parents and children in mind that makes it easier for kids to find videos on topics they want to explore. Since we launched YouTube Kids in the US, it’s been downloaded more than 10 million times by families who rate it among the top kids apps available. This local version of YouTube Kids puts the content we love in the UK and Ireland front and centre - think Captain Barnacles at the touch of a button and CGP Grey on hand to answer tricky questions from curious minds. It’s our first step in reimagining YouTube for families and it’s now available to download for free on Google Play and the App Store. Here are some of the key features:

Bright and playful design
Your 4-year-old may already be a swiping expert, but the app’s design makes it even easier to find Little Baby Bum or the latest video of In The Night Garden. With larger images and bold icons, it’s fast and simple for little thumbs to navigate. And we’ve built in voice search so that even if your child can’t spell or type, they can still find videos of things they’re curious about.

Family-focused content
We’ve built the YouTube Kids app to be a safer version of YouTube, a family-friendly place for kids to explore their imagination and curiosity. You can browse channels and playlists in four categories: Shows, Music, Learning and Explore. Search for videos of particular interest to your family, like why penguins waddle on National Geographic Kids, or watch favorites from Teletubbies, Wallace and Gromit, The Magic Roundabout and Postman Pat. And of course, your kids can watch new series from YouTube channels they already like, including Talking Tom and Friends or find new videos from beloved UK YouTubers like Stampylonghead and his Wonder Quest.

Parental controls
We’ve built options into the app that help you control the experience for your kids and put parents in the driving seat.

  • Learn how the app works: When parents open YouTube Kids, they learn upfront how our systems choose and recommend content and how to flag videos. We always try to make the videos available in the app family-friendly, but no system is perfect. So if you ever find a video you’re concerned about, please flag it. This helps make YouTube Kids better for everyone. 
  • Search settings: We’ll also prompt you to make a choice about how broadly you want your child to explore - turn search on to access millions of family-friendly videos, or turn search off to restrict your child’s experience to a more limited set. Either way, parents decide the right experience for their family from the get-go. 
  • Timer: Let the app be the bad guy with a built-in timer that lets you limit kids’ screen time. The app alerts your child when the session is over, so you don’t have to. (You’re welcome. ;)
  • Sound settings: Sometimes you need a little peace and quiet! You have an option to turn off background music and sound effects, so your kids can keep watching while you catch a breath.
  • Custom passcode: Parents have the ability to set their own passcode, and to access settings and other parental information in the app.
  • Logged out experience: The app is currently a signed-out experience with no ties to an account. We’ve also removed all features that are linked to an account like uploading, sharing, liking, etc.

YouTube Kids on the big screen
You can now also watch YouTube Kids as a family on your big screen using Chromecast, Apple TV, game consoles or a smart TV.

We’re so excited to bring YouTube Kids to the UK and Ireland, and look forward to your ideas too so that we can better help your family explore, learn and sing along. And so from my family to yours, enjoy!
Posted by Greg Dray, Dad of one and Head of Kids and Learning Partnerships at YouTube, who recently watched TuTiTu's language learning series with his 2 year-old daughter to introduce her to Spanish. Hola!

Source: YouTube UK Blog