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YouTube Kids brings free cartoons and parental controls

YouTube’s new app aimed solely at children, YouTube Kids, goes live on Monday, featuring a whole bunch of cartoons and age-appropriate videos to keep your nippers entertained – plus controls for the grown-ups.

YouTube is a great resource for keeping the kids happy, packed with all kinds of cartoony goodness – hell, we’ve even jumped in and played some classics like Dogtanian ourselves, in our more nostalgic moments.

But until now there’s always the looming spectre of inappropriate content popping up while your kids are enjoying some of their favourite videos. The site being what it is, you can go from Octonauts to a screamer featuring Regan from the Exorcist in less than two clicks, and the nightmares and sleepless nights that follow aren’t likely to thrill kids or parents alike.

So say a big hello to YouTube’s new kiddie-friendly app, YouTube Kids, which will launch initially on Android before hopefully making a swift jump to iOS. Apart from the age-appropriate content, there will be full parental controls, including a timer, so you can set how long your kids spend watching their vids. There’s also a button so you can easily mute content – which, as any parent will tell you, is a stroke of genius.

YouTube Kids’ home screen has reportedly been put together with younger children’s fingers in mind, featuring easy-to-hit tiles and colourful menus. The app will also give kids the option of searching for content with their voice, rather than typing.

Although nothing has been officially confirmed, YouTube Kids will reportedly feature content from the likes of Sesame Street, Jim Henson TV and National Geographic Kids, as well as Yo Gabba Gabba and Thomas & Friends. Google is believed to be paying for original content for the app too, though quite how they’re planning on recouping their outlay is unknown at this stage.

Ads will presumably have to be screened to ensure that they’re age-appropriate, while gathering personal information from minors is something which is heavily moderated in the US and other countries.

YouTube Kids goes live on Monday February 23rd, just in time for the kids in the UK to go back to school. Great timing as ever, Google.

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