PBS Kids is a block airing during the morning and afternoon hours on PBS. Recently a 24/7 PBS Kids digital cable channel has been launched in an attempt to better serve its audiences. The block is overseen by Linda Simensky, former executive VP for Cartoon Network. Some of its programming not produced by PBS member stations or transmitted by PBS are produced by independent public TV distributors such as American Public Television, automatically not labeling them as "PBS Kids" programming.
A 24-hour channel, along with a live-stream online and on its app, launched on January 16, 2017. The block is expected to continue as a daypart on the main PBS channel.
The PBS Kids framework started as part of PBS's "Ready to Learn" initiative, a project designed to provide access of early childhood educational programming to underprivileged children. On July 11, 1994, PBS repackaged existing children's programs into a new block called "PTV". In addition to having scheduled educational programs on the air, PTV also included interstitial content, like the "P-Pals" (animated children that looked like the PBS logo). The P-Pals delivered educational content from their fictional town of "PTV Park". Shorts were targeted at younger children, while the older children were targeted with live-action and music video interstitials.
In 1999, the PTV block became PBS Kids. It included its Ready to Learn service, online web pages, and a home video label.
- Program Listing: A complete listing of shows that aired new episodes on PBS Kids.
Shows in Limbo
- The Game (1996-September 6, 1999): An afternoon block aimed at kids ages 6-8
- PBS Kids Bookworm Bunch (September 30, 2000-October 11, 2004): A Saturday morning block that consisted of six (later four) shows produced by Nelvana Limited.
- PBS Kids GO! (October 11, 2004-October 7, 2013): An afternoon block aimed at kids ages 6-8
- PBS Kids Preschool Block: (September 4, 2006-October 7, 2013): A morning block aimed at preschool-aged kids.