In response to a parent survey indicating families wanted anytime access to quality educational content, WMHT has launched a free, 24/7 PBS Kids channel. The station, which serves the Capital District and other parts of Eastern New York is also making the channel available via live streaming on digital platforms.
“WMHT has been an integral part of the community for years, delivering content and services that parents trust and that address key issues in early learning,” said Robert Altman, WMHT president and CEO. “We are excited to build on the work we do every day for families in our communities by adding these new 24/7 services to our offerings, ensuring that our proven educational content is accessible anytime and anywhere to all kids – especially those who need it the most.”
The free service, which features 24/7 educational programming, provides content that is available to all children and caregivers on a platform and at a time that works for them, including primetime, weekends and other out-of-school times when they are most likely to tune in.
A new national study of parents with children ages 2-6 finds TV viewing is one of the top ways that families spend time together, with 89 percent of parents reporting they watch TV together as a family, 74 percent in favor of anytime access to educational programming and 37 percent ranking PBS KIDS as the best use of family screen time.
The channel is also available as a live stream on wmht.org/kidsvideo, pbskids.org and on the free PBS KIDS Video App for mobile and tablet devices, which has been downloaded 16.4 million times and totaled 4.2 billion streams last year.
Later this year, the live stream will introduce a first-of-its kind integrated games feature, enabling children to toggle between a PBS KIDS show and an activity that extends learning – all in one seamless digital experience. The games will align with the learning goals of each TV series, deepening children’s engagement and supporting learning.
WMHT is one of 108 PBS licensees expected to launch the PBS KIDS channel on TV by the end of the year, making it available to 90 percent of U.S. TV households.
For more than a decade, the American public has consistently ranked PBS KIDS as the number-one educational media brand for children.
Leading children’s media experts point to PBS Kids as a trusted resource for families, too.
“PBS Kids’ series are consistently among the highest-rated shows that Common Sense Media reviews,” said James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media. “Millions of children across our country stand to benefit from the increased access to PBS KIDS’ exceptional content with the launch of the 24/7 PBS KIDS channel.”
Similarly, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in its recently updated guidelines for children’s media use, recommends PBS KIDS as the leading resource for quality, educational screen time. The new AAP guidelines also encourage parents to watch TV with their children and talk about it together.
The WMHT PBS KIDS schedule includes the following series: “Arthur,””Bob the Builder,” “Caillou,” “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!” “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” “Cyberchase,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman,” “Nature Cat,” “Odd Squad,” “Peg + Cat,” “Ready Jet Go!” “Sesame Street,” “Sid the Science Kid,” “Splash and Bubbles,” “Super Why!” “Thomas & Friends,” “Wild Kratts,” “Wordgirl” and “Wordworld.”
On Friday, April 21, WMHT PBS Kids will debut “PBS Kids Family Night,” weekly family viewing events featuring movie specials or themed programming every Friday from 7 to 9 p.m., and repeating on Saturday and Sunday evenings. “Family Night” will kick off with popular movie favorites such as “Odd Squad: The Movie,” “Splash and Bubbles: One Big Ocean” and “Sesame Street: The Cookie Thief.”
WMHT PBS Kids is now available on Digital TV 17.4, Time Warner Channel 1277, Verizon Fios Channel 12
Mid-Hudson Cablevision Channel 99, Midtel Channel 161 and Comcast Channel 326. For a complete list of providers carrying WMHT PBS KIDS, visit visit wmht.org/findwmht.