Children across New England will be able to view award-winning WGBH-produced shows like “Arthur,” “Martha Speaks,” “Curious George,” and other popular PBS children’s programming any time of day, every day, starting Monday.
WGBH, a Boston-based partner of PBS, currently has a channel dedicated to kids’ programming that runs 12 hours daily. However, beginning Monday at 6 a.m., the channel will feature children’s shows 24/7 in an effort to provide free quality television for New England children at all hours. The channel is broadcast on 44.4 digitally, as well as Comcast 958, Fios 472, Charter 180, and it will be available online via www.pbskids.org and the PBS Kids Video App.
By launching a channel devoted to continual children’s programming, WGBH president and CEO Jon Abbott said the station is standing by its mission to provide parents free high-quality television and educational resources to put “in front of their children and in their children’s hands, in the case of digital content.”
For many parents, 6 p.m. is a busy time between returning from work and making dinner, often leaving kids to entertain themselves before the evening settles down. Most kids’ programs end at this time on WGBH stations, but Abbott said the expanded channel will allow children to “benefit from quality educational television” past regularly scheduled children’s programming.
Currently, children’s programming airs 12 hours daily on WGBH channels 2 and 44. The most popular and educational programs produced by WBGH will air on the channel, as well as new content from PBS as it is produced. The constant airing of kids’ programs will allow WGBH to delve into its “rich library of programs.”
“At no time are the same programs on. So families get more choice and we can play more of our library,” Abbott said. “Not only is this a 24/7 service for families but a substantial addition for us. It means we can create more choice.”
Besides offering continual entertainment and educational content for kids, the channel will also complement tools that are already available in Massachusetts classrooms. Abbott said half the teachers in Massachusetts are registered for PBS LearningMedia, which gives free digital educational resources to K-12 teachers, in partnership with the WGBH Educational Foundation.
“We’re different from all the other broadcasters and content creators for kids because our purpose is their educational development, and we see that both from their earliest years with their parents or caregivers at home and on the go,” Abbott said. “It stretches the moment they are in kindergarten, and there we are working with their teachers to continue to expand their access to high-quality media.”