YouTube Kids launched in the US back in February with the aim of making it easier and safer for kids to watch videos on YouTube. So far, the app has been downloaded more than 10 million times across all platforms, and Malik Ducard, YouTube's Global Head of Family and Learning, says that families consider it to be "among the top kids apps available." Today, the team is expanding YouTube Kids into five new countries — Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom — and adding in lots of country-specific programming like Charli's Crafty Kitchen and Wild Kratts, too.
YouTube Kids boasts many elements parents will find very attractive, such as a playful, child-friendly design, voice search for kids who are still learning their ABCs, and plenty of family-focused content. It also features a set of parental controls that will certainly give mom and dad some peace-of-mind, including a timer to limit screen time, sound settings to disable music and audio, search settings to restrict what content is available, and a custom passcode so that kids won't be able to access the app without permission.
Additionally, the app now also allows kids to watch YouTube on the big screen, with support for Chromecast, Apple TV, game consoles, and smart TVs.
While it's understandable that YouTube wants to take its time and make the app completely suited for each country before launching, it's also disappointing for parents around the world who would likely prefer a less-than-perfect YouTube Kids experience over the uncensored access they have to consider giving their kids for now.