The BBC’s kids channels CBBC and Cbeebies are performing well, but the public broadcaster needs to commission more content for older children and to address changing media consumption habits, according to a review by the BBC Trust.
The BBC’s services for children were reviewed by the Trust as part of its rolling programme examining each BBC service at least once every five years. This review looked at CBBC, CBeebies, and the BBC’s radio and online content for children.
The Trust found that CBeebies attracted overwhelming praise from parents for its high-quality content and its focus on learning and development. CBBC was also commended for its distinctive content and the balance it provides between education and entertainment.
However, it found that older children are less inclined to watch CBBC or CBeebies, and CBBC struggles to inherit younger viewers moving on from CBeebies.
The BBC has said that it is addressing these concerns by planning more content for older children, while CBeebies and CBBC will work together to provide a more joined-up offer.
The report identifies some concerns about the online content falling behind children’s consumption habits, as more and more want and expect to access content on-demand, on tablets and other mobile devices. Moves to address this include the recent launch of the Cbeebies Playtime app.
More than 8,000 children sent their views to the Trust through a special consultation for 6 to 12 year olds, along with 2,700 parents or carers who contributed to the adult consultation.