4 Best TV Channels for Preschoolers

What to put on when your child settles in front of the screen

best television channels for preschoolers
When your preschooler watches television, it's important to have a handle on all aspects of viewing -- commercials too! Check out our list of the best television channels for preschoolers. Cultura RM Exclusive/Nick Daly

 When your preschooler sits down to watch tv, there are a lot of viewing options to choose from. While he or she probably has a pretty good handle on which shows they like to watch, you also want to be aware of what else is aired besides the programming -- commercials and promos included!

A good place to start is narrowing down the channels that are available. The best tv channels for preschoolers will not only air age-appropriate and educational-based television shows, but show little to no commercials.

And the commercials that do appear on the air should be appropriate for children (for example, no ads that discuss serious medical conditions). 

Below are some of the best TV channels for preschoolers to watch. While not perfect, they do offer a well-rounded viewing experience for little kids. 

Please note the tv channels are listed in no particular order. Check your television service provider for listing information. 

  1. Disney Junior: Disney Junior is a 24-hour basic cable and satellite channel that launched in March, 2012 and is geared at kids 18 months to age five. It airs original series with new episodes such as Jake and the Never Land Pirates as well as classic shows (Little Einsteins) and favorite Disney movies. There are no ads on Disney Junior aside from promotions for its own channel and sponsorships from companies such as Chuck E. Cheese and Best Western.
  2. PBS Kids: Depending on your location and television provider, PBS Kids is a public channel filled with original programming for kids up to age 18, or a block of time on your local PBS station. There is a block of preschool programming that includes Thomas the Tank Engine and The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! Other than promotions for other PBS programs and sponsorship information, there are no ads on PBS Kids.
  1. Sprout: Sprout is a network geared exclusively at preschoolers that is available through cable and satellite providers. Once a part of PBS it is now owned by NBCUniversal Cable and often films live segments at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York. Original shows include Pajanimals and The Chica Show, with other shows being culled from other sources such as PBS and Nickelodeon. There are ads shown on the network, but generally they are kid-friendly.
  1. Nick Jr. : The oldest offering of the channels geared at preschoolers, Nick Jr. is the one that started the preschool channel trend. With shows such as Dora the Explorer and Blaze and the Monster Machines, Nick Jr offers something for everyone for kids under age six. The channel features 24 hours of programming for preschoolers and does show advertising, usually for Nick shows and products for shows on the channel. 

It's important to note that there are many channels on television that offer programing blocks geared at preschoolers, such as Nickelodeon and Disney. You'll even find great shows for little one on Discovery Family and National Geographic -- even HBO is showing Sesame Street these days! But if you are looking for a network that you can put on for an hour and walk away from while you do chores or exercise or even make a few phone calls, the above four stations are your best bet. 

And while television often gets a bad reputation, studies have shown that watching tv with your child or targeted television watching does offer some benefits to kids. 

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