YouTube Kids launches in Israel as kids stick to screens during pandemic

"The app will allow parents to get more involved in their children’s viewing habits” * screen time of 3-12 year olds is up from 2.2 to 3.6 hours a day

YouTube Kids launches in Israel, Oct. 2020 (photo credit: Courtesy)
YouTube Kids launches in Israel, Oct. 2020
(photo credit: Courtesy)
YouTube Kids, which offers family-friendly content and allows parents to limit screen time, is launching in Israel.
A survey conducted by Ipsos for YouTube found that there was a 63% rise in the average daily screen-time of Israeli children aged 3-12 during the coronavirus crisis, rising from 2.2 to 3.6 hours a day. Some 83% of children have watched content on screens every day during the pandemic, compared to only 70% beforehand.
Using YouTube Kids, parents can create a personal profile for each child, allowing them to approve or exclude content. Parents can also limit viewing time for their children.
“YouTube Kids helps parents shape their children's viewing experience,” said Hanit Marinov, Country Marketing Manager at Google Israel. “Based on a survey we conducted in Israel, 79% of parents want to change their children's viewing habits. Two-thirds of these parents were concerned about inappropriate content and excessive screen time, and half of them expressed reservations about non-educational content and screen time replacing social activities.
"The app addresses the parents' concerns by allowing them to customize content and limit screen time individually for each child,” she said.
Some 65% of parents stated that the main reason for screen-based activities was boredom while almost half said it was for entertainment.
Half of the parents surveyed admitted that they used screen time to give them time to work or do chores and a fifth said they use it to rest or get some sleep. Only 35% of parents believe that screen time is used for educational purposes and less than a third thought that watching content encourages hobbies.
Most of the parents surveyed were concerned about how long children were viewing content and about whether it was age-appropriate or not. Some 49% of parents expressed concerns about viewing content that does not encourage learning or development while 48% expressed concerns about screen time that comes at the expense of social or physical activity.
“Although one-third of the parents reported spending more time on screen-based activities with their children during the pandemic, only 25% of parents in Israel use digital parental controls and watch shows with their kids regularly or often," said Gregory Dray, director of Kids, Family and Education Content, YouTube EMEA, and head of International, YouTube Kids. "These findings highlight the need for the parental safety controls available on YouTube Kids. The app will allow parents to get more involved in their children’s viewing habits.”
Parents expressed the most interest in the ability to track their child's watch history, followed by the ability to block specific videos, tailor content to their child's age and limit screen time.
Children do not need a Google account in order to use YouTube Kids. Since launching in 2015, YouTube Kids has begun operating in 85 countries and been translated into 38 local languages.