Children’s Television Standards | ACMA

Children’s Television Standards

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) develops standards to ensure children have access to quality TV programming as well as to protect them from the possible harmful effects of television.

Under the standards, the ACMA can classify programs as either C (for children) or P (for preschool children).

Television broadcasters (like channels 7, 9 and 10) must broadcast the following each year:

  • 260 hours of C classified programs within designated C bands for children under 14 years of age—programs with a C classification in your TV Guide; and

  • 130 hours for preschool children—programs with a P classification in your TV Guide – within designated P bands.

How the Standards protect children during C & P programs

The Standards contain protections for children against possible harmful effects of television. These protections apply during and around when ‘C’ and ‘P’ classified programs are shown.

Child protections in the standards include that:

  • TV broadcasters can’t show advertisements during P classified programs

  • alcohol can’t be advertised

  • children can’t be encouraged to do dangerous things

Children’s television classification

C and P programs are different from material produced for a family audience. They are designed specifically to meet children’s needs and interests. They deal with stories, concepts and ideas that are of interest to children and present them in a manner appropriate for the child audience (for example, from the child’s perspective or through the use of age-appropriate themes).

The CTS specifies that a children’s program:

  • is made specifically for children or groups of children; and

  • is entertaining; and

  • is well produced using sufficient resources to ensure a high standard of script, cast, direction, editing, shooting, sound and other production elements; and

  • enhances a child's understanding and experience; and

  • is appropriate for Australian children.

C and P programs can be identified by the following consumer advice symbols:

candp_classification jpg

Broadcast times

The current C bands are:

  • 7am-8:30am Monday to Friday

  • 4pm-8:30pm Monday to Friday

  • 7am-8:30pm Saturday, Sunday and school holidays

The current P band is:

  • 7am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday

Last updated: 05 July 2018