Educational programming has been part of the television landscape since the late 1960s, when PBS led the way with shows like Sesame Street, Zoom, and The Electric Company. Today, you can also find quality educational programs through pay TV providers like Time Warner and DIRECTV. Not only can you find educational programming created specifically for children, you can also find programming that the whole family can enjoy. Below are examples of the quality programming available through your local cable and satellite TV providers:
Children’s Educational Programming
These channels offer educational programming specifically for children. Some of them are available as part of your regular programming and some require special packages with DIRECT TV, and other providers.
Home Box Office (HBO)
HBO might not be the first thing people think of, when it comes to children’s educational programming, but as the new home of Sesame Street, it’s joining the fray. HBO will begin broadcasting new episodes of the award-winning show in January of 2016, and episodes will be available “live” and as part of HBO’s streaming services HBOGO and HBONOW. The deal is currently in place for the next five seasons of Sesame Street, and could last much longer if the five-season run is successful. HBO is available as an add-on premium service.
Noggin is Nickelodeon’s contribution to educational children’s programming. It airs commercial-free educational programming seven days a week for preschool-aged children and includes such shows as:
- Jack’s Big Music Show,
- Dora the Explorer,
- Blue’s Clues; and,
- The Backyardigans.
Noggin is available as part of certain programming packages. See your provider for details.
Sprout is a 24-hour PBS cable channel designed for preschool-aged children and their parents. The channel features such favorites as Sesame Street and also includes shows like;
- Barney and Friends
- Bob the Builder, and
Sprout is available as part of certain programming packages. See your provider for details.
General Programming for Children and Families
In addition to child-specific educational programming, there are also channels that provide quality educational programming and entertainment that the whole family can enjoy.
Animal Planet is part of the Discovery family of channels, and features all things animalistic. The channel has a variety of shows that can appeal to younger viewers including:
- Cats 101;
- Dogs 101;
- Dr. Dee Alaska Vet;
- Dr. Jeff Rocky Mountain Vet, and;
- Too Cute.
Animal Planet is available as part of certain programming packages. See your provider for details.
Boomerang, a subsidiary of Cartoon Network, is the home of classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons like The Jetsons and The Flintstones. You can also find other quality shows that appeal to children of all ages, including:
- Tom and Jerry;
- Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies;
- Pokemon, and;
- Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.
Boomerang is available as part of certain programming packages. See your provider for details.
Disney Junior features original programming with some of your child’s favorite characters and includes such shows as:
- Doc McStuffins
- Little Einsteins;
- Octonauts; and
- Jake and the Pirates.
Disney Junior is available as part of certain programming packages. See your provider for details.
These are just a few of the educational and kid-friendly options available through your cable and satellite provider. Contact the provider in your area for more information.