At YouTube, we believe that children can learn, discover new interests and foster a sense of belonging when they explore the world through online video. We're working to help creators understand how to make enriching, engaging and inspiring videos for children and families.
As part of these ongoing efforts, we've developed a set of quality principles below to help guide YouTube's child and family content creators. These principles were developed with child development specialists and are based on extensive research.
The list below is meant to give you a better idea of what may be considered low- or high-quality content and is not exhaustive. These principles supplement our community guidelines, which help create a safe viewing experience for everyone and apply to both long-form content and YouTube Shorts.
You're responsible for following our community guidelines on all content that you create. We'll continue to re-evaluate and update the principles on this page.
High-quality content principles
High-quality content should be age-appropriate, enriching, engaging and inspiring. This content can come in different formats and cover a range of topics but it should promote:
- Being a good person: This content demonstrates or encourages respect, good behaviour and healthy habits. Examples include content about sharing or being a good friend. Videos might also be about brushing your teeth or encouraging children to eat vegetables.
- Learning and inspiring curiosity: This content promotes critical thinking, discussing connected ideas and exploring the world. Content should be age-appropriate and designed for a young audience. It can also span traditional to non-traditional learning (e.g. academics, informal learning, interest-based exploration and tutorials).
- Creativity, play and a sense of imagination: This content is thought-provoking or imaginative. It may also encourage children to create, make and engage with something in a meaningful and novel way. Examples include creating imaginary worlds, storytelling, football tricks, sing-alongs and creative activities like arts and crafts.
- Interaction with real-world issues: This content includes life lessons and strong characters or encourages building social-emotional skills, problem solving and independent thinking. It often includes a complete narrative (like character development, plot and resolution) and a clear takeaway or lesson.
- Diversity, equity and inclusion: This content celebrates and encourages representation and participation of diverse perspectives and groups of people. It shows a range of ages, genders, races, religions and sexual orientations. It also advocates for equal treatment of those differences. Examples include content that discusses the benefits of diversity and inclusion or depicts stories/characters where these themes are demonstrated.
Low-quality content principles
Avoid making low-quality content. Low-quality content is:
- Heavily commercial or promotional: Content that is primarily focused on purchasing products or promoting brands and logos (such as toys and food). It also includes content that is focused on excessive consumerism.
- Encouraging negative behaviours or attitudes: Content that encourages dangerous activities, wastefulness, bullying, dishonesty or a lack of respect for others. For example, this content could include dangerous/unsafe pranks or unhealthy eating habits.
- Deceptively educational: Content that claims to have educational value in its title or thumbnail, but actually lacks guidance or explanation or is not relevant to children. For example, titles or thumbnails that promise to help viewers 'learn colours' or 'learn numbers', but instead the video features inaccurate info.
- Hindering comprehension: Content that is thoughtless, lacks a cohesive narrative or is incomprehensible, such as having inaudible audio. This type of video is often the result of mass production or autogeneration.
- Sensational or misleading: Content that is untrue, exaggerated, bizarre or opinion-based and that may confuse a young audience. It might also include 'keyword stuffing' or the practice of using popular keywords of interest to children in a repetitive, altered or exaggerated way. The keywords may also be used in a way that does not make sense.
- Strange use of children's characters: Content that puts popular children's characters (animated or live action) in objectionable situations.
The quality principles for child and family content may affect your channel's performance. High-quality 'Made for Kids' content gets raised up in recommendations. They also guide decisions both for inclusion in YouTube Kids and channel and video monetisation. If a channel is found to have a strong focus on low-quality 'Made for Kids' content, it may be suspended from the YouTube Partner Programme. If an individual video is found to violate these quality principles, it may get limited or no ads.
We look to each of you to help create enriching and inspiring content for children and families on YouTube.
Bear in mind that these quality principles for child and family content apply to both long-form videos and YouTube Shorts.
- To learn more about best practices on creating YouTube Shorts that are made for children, take a look at this guide.
- For a more detailed overview of our high- and low-quality principles, check out our comprehensive guide on Best practices for children's and family content.
- If you'd like even more info on creating quality short-form videos for children and families, download this list of tips from the Center for Scholars and Storytellers.