Best practices for kids and family content

Best Practices for Kids & Family Content (High & Low Quality Principles)

At YouTube, we believe that kids can discover new interests, learn about the world, and foster a sense of belonging when they explore the world through online video. That’s why we’re working to help creators understand how to make enriching, engaging, and inspiring videos for kids and families. 

As part of these ongoing efforts, we've developed a set of quality principles below to help guide YouTube's kids and family creator ecosystem. These principles were developed in collaboration with child development specialists, and are based on extensive research on children’s media, digital learning, and citizenship. 

Note: 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. Additionally, these principles supplement our Community Guidelines, which help provide a safe viewing experience for everyone. You’re still responsible for following our Community Guidelines on all content you create. We’ll continue to re-evaluate and update the principles on this page.

High quality principles

Age-appropriate, enriching, engaging, and inspiring content can come in different formats and cover a range of topics, but it should promote:

  • Being a good person: This includes content that demonstrates or encourages respect, good behavior, and healthy habits. Examples include content about sharing, being a good friend, brushing teeth, eating vegetables, and setting digital wellbeing goals. 
  • Learning and inspiring curiosity: This includes content that promotes critical thinking, discussing connected ideas, and the discovery and exploration of 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, tutorials).
  • Creativity, play, and a sense of imagination: This includes content that is thought-provoking or imaginative. It may also encourage kids to create, make, and engage with something in a meaningful and novel way. Examples include creating imaginary worlds, storytelling, soccer tricks, sing-alongs, and creative activities like art and crafts.
  • Interaction with real world issues: This includes content that depicts life lessons and strong characters, or encourages building social-emotional skills, problem solving, and independent thinking. It often includes a complete narrative (e.g., character development, plot, resolution) and clear takeaway or lesson.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion: This content celebrates and encourages representation and participation of diverse perspectives and groups of people. This includes content representing 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 principles

Avoid making low quality content. This includes content that is:

  • Heavily commercial or promotional: Content that is primarily focused on purchasing products or promoting brands and logos (e.g., toys and food). It also includes content that is focused on excessive consumerism.
  • Encouraging negative behaviors or attitudes: Content that encourages dangerous activities, wastefulness, bullying, dishonesty, or a lack of respect for others (e.g., dangerous/unsafe pranks, 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 (e.g. titles or thumbnails that promise to help viewers “learn colors” or “learn numbers,” but instead features mindless repetitive content or inaccurate information).
  • Hindering comprehension: Content that is thoughtless, lacks a cohesive narrative, is incomprehensible (e.g. has shaky visuals/inaudible audio), as is often the result of mass production or auto-generation. 
  • Sensational or misleading: Content that is untrue, exaggerated, bizarre, or opinion-based, and 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, exaggerated, or nonsensical way. 
  • Strange use of children’s characters: Content that puts popular children's characters (animated or live action) in objectionable situations.

Effect on channel performance

The below section outlines a policy update taking effect in November 2021.

The quality principles for kids 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 as well as channel and video monetization. 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 Program. If an individual video is found to violate these quality principles, it may see limited or no ads.

We look to each of you to help create enriching and inspiring content for kids and families on YouTube. For a more detailed overview, check out our comprehensive guide on Best Practices For Kids & Family Content.

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