S4C is to further increase its commitment to home-grown children’s programming in 2010 with a raft of new initiatives.
S4C will launch a new service for the 7 to early teens age group in April and plans for a new service for the 13+ age group will be implemented. In addition, the pre-school service Cyw will be expanded and made available seven days a week for the first time.
Iona Jones, S4C’s Chief Executive, said, “S4C believes that serving the children of Wales is an integral part of its role as a public service broadcaster and I am delighted to be able to demonstrate the level of our on-going commitment to younger audiences.
“All three S4C services will make a significant impact in Wales over time by providing content which resonates with children and is culturally relevant. The commitment and creativity of producers in Wales will also be an invaluable asset for these services. S4C looks forward to working with all those who share this commitment to serving the needs of children.”
S4C’s new service for the 7 to early teens age group will be launched on 26 April this year. The service will include programming at the weekends as well as on weekday afternoons.
A tender will be published on 28 January for the third and final phase of S4C’s planned roll-out of extended children’s provision, a new service targeting the 13+ age group. S4C expects the new service to offer a range and diversity of content and to reflect the lives of Welsh teenagers.
A tender was published on 22 January for a three-year contract to produce content and links for S4C’s dedicated pre-school service, Cyw, launched in June 2008. The new contract will see Cyw extended to the weekends (it is currently broadcast weekdays only). Further details are available at s4c.co.uk/production.
Over the past 12 months, S4C has received both UK and international recognition for its children’s programming.
In December 2009, the family film Rhestr Nadolig Wil won the Drama category at the Bafta UK Children’s Awards. Animation Holi Hana, about an agony aunt duck who helps young animals solve their problems, won the Best Children’s category at the 2009 Broadcast Awards, while ABC, which introduces children to the Welsh alphabet, won the Children’s Programme category at the 2009 Royal Television Society Awards.
Three S4C programmes have been nominated at the inaugural KidScreen Awards, held in New York in February. Rhestr Nadolig Wil has been nominated, as has teen soap Rownd a Rownd and a feature length animation based on Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Nadolig Plentyn yng Nghymru.
• This statement is made in the week of the publication of the House of Lords Culture Select Committee’s report, The British film and television industries - decline or opportunity?
• S4C’s dedicated pre-school service Cyw has an accompanying website. Go to s4c.co.uk/cyw for more details.