ABC Kids (stylised as ABC KIDS) is the name of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's part-time channel, broadcasting shows between the hours of 5am and 7:30pm in each local Australian market for children 6 and under. ABC Kids shares the same bandwidth as ABC Comedy which broadcasts outside ABC Kids' scheduled hours and supplements the flagship ABC channel with extra adult-oriented programming.
In 1991, all children's programming on the ABC was organised into a daily broadcasting block under the name ABC For Kids. This new programming block featured a range of programming ranging from preschoolers to young children and included both old and new content. The logo featured six blocks (3 across, 2 down) with the top row lettered "A", "B" and "C", and the bottom row featuring an apple, a bee and a carrot beneath their respective letter.
In 2001, the ABC For Kids timeslot was rebranded as ABC Kids and content was expanded to include shows for older children as well as younger children. A new logo was also introduced, featuring a solid green Lissajous curve (taken from the ABC's logo) overlaid with "ABC Kids" in lowercase blue letters.
In addition to the daily broadcasting block on the ABC, a new children's channel with the ABC Kids branding commenced transmission nationally on 1 August 2001 on channel 21, becoming ABC Television's first digital multichannel service. The service was officially inaugurated by former ABC Managing Director, Jonathan Shier, at the Australian Parliament House in Canberra on 7 August 2001. The ABC launched the channel without additional funding, hoping that its success would prompt an additional government grant. ABC Kids was broadcast from 6:00am to 6:00pm, with the remaining broadcasting time occupied by its sister service, Fly TV. Fly TV was launched on 1 November 2001 to feature programming aimed at teenagers and young adults and broadcast a 6-hour block from 6:00pm to 12:00am, which was repeated again from 12:00am to 6:00am. In addition to their availability on free-to-air television, the ABC Kids and Fly TV channels were also available on Austar channel 14 and Optus TV channel 21.
The ABC Kids and Fly TV channels were discontinued on 30 June 2003 in the first of a series of cuts to save around A$25 million a year for the ABC. The ABC could not secure government funding to keep the channel on-air, and the sluggish uptake of digital television in Australia at the time made justifying a digital-only channel with a low viewership against the cost of keeping the channel on air difficult. However, the ABC Kids brand still remained throughout this period on the ABC's daily children's broadcasting block.
After the close of the ABC Kids and Fly TV channels, programming for younger Fly TV viewers was integrated into the ABC Kids broadcasting block.
In 2009, two daily blocks of children's programming were launched as ABC For Kids, running from 8:00am to 11:00am and 2:55pm to 4:00pm on ABC. From May 2 2009, a new preschool children's block, ABC For Kids on 2 was launched on ABC2 (now ABC Comedy) in 2009-2011, featuring children's programming everyday until 6pm. Some ABC2 programmes had to be cancelled or relocated to other channels, such as Rage. The classic ABC For Kids logo from 1991 was rendered in 3D when the ABC for Kids name was revived.
On 2 May 2011, all children's programming was removed from the main ABC channel and was divided between the ABC2 children's block and ABC3 (now ABC Me). The ABC2 children's block was rebranded as ABC4 Kids and was refocused as a part-time channel for preschoolers sharing the same bandwidth of ABC2 between 6am and 7pm. A new logo based on the ABC3 logo was also introduced.
Broadcasting of the channel was rescheduled to begin at 5am instead of 6am on 7 July 2014. On 2 March 2015, the name of the channel was changed to ABC Kids and a new logo inspired by the classic children's logo was unveiled.