RTÉjr is a children's channel operated by Ireland's national broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann, which targets a demographic between 2 – 6 years of age.
The channel broadcasts 12 hours of programming each day between 07:00 and 19:00. The channel is available nationally through Saorview, Virgin Media Ireland and Sky Ireland. The channel is supported by digital radio station RTÉ Junior and additional services available on-demand, on mobile and online. The channel operates alongside its sister strand TRTÉ.
The programming block began to broadcast on its own channel without advertising on 27 May 2011 at 11:00. The programming block without advertising corresponds with RTÉ's internal policy of not advertising during programming aimed at children under 6 years of age, a policy started in the early 1990s. This policy was outline in RTÉ proposal for the new service and was followed by a request from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and BAI that programming on both RTÉjr and RTÉ News Now be ad free.
From 15 April 2013 The channel began a stand-alone schedule, however plans to replace the RTÉjr block on RTÉ Two have yet to come to light. The channel broadcasts as a stand-alone channel with its own schedule and new programming.
On 6 July 2017, RTEjr extended its on-air hours, the channel now started at 6am rather than the earlier 7:00 am.
RTÉ put forward a request to move the RTÉjr strand from RTÉ Two in April 2013, on RTÉjr's first official birthday. The proposal was passed to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources who took the decision to have the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland carry out a Strategic Impact Assessment (SIA) on the proposed move.
Minister Pat Rabbitte TD then took the decision to consult various organisations in relation to the move, however he decided against a public consultation on the move. It was expected that he would refuse permission to move the strand from RTÉ Two. Eventually after more than a year, and no ministerial decision, RTÉ decided against the change and now has plans to submit a new proposal. RTÉ Two will at some stage refocus its early morning schedule with more mature themed programming.
The channel is available to 98% of television viewers within the Republic of Ireland through Saorview. The channel became available on Virgin Media Ireland on channel 600 on 15 March 2012 and on Sky Ireland on channel 624 (635 in NI) on 15 April 2013. Additionally, the channels programming can be viewed internationally through its on-demand service, mobile services and website.
The channel has a wide range of domestically produced programming either in-studio progrmaming or animations. Its flagship programme is hosted by former Six member Emma O'Driscoll, Muireann NiChiobhain, Clara Murray and their puppet friends Séamus the dog and Bláithín the flower fairy. The channel has a strong focus on inclusive programming with a mix of programming in both the Irish, English and ISL languages. On 3 May 2011 RTÉjr broadcast the world's first animated series which focuses on the life and adventures of a girl with Down syndrome. The series is called Punky. The show is broadcast daily at 10:25 and 13:45. It started on Tuesday, 3 May 2011. The show has been designed by award-winning Irish animation company Monster Animation and Design. On 15 April 2013 the channel hosts 14 newly commissioned programming including an bilingual show Spraoi, a dance show called Move It! and RTÉjr Workshop.