The BBC is to set up iPlay, a new on-demand service aimed at children, the director general, Tony Hall, will announce on Monday.
Lord Hall, who faces implementing severe cuts to his overall budget and is thought to be considering closing down minor BBC television channels or radio stations, will be hoping the new one-stop shop for children will silence critics who suggest that the BBCâ€™s commitment to funding this kind of programming is on the wane.
This weekend a spokesman said there were no plans to shut down either CBeebies or CBBC, the two digital channels that exclusively serve toddlers and schoolchildren, although their continuation, along with every other BBC service, would come under review.
In a speech given in central London to an invited industry audience, the director general will reveal plans for a â€œsingle, online front-door for children to the wealth of the whole BBC and our trusted partners beyond â€“ giving more content to children that matures with them, across more platforms, in a trusted wayâ€.
The mooted iPlay service will allow parents to find programmes that are free from commercial influences and which have been selected for children at specific development stages. The BBC sees this as a potential improvement to the basic offer of the two digital channels. â€œChildren grow up at different rates, and iPlay would allow them to move at their own pace instead of corralling all children into two categories,â€ a spokesman said.
The service will give each child a personal menu of favourite content and would include blogs and podcasts as well as the educational tools and games that are already available on the CBBC and CBeebies websites.
The aim, Hall will say, is to encourage children to be active creators and not merely passive consumers.
The BBC is the leading childrenâ€™s broadcaster in Britain and last year put out more than 6,000 hours of home-grown original content.