The BBC has always had a world-wide reputation for its children’s programming, some of which made its way to Canada. Much more was however available than could be accommodated by the conventional television channels, and in November 2000 Alliance Atlantis was licensed to start a specialty channel to be titled BBC Kids. As with BBC Canada, which was licensed to Atlantis at the same time, there was a requirement for a certain amount of Canadian programming to be included in the schedule, and no more than 15% from US sources.
The target audiences were stipulated as being 65% aimed at the 6-11 age group, and 35% for the 12-17 group, with no more than 25% of the programming being in the animated category 7e. The service was launched in 2001.
CanWest Media Networks acquired Alliance Atlantis in December 2007, and with it ownership of BBC Kids.
On October 27, 2010, ownership of the BBC Kids Canada channel was acquired by Shaw Communications through its acquisition of Canwest and Goldman Sachs' interest in CW Media..
BBC Worldwide announced on January 17th 2011 that Canada's Knowledge Network had purchased the assets of BBC Kids from Shaw Media and BBC Worldwide, subject to CRTC ratification. This new agreement would see the formation of a new joint-venture between BBC Worldwide and Knowledge Network Corporation
In 2011, BBC Kids became a commercial-free service and moved its headquarters from Toronto to Burnaby.
BBC Kids was shut down on December 31, 2018.