ABC4Kids has changed its schedule. And it’s messing with our minds.

“Things used to be so simple. If Bananas In Pyjamas is on, it was time to start tackling mydaughter’s hair.”

I’m sorry. I have no idea what time it is any more.

Things used to be so simple. If Bananas In Pyjamas is on, it was time to start tackling my daughter’s hair.

If Pepa Pig was on, it was time to get the shoes on, and the bags packed.

And if Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom was on, we were all late, and the day was going to hell. Damn you, Gaston.

But now, who knows what’s going on? My two little kids certainly don’t.

“But I’ve finished my toast, mum. Why isn’t Bananas on?” My daughter asked this morning.

“Yes. Bananas,” echoes my 2-year-old son.

“Because it’s not on in the morning any more,” I explain, mentally trying to calculate if I should have put my make-up on by now, or if it’s hair time already.

“How do they move it?” My daughter’s voice is getting higher pitched. “And who moves it? HOW CAN THAT HAPPEN?”

“RAT IN A HAT!” shrieks my boy, and throws over his tiny chair in protest. At least, I think it’s a protest, he throws chairs a lot. He’s two.

This is how I find myself trying to explain to a 4-year-old what a TV Network’s head programmer does, at 7.30am, while trying to find shoes under flung furniture.

You see, ABC4Kids has changed its schedule. And it’s messing with our minds.

This is how the decision was announced:

From Monday 7 July ABC TV will be revitalising the channel schedules for ABC4Kids and ABC3.These exciting changes will ensure we deliver the most appropriate programs for 2-14 year olds at the times that best suit them as well as their families, enabling everyone to find their favourite programs easily throughout the day.

It’s anarchy and chaos in Holly’s house right about now.

ARGH! Everybody freak out!

PlayschoolOctonauts. In the name of all that is holy, The Wiggles!

For a certain type of parent (parents like me), ABC4Kids is our guilt-free babysitter. Hearty, educational, family fare. No ads for junk food and toys you can’t afford. No scary surprises. Hardly even any American accents (Lazy Town, you are excused, for battling childhood obesity, one star jump at a time).

It makes us feel better about using the TV to entertain the kids while we get on with, you know, life.


In the morning, and yes, a little bit around dinner and bath time, it is the background wallpaper of our lives.

And ours is not the only household struggling with the new world order.

Today News Ltd reported that since the programming changes the ABC4Kids Facebook page has been hijacked by angry parents. 

“What morons do you have working there? If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it! Night-time routine for toddlers completely ruined!” went one typically furious post.

I can only imagine the fear and trepidation with which the ABC undertakes fiddling with the schedule on their children’s network.

They know what parents of small children are like.

Pepa Pig: giving parents around the country a chance to clear up the dinner dishes.

We’re crazy, and we’re as wedded to our routines as our stubborn toddlers are.  And we will come after you if you threaten to make our lives a little harder, even if it’s for three short minutes when we were all expecting Pepa Pig to give us a chance to clear up the dinner dishes.

Look, I’m not one of those crazy romantics who is dreaming that if we all write angry letters to Deidre Brennan – the ABC’s controller of children’s TV – she might suddenly see the sense in shifting In The Night Garden back to a night-time slot (or at least what passes for ‘night’ when you’re two – 6.30pm).

After all, it’s the trippiest TV show ever made and 11.30am is NOT ready for it.

But I’m just warning her: My 4-year-old wants your job.

Because, seriously, I just don’t know who I am any more if Bananas in Pyjamas isn’t on at 7.25am.

This post was originally published on, and is republished here with full permission. 

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