BBC Worldwide has inked a deal with Singapore-based Popular Holdings, a publisher, distributor and retailer of books in Southeast Asia, to launch CBeebies-branded schools in China.
Dubbed the English Language Learning Centers, the schools will use iconic CBeebies characters from shows like Sarah and Duck, Numtums and Nina and the Neurons to teach English to students in mainland China and Hong Kong.
At launch, the schools will be geared to kids ages three to six. The curriculum will feature preschool content from CBeebies programs, with the BBC set to receive licensing fees for use of the content.
Popular Holdings’ subsidiary Smart English will be charged with rolling out the schools, starting first in Shanghai, then Beijing and other major provinces in mainland China and Hong Kong.
The CBeebies brand debuted in China last year, following BBC Worldwide’s deal with Chinese media company BesTV New Media to roll out CBeebies programming on its digital platform.
In terms of educational initiatives, the BBC is boosting its learning content across the board. BBC Children and BBC Learning announced a range of new content last week, including TV series, games and competitions, for Bitesize, CBBC and CBeebies. The new content aims to get kids in the UK involved in coding.