About Educational and Informational Children's Programming

The EI (E-eye) Icon is Part of the Children's Television Act of 1990

Children watching TV
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What is the Meaning of the EI (E-eye) Icon On Children's Programming?

EI stands for Educational and Informational programming. It is a result of the Children's Television Act of 1990, which mandates broadcast stations to program at least three hours of educational programming a week. EI is often seen on Saturday mornings.

In creating the Children's Television Act of 1990, Congress was reacting to an FCC report that recognized the role television plays in a child's development. The CTA essentially reduces the amount of commercials during children's programming and increases the amount of education and information in each show.

Rules For Broadcast Stations

The FCC has created rules for broadcast stations to follow. According to the FCC, all stations must:

1) Provide parents and consumers with advance information about core programs being aired
2) Define the programming that qualifies as core programs
3) Air a minimum of three hours per week of core educational programming.

Definition of Core Programming

According to the FCC, "Core programming is programming specifically designed to serve the educational and informational needs of children ages 16 and under." Core programming must be at least 30 minutes long, air between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. and be a regularly scheduled weekly program. Commercials are limited to 10.5 min/hour on weekends and 12 min/hour on weekdays.

For more information, visit the FCC's Children's Educational Television Web site.