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Despite that public funding has been flat for the past several years, PBS has added a round-the-clock children's channel — and Utah's KUED-Ch. 7 signs on with PBS KIDS on Tuesday.

"The 24/7 PBS KIDSChannel makes it easier than ever for families to watch, learn and explore together," said KUED general manager James Morgese.

The channel will be available over the air in Utah on Channel 7.3 and on Comcast/Xfinity on Channel 391. (It is not currently available on DirecTV or Dish Network.)

It will also be available online at and, and on the PBS KIDS Video App on a variety of platforms, including Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and Xbox One.

"We are committed to making PBS Kids content available to all children — anytime and anywhere," PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger said, "but especially for those who need it most."

And that includes children "who live in low-income homes and those who rely on over-the-air television for educational content."

KUED's Morgese echoes those comments.

"The channel is especially important to children living in low-income households, who are more likely to rely on TV for educational content," he said. "The new channel helps KUED deliver on our mission to be Utah's largest classroom in an even more impactful way."

The service launched in many markets in January; KUED is joining an effort that's expected to include 108 PBS stations across the country, reaching 90 percent of American households.

The schedule will be filled with shows familiar to PBS viewers, including "Arthur," "Bob the Builder," "Caillou," "Clifford," "Cyberchase," "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood," "Dinosaur Train," "Nature Cate, "Odd Squad," "Peg + Cat," "Sesame Street," "Sid the Science Kid," "Thomas & Friends," "Wild Kratts" and "WordGirl."

There's more to come.

"Later this year, we will integrate an interactive gaming feature, enabling kids to toggle between watching their favorite shows and playing related educational games," Kerger said.

And beginning April 21, the service will debut "PBS KIDS Family Night," with family-friendly movies and specials on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Why program children's shows in the middle of the night?

"Believe it or not, there are many children that are up at night," Kerger said. "Many are in hospitals."

She said PBS heard from caregivers who said, "'We are at a loss sometimes to figure out how we can keep children calm and entertained.'

"This is pure community service. So being able to offer that on a 24/7 basis to us feels like something important that we should do for our country's children."

Twitter: @ScottDPierce