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Launching of .KIDS Domain: A Safe Online Space for Children

Children are spending more time online than ever before. They're also accessing the web more quickly. Every half second, a child connects to the web for the first time. The internet for children offers countless opportunities. They learn, create, explore, and develop new things through computers, smartphones, gaming consoles, and smart TVs. When used correctly, cyberspace is an excellent avenue for broadening their minds and widening their perspectives.

But these great opportunities come with potential dangers. Cyberbullying is common among children online. Kids are also susceptible to information hacks. Excessive screen time can be detrimental to a child's health. There is also the most alarming threat—online sexual abuse and exploitation.

Having a designated online space for children is one way to minimize these dangers, and this has become a reality with .kids top-level-domain (TLD).

A New Online Space Dedicated for Kids

DotKid's Foundation recently announced the successful delegation of the .kids domain extension to the internet's root zone. The Hong Kong-based non-profit organization is the registrar operator for the TLD. This means that there is now a place online just for kids. Soon, you'll be able to choose a domain name, like www.smartyoungers.kids, for your website.

The primary purpose of DotKids is to create and promote an online environment where children's best interests come first. It also intends to be a long-term source of support for children's rights and welfare services, particularly those that use the web to spread information and awareness about their initiatives.

The .kids domain proposes creating an online kid-friendly environment to help children's progressive growth and development worldwide. DotKids aspires to create a safer and better cyberspace for future generations by partnering with child-rights organizations and investors. Additionally, it aims to increase the voice and involvement of children online.

Almost a decade after DotKids first proposed the .kids generic top-level-domain (gTLD), many global children’s advocacy organizations supported the .kids domain initiative. These community groups include Child Rights Coalition Asia, The Association for Childhood Education International, and the Child Welfare League of America. DotAsia Organisation, a non-profit group that runs the .asia domain extension registration, fully supports the launch of .kids.

The .kids domain is open for registration in the third quarter of 2022 for trademarks, domain program applicants, and children's rights organizations. It will be available to the general public for a broader audience in the fourth quarter of the year.

An Internet Domain Geared at Children

According to UNICEF, one in every internet user is a child, and one in every three internet users is under the age of 18. Accelerated by the pandemic, children increasingly use the internet for schoolwork, entertainment, and socialization. Since the pandemic’, tweens and teens have increased their screen media use by 17%.

The internet, especially social media, influences how children and teens think, feel, learn, and act. It's one of the reasons why creating a specialized space for kids can help them maximize their opportunities while minimizing the risks associated with digital use.

The .kids extension is oriented toward children and their general welfare. The mission of the .kids TLD is to promote the rights and well-being of children worldwide. The .kids domain is distinctive since the DotKids Foundation:

  •  Advocates the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

  •  Integrates a series of .kids guiding principles to provide a secure framework to eliminate  inappropriate and toxic content for children

  •  Promotes efficient and entertaining content for kids by adopting rules and guidelines suitable for kids

DotKids Registry Policies and Guiding Principles

The UNCRC defines a child as anyone younger than 18 years old. It recognizes the essential role of parents and families in the care and safety of their children and that it's the state's job to help them carry out these responsibilities.

The UNCRC serves as the guiding principle for the .kids gTLD. DotKids, in conjunction with advocacy partners, outlines a set of policies that are put into effect to eliminate harmful content for children on .kids’ domains.

Concurrently, the DotKids program recognizes the importance of protecting children's online rights to access, get, and share appropriate content for their age. As such, for the .kids domains, there needs to be a balance between prohibiting registration mandates and providing decent protections to block any abuse or misuse.

The governing principles of the .kids domain require registrants to refrain from posting illegal or inappropriate content using the .kids domain. These are materials that are deemed unsuitable for children and teenagers, such as:

  •  explicit sexuality

  •  drug or substance abuse

  •  violence

  •  bullying

  •  profanity

  •  child labor

Materials that promote children's consumption of alcoholic beverages and tobacco are also unacceptable.

Registrants must safeguard the privacy of minors who use their websites or services. The registry of the .kids TLD will set up a complaint and takedown system to restrict the registration of domains that infringe the policy guidelines.

An appeal procedure will assess if the restricted environments can be reinstated. The guiding principle also works for the domain name string. Any domain name that includes expletives will be subject to suspension and deletion.

Why Should You Choose .kids Domain?

The .kids extension is a unique domain that provides greater assurance and trust for all child-related topics. It shows parents, guardians, and any adult that you care enough to make their kids' virtual time safer and more reliable.

The .kids extension can encompass a wide range of topics related to children. The domains can be used for educational and instructional websites. Entertainment and recreational sites can also benefit from using .kids. Businesses that sell or provide services to children can also profit from the extension. A .kids domain also sets apart advocacy and philanthropic efforts for the rights and welfare of children.

From a marketing perspective, a catchy and relevant .kids domain can be an efficient strategy to boost brand awareness and promote brand loyalty. When you use a .kids domain, your target audience will quickly identify that your website prioritizes kids and that your products or services are made for them. A .kids TLD also helps build your brand as an authority in your niche.

.Kids domains are great for:

  • Educators, instructors, and coaches

  • Sports and activities focused on kids

  • Musical workshops for teens

  • Infotainment for toddlers

  • Schools and universities

  • Children’s books and plays

  • Children’s apparel and accessories

  • Children’s games and toys

  • Amusement parks and camping sites

  • Social communities and forums for kids

  • DIY or How-It-Works specific for students

  • Mompreneurs

  • Mom/Dad bloggers

  • Entrepreneur kids and teens

  • Fundraising initiatives that benefit children

Individuals, organizations, and businesses who want to create entertaining and educational online content for children and teens can apply for the .kids domain. It’s also ideal for parents, guardians, caregivers, and educators responsible for children's well-being. The extension can also provide value for groups and non-profits that assist children and their families.

Register Your .kids Domain with Nominus

Anyone with a children-focused business, program, or movement can benefit considerably from a .kids TLD. It not only makes the website more trustworthy and credible, but it also solidifies and safeguards the online use of children and teenagers. Nominus, a reputable domain and trademark registrar, can provide quick and easy .kids registration. See the completed launch calendar below.

When and how to register a .kids domain

 The .kids top-level domain release is taking place as follows:

  1. Sunrise Registration Phase from August 11, 2022, to September 14, 2022

    This phase was reserved for registered trademark holders that have Trademark Clearinghouse validation.

  2. Community Sunrise Registration Phase from September 20, 2022, to October 19, 2022

    To be eligible for this phase, you must represent a not-for-profit organization, institution, or charity with a primary mission of championing children’s rights, children’s well-being, education or child welfare.

  3. Pioneer Domains Phase from  October 19 to November 29, 20,22

    To be eligible for this phase; you must submit a concise description (less than 200 words) on the plan to use and promote the Domain Name Applied For (“Proposal”). The Proposal should affirm that it will adhere to the .KIDS Guiding Principles. The .KIDS Pioneer Domain registered must enter into active usage (e.g. website, email, redirection to relevant content, web services, etc.) in accordance with the Proposal within 60 calendar days upon registration (“Development Commitment”).

  4. General Availability  Starts November 29, 2022

    The domain extension is open to everybody. Note you can pre-register with Nominus.com today for this phase, and Nominus' team will try registration the moment the extension is open to the public. Register today to increase your chance of registering your .kids domain.