Designed for Families
If you've built great apps designed for kids and/or families - participating in the Designed for Families program on Google Play is a great way to surface your apps to the right users. Read this section to better understand policies and program requirements to take part in the Designed for Families program. For more information on the process of opting into the program, click here.
Before you opt-in, your app must meet all the Designed for Families program requirements, Google Play Developer Program Policies and Developer Distribution Agreement, including the Designed for Families DDA Addendum.
All apps participating in the Designed for Families program must be relevant for children under the age of 13 and comply with the eligibility criteria below. App content must be appropriate for children. Google Play reserves the right to reject or remove any app determined to be inappropriate for the Designed for Families program.
Apps must be rated as ESRB Everyone or Everyone 10+, or equivalent.
If your Designed for Families app displays ads, you confirm that:
2.1 You comply with applicable legal obligations relating to advertising to children.
2.2 Ads displayed to child audiences do not involve interest-based advertising or remarketing.
2.3 Ads displayed to child audiences present content that is appropriate for children.
2.4 Ads displayed to child audiences follow the Designed for Families ad format requirements.
You must accurately disclose the app's interactive elements on the content rating questionnaire, including:
3.1 Users can interact or exchange information
3.2 Shares user-provided personal information with third parties
3.3 Shares the user's physical location with other users
Apps that target child audiences may not use Google Sign-In or any other Google API Service that accesses data associated with a Google Account. This restriction includes Google Play Games Services and any other Google API Service using the OAuth technology for authentication and authorization. Apps that target both children and older audiences (mixed audience), should not require users to sign in to a Google Account, but can offer, for example, Google Sign-In or Google Play Games Services as an optional feature. In these cases, users must be able to access the application in its entirety without signing into a Google Account.
If your app targets child audiences and uses the Android Speech API, your app's RecognizerIntent.EXTRA_CALLING_PACKAGE must be set to its PackageName.
You represent that apps submitted to Designed for Families are compliant with COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule) and other relevant statutes, including any APIs that your app uses to provide the service.
If your app uses Augmented Reality, you must include a safety warning upon launch of the app that contains the following:
8.1 An appropriate message about the importance of parental supervision
8.2 A reminder to be aware of physical hazards in the real world (e.g., be aware of your surroundings)
Daydream apps are not eligible to participate in the Designed for Families program.
All user-generated content (UGC) apps must be proactively moderated.
Apps accepted to the Designed for Families program need to stay compliant with the program's eligibility requirements at all times.
Here are some examples of common violations:
General utility/productivity apps that are not marketed towards a child audience (e.g., calculator, ringtones, flashlight, apps intended for parents).
Apps that glamorize the use of alcohol or tobacco in a non-educational manner.
Apps that include simulated gambling.
Apps that include violence, gore, or shocking content not appropriate for children.
Apps that provide dating services or offer sexual or marital advice.
Primarily Child-Directed Apps
Here are the age groups available for apps primarily directed to children in the Designed for Families program:
Ages 5 & Under
Apps declared as primarily child-directed may not choose Mixed Audience as an age group.
When you declare, select an age group based on your app's primary target audience. If you include an age group in your app's title or description, this is considered your app's primary age target during review.You should only select two age groups if you've designed your app for users in both age groups. Your app's content needs to be appropriate for children in each age group. For example: Apps designed for babies, toddlers, and preschool children should only select “Ages 5 & Under.” If your app is designed for a specific grade level, choose the age range the best represents the grade.
If your app is designed for both children under the age of 13 as well as teens or adults, you must select the mixed audience category. Mixed audience apps will display a family star badge that indicates they're family-friendly, without specifying an age group.
If your app is not designed for audiences that include children under the age of 13, it won't be accepted into the Designed for Families program. For example: Calculator apps, maps, wallpapers, recipe books, and games that aren't specifically designed for children shouldn't be opted-in to the program.
Updates to Age
After you've been accepted to the Designed for Families program, if you need to update your app's age group, you can update your information using the Play Console.
We strongly recommend you let your existing users know if you change the target age level of your app or start using ads or in-app purchases using the "What's New" section of your app's store listing page.
When you opt-in to the Designed for Families program, you can choose a category. Your app will also be available on Google Play in the general app category you select on your app's store listing page.
Here are the categories available for Designed for Families:
Action & Adventure: Action-oriented apps/games, including everything from racing games, fairy tale adventures, and more.
Brain Games: Games that make the user think, including puzzles, matching games, and similar games.
Creativity: Apps and games that spur creativity, including drawing, painting, coding, and other games where you can build things.
Education: Apps and games that are primarily education-focused, including math, science, learning the alphabet, learning to count, geography, history, and other types of educational content.
Music and Video: Apps and games with a musical element or video component, including everything from playing the piano to watching videos and more.
Pretend Play: Apps and games where the user can pretend to take on a role, like pretending to be a cook or a doctor.