Does the Echo Dot Kids Edition give you extra parental controls?

Best answer: The Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with one year of FreeTime Unlimited, Amazon's multi-platform content and parental control subscription. Once that year is up, FreeTime Unlimited starts at $3/month, or you lose its most robust parental controls.

Amazon: Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition ($70)

What parental controls come with FreeTime Unlimited

The parental controls offered with the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition's 1-year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited are quite extensive. Through the Parent Dashboard you can manage your child's smart home experience in a number of ways:

  • Set time limits for how long a child can use smart home devices during the day.
  • Set bedtime hours to limit a child's use of devices during overnight hours.
  • Monitor activity on Alexa to see what your child is asking about, what music or stories they are listening to, and what Alexa Skills or games the child is using.
  • Block content sources, age-inappropriate content, and voice shopping.
  • Pause Alexa for a child to keep them from using smart home devices when they need a timeout.
  • Manage, monitor and limit who a child can call or message using Alexa Communication.
  • Share content you've purchased with your children's profile.
  • Access monthly and quarterly Activity Reports and Discussion Cards to keep updated on your child's interests and engage them in discussions about it.

There's a lot Parent Dashboard sees and lets you manage, and it can be an incredible tool for parents to help foster a child's desire to learn, explore, and embrace creativity while limiting access as needed to prevent overuse.

That said, FreeTime Unlimited isn't free. The Echo Dot Kids Edition includes one year of FreeTime Unlimited. Once that time is up, by default Amazon will automatically renew and begin charging the credit card on file with your Amazon account — $3/month for a "Single Child" account and $7/month for a "Family" plan with 2-4 kids if you're an Amazon Prime member.

What if I don't want to pay for FreeTime Unlimited once that year is up?

If you want to cancel FreeTime Unlimited, you can visit the Parent Dashboard and cancel under Manage content and subscription. Once you cancel the subscription, you and your child will lose access to subscription content — like the 300 Audible stories, special character alarms, and ad-free, family-friendly radio — and you will lose many of the parental controls on Parent Dashboard. Free FreeTime users can still adjust the whitelisted content list and some basic parental settings, but most of them are Unlimited-only.

Without FreeTime Unlimited, the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition is basically just an Echo Dot 2nd with a longer warranty and a durable bumper case.

Ara Wagoner

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.