Amazon never comments on future releases and unlike many companies usually manages to keep its products under wraps before their launch. So far, the company has only sold its Kids Edition of the Echo Dot (the only Echo model to have a child-friendly option) in the US.

It's currently in its second generation, based upon the third-gen Echo Dot. Like Amazon's Kids Edition Fire tablets, you pay a bit more than the regular device because you get a two-year warranty that covers accidental damage and a year's free access to Fire for Kids Unlimited (Freetime Unlimited, as it's known in the States).

The Echo Dot Kids Edition costs $69.99 but is often discounted and at the time of writing was down to $49.99. That's great value.

How is the Echo Dot Kids Edition different?

Alexa is more child-friendly, and will only play age-appropriate music and audiobooks. She will also ensure that any answers to questions your kids ask are appropriate and will restrict the use of Skills to only those that are safe for kids to use.

The Freetime Unlimited subscription offers thousands of songs for kids, podcasts and audiobooks from Audible they can listen to. If you want to connect your Amazon, Spotify, Pandora or Apple Music subscription, Alexa will filter out songs with explicit lyrics.

From the Amazon Parent dashboard you can set time limits and see what your kids have been using their Echo Dot for.

They can still access features such as Drop In and make announcements, set timers and check the weather.

Echo Dot Kids Edition UK

When will the Echo Dot Kids Edition launch outside the US?

If we're totally honest, we thought Amazon would have already put it on sale in several countries - including the UK - by now. The Kindle Kids Edition is out in the UK, so it's hard to know why Amazon hasn't brought the latest Echo Dot here.

One reason could be that it is currently facing a complaint made by a group of child privacy advocates in May 2019.

The complaint suggests Amazon is violating kids' privacy and not complying with COPPA (the rules surrounding kids' privacy in the US) because it stores recordings of what kids say and makes it very difficult to delete them.

That in itself is unlikely to be the sole reason, as Amazon could have already released the first-gen Echo Dot Kids Edition in the UK.

Currently, there's no hint as to what Amazon's plans are for the smart speaker. With some devices, such as the Fire TV Cube, it's only ever the second generation onwards that is sold outside the US, but as that hasn't happened in this case, it's possible that we'll never get the Echo Dot Kids Edition over here.

Should I wait for the Kids Edition?

The third-generation Echo Dot is identical to the Kids Edition in terms of hardware. You can't get the rainbow fabric, but other than that, it's the same.

You can buy an Echo Dot for £49.99, but again, there are regular sales throughout the year which usually knock 50% or more off that price.

And while you won't get the Fire for Kids subscription thrown in, nor the warranty that covers accidental damage, at £30 or less in the sales, a standard Echo Dot is pretty much just as good.

There's also the newer Echo Dot with Clock, which is also great for a kid's room as they can more easily see the time (as well as set morning alarms).

Echo Dot Kids Edition UK

You can disable explicit lyrics in songs via the Alexa app, but unfortunately this applies to all your Alexa-enabled devices.

That means that you will need to supervise your kids' use of the Echo Dot, but you'd need to do that anyway if you have other Echos around your home.

Having used just about every Echo model for the past few years in a family home, we can safely say there has never been a time when we've heard Alexa say anything inappropriate, and kids have never found any unsuitable Skills to enable. Screens can be distracting, so an Echo Dot is particularly well suited to a kid's bedroom.

If you're concerned about children buying content or ordering products via Alexa, then simply turn off Voice Purchasing via the Alexa app.