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Best SIM only deals for kids and teenagers

Need a SIM only deal for you child? We'll help you find the right one

Best SIM only deals for kids and teenagers

Finding a SIM only deal for your child

Giving your child a mobile phone can produce tensions. You’ll have the peace of mind that they can contact you if they ever need to, but you’ll also then have to worry about keeping them safe when using their new phone. This guide will point out the things you need to consider when purchasing a SIM card for your child, and will also give you tips on how to find the very best SIM for kids.

Best SIM only deals for kids in 2022

The best SIM only deals for kids in 2022 all come from ParentShield, the only network provider in the UK wholly dedicated to keeping children and young people safe online: 

Safe Stage 1

ParentShield’s entry-level SIM only deal comes with 250 texts and 250 minutes per month, with pay as you go data, and costs £9.99 per month.

ParentShield

Safe Stage 1

1 month contract

PAYG

Data

250

Minutes & Texts

£9.99 / month

No upfront fees

Safe Stage 2

This comes with double the texts and minutes allowance of Safe Stage 1 (500 mins each), and 500MB of data, for £14.99 per month.

ParentShield

Safe Stage 2

1 month contract

500MB

Data

500

Minutes & Texts

£14.99 / month

No upfront fees

Safe Stage 3

If you want your child to have unlimited calls and texts, this SIM is ParentShield’s cheapest that offers that, along with 1GB of data, for £19.99 per month.

ParentShield

Safe Stage 3

1 month contract

1GB

Data

Unlimited

Minutes & Texts

£19.99 / month

No upfront fees

Safe Stage 4

This SIM deal also offer unlimited minutes and texts, but comes with 3GB of data, for £24.99 per month.

ParentShield

Safe Stage 4

1 month contract

3GB

Data

Unlimited

Minutes & Texts

£24.99 / month

No upfront fees

Safe Stage 8

If you want to give your child a generous data allowance, then consider this SIM which offers 500 texts and 500 minutes, as well as 10GB of data, for £29.99 per month.

ParentShield

Safe Stage 8

1 month contract

10GB

Data

500

Minutes & Texts

£29.99 / month

No upfront fees

Safe Stage 10

This is the most comprehensive of ParentShield’s SIMs, but also the most expensive. It offers unlimited calls and texts, and 10GB of data, for £35.99 a month.

ParentShield

Safe Stage 10

1 month contract

10GB

Data

Unlimited

Minutes & Texts

£35.99 / month

No upfront fees

How can I make sure my child doesn’t run up a large bill?

Spending caps are the key to keeping your child’s spending in check. Many networks offer the option of setting a monthly spending cap on your account. This means you can make sure your child doesn’t accidentally end up racking up a large bill.

Spending caps are sometimes set by default by some networks, whereas other providers will require you to set them manually, and some don’t offer them at all.

How do I prevent my child from accessing something they shouldn’t?

A number of networks will allow you to control what your child can access via parental control features. This is particularly useful if you have younger children. You can block adult content, as well in-app purchases on Apple’s App Store, or the Google Play Store.

What kind of allowance will my kids SIM only deal need?

This involves balancing two factors: how much your child would want to use, and how much you’d actually be happy with them using.

If you’re happy for them to use their smartphone as a source of entertainment to their heart’s content, including watching Netflix or YouTube videos, then they’ll need a relatively high mobile data allowance. This is particularly true if they won’t be using their phone at home where they’ll have access to WiFi. 

For this kind of usage you’d need a mobile plan with a data allowance of over 10GB per month. Some SIM only deals even come with unlimited data, although these will typically be the most expensive plans.

On the other hand, if you only want your child to use their device to keep in touch with you, then you won’t need anywhere near that much data. Just 2-3GB per month would be plenty for this kind of usage, with most mobile plans including unlimited calls and texts these days. Bear in mind that having a smaller data allowance will limit their ability to use their device.

Should I choose pay as you go or pay monthly SIM plan for my child?

As with other SIM only deals, pay monthly SIM plans are much better value than pay as you go (PAYG), and also tend to come with additional extras that you won’t be able to get on pay as you go plans. 

A pay monthly phone plan will eliminate the hassle of having to top up your child’s phone regularly, and will also make it difficult for them to overspend if you use spending caps.

You’ll have much more control over your child’s phone usage, however, if you opt for a pay as you go plan. One drawback with pay as you go plans is that your child may run out of credit and find themselves unable to contact you.

What contract length is best for a SIM only plan for kids?

If you aren’t too sure about whether you want your child to have a phone, or what kind of allowances they should have, then it’s probably best to avoid getting tied in to a long-term phone contract. Instead, choose a 30-day rolling contract that can be upgraded, downgraded, or cancelled when needed.

On the other hand, if you know you want your child to have a phone for the long-term, and you know the kind of allowance you want them to have, then a pay monthly SIM deal will usually be much better value for money.

Which networks offer SIM only deals for kids?

Most network providers in the UK offer a range of SIM only deals, and if you take time to compare what’s on offer, you’re sure to find a package that fits in with what you and your child wants.

All of the big four networks offer a range of features that can help protect your child online, as well as preventing them from racking up big bills by going over limits or downloading costly apps:

  • O2 is partnered with the children’s charity NSPCC, with a dedicated online hub full of advice on how to keep your children safe online. They also offer sharer plans, which allow you to share your data with your children, giving you greater control over how much they’re using.
  • EE offers three levels of safety settings on its SIM only plans, including a Moderate setting which blocks any inappropriate content for under 18s, and a Strict setting which blocks anything higher than PG, which includes social media and dating apps. They also offer shared plans like O2.
  • Three also lets you put filters on your child’s SIM, such as the ability to block any content unsuitable for under 18s. They also offer SIMs where you can’t choose to pay for more data should you run out, giving you peace of mind that you child wont’ rack up any big bills.
  • Vodafone has a partnership with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), which you can call should your child access harmful content while on the Vodafone network. They will then aim to take it down and report any illegal content to the police. They also have a family data sharing plan named Red+, which offers a 15% discount for each additional device.

As well as the big four, you’ll also find a number of SIM only deals with added security features for kids from smaller providers like giffgaff, iD Mobile, and SMARTY. However, there is one little-known network provider that specialises in SIM-only plans for kids, called ParentShield. If your child’s online safety is your number one priority when it comes to their mobile phone use, you should be more than satisfied with what ParentShield offers.

What is the best mobile network for kids?

As mentioned previously, most network providers offer security features and spending caps that can be particularly useful for children and teenagers, with varying perks and price points. However, only one is truly dedicated to the online safety of children – ParentShield.

ParentShield’s SIM-only deals offer a number of features that can protect your child from harmful content, stop them from overspending, and give you the ability to monitor their activity. Some of these features include:

  • All-network SIM allows you to connect to other networks when your signal is poor, meaning your child should stay connected even in areas with poor coverage.
  • Spending controls mean it’s impossible to overspend on any month. This means that any costly apps are blocked, there’s no option to add data allowances, and premium rate numbers, such as those starting with 118 or 0871, are completely disabled.
  • Caller checking and blocking technology prevents your child from being contacted by any unwanted people, as well as any numbers you choose to block manually.
  • Unlimited calls and texts to up to 2 ‘Home Numbers’, meaning your children should be able to contact you even after they’ve run out of credit.
  • All calls and text messages are securely recorded and then stored on an online account, which you as a parent can monitor.
  • Word alerts can also be sent instantly to your own phone, whenever a certain word or phrase that your child has been sent in a text is automatically flagged up as being potentially harmful.
  • Time controls allow you to manage your child’s mobile phone habits, controlling which times of the day they can use their phone and for what.
  • Not so much for the benefit of your kids, but ParentShield’s SIM only plans are on a rolling monthly basis, meaning you can cancel any time without having to pay any exit fees.

All of this, in our opinion, makes ParentShield the best mobile network for kids, especially when it comes to keeping them safe from harmful content and stopping them from racking up huge, unexpected bills.

Let's compare their SIM only deals, so you can decide which one is right for your child:

Provider SIM name Minutes & texts Data Monthly cost
ParentShield Safe Stage 1 250 PAYG £9.99 See deal
ParentShield Safe Stage 2 500 500MB £14.99 See deal
ParentShield Safe Stage 3 Unlimited 1GB £19.99 See deal
ParentShield Safe Stage 4 Unlimited 3GB £24.99 See deal
ParentShield Safe Stage 8 500 10GB £29.99 See deal
ParentShield Safe Stage 10 Unlimited 10GB £35.99 See deal

Last reviewed: 02 August 2022

Next review: 02 September 2022