Choosing a phone for your child

Deciding on your child’s first phone can be tricky, so we’ve brought together our range of Phone Plans and money-saving airtime options, plus expert advice from the NSPCC, to help you make the best choice for your child.

What to consider when choosing your child’s first phone

Choosing your child’s first phone involves careful consideration, but we’re here to guide you through the process.

Why it might be useful for your child to have a phone:

In emergencies they’ll have a way to communicate, giving you peace of mind

Keep an eye on your child’s location with layers of parental controls

A phone is a tool to help with learning and development

Stay in touch with family and friends

Key points to consider when choosing your child’s first phone:

Durability and reliability of the device

Device simplicity and ease of use

Affordability

Finding your child’s first phone

When choosing your child’s first phone, look for features such as a long battery life, good parental controls and online safety features. Phones such as the iPhone SE and iPhone 13 would be good entry level options, as are the phones in the Samsung Galaxy A series

Check out our advice to help you choose the right phone for your child, with features that are important to you.

Affordable options for your child’s first phone

Have you considered a refurbished device for your child’s first phone? Perhaps you should! They’re kinder to your pocket and the planet too. All refurbished phones are verified by Vodafone’s team of technical experts, so you can be sure that your phone is in top working condition.

As a bonus all refurbished phones come with Lifetime Warranty and Battery Refresh – Lifetime Service Promise at no extra cost.

Protecting your child’s first phone

Kids are bound to drop a phone and fixing one can be expensive. Explore how we can protect your child’s first phone – from our inclusive Lifetime Service Promise to optional extras like screen protectors and insurance, we’ve got you covered.

Lifetime Service Promise

The UK's only Lifetime Service Promise with Lifetime Warranty and Battery Refresh.

Vodafone Insurance

Cover your child’s device for accidental damage and enjoy peace of mind.

Phone accessories

Browse our range of phone cases, chargers, and screen protectors from our partner, GetGoFone.

Keeping kids safe on their phones

It’s important to help your child understand the risks of being online by having age-appropriate conversations. Set up your child’s first phone as a ‘child’s phone’ to limit their access to certain content, visit for advice on steps you can take.

We've partnered with online safety experts, Digital Awareness UK, to create Digital Parenting Pro. This free tool guides you through the parental controls and safety settings on the most popular apps, games and devices.

Protect your family online with NSPCC’s toolkit

Designed to help set boundaries for safe phone use and build trust within your family, the NSPCC and Vodafone have put together a guide to help your child feel secure and safe online.

Filled with fun interactive activities and expert advice, this toolkit will help you:

  • understand safety features and how to use them

  • find places you can go for support and advice

  • learn about online safety skills for your child’s first phone

Choosing your child’s first phone contract

Looking for a deal on an Airtime Plan to pair with your child’s first phone? Consider a plan with limited data, texts and calls suitable for their needs. Manage your child’s data usage and their access to content through the My Vodafone app

Additional plans for less

Save on your child’s first phone by adding an additional plan to your account – get exclusive discounts on your monthly bill.

Additional plans

Already have a phone to give your child?

Check out our SIM only deals once you’ve got your child’s first phone. The flexibility of our plans mean you can choose a one that fits their allowance needs.

SIM only deals

Pay as you go bundles

Our Pay as you go plans offer 30-day bundles of data, plus unlimited minutes, and texts – get a free SIM card with any of our Pay as you bundles.

Pay as you go bundles

Frequently asked questions

Balancing affordability, ease of use and parental control when choosing your child’s first phone is key. The phone you choose should include age-appropriate features and offer essential functions. We have many options to choose from on our best phones for kid and teenagers page.

To save money and keep your child’s phone safe, you may want to choose a refurbished phone and accessories such as screen protectors and phone cases.

A lot of children receive their first phone when they’re around 10 years old. However, your family’s lifestyle may mean they need a phone earlier or later. For example, if your child regularly plays sport after school, you might want them to have a phone so you can be in touch if a game is cancelled or will finish late.

A basic smartphone that is durable, with age-appropriate features and parental control would be best suited for a 10-year-old. Phones such as the iPhone SE, iPhone13 and any phone from the Samsung A series would be good options.

Once you buy your child’s first phone, you can use the NSPCC toolkit to help set up your child’s phone to keep them safe online.

Stay on top of your child’s safety by regularly reviewing their settings and monitoring their usage. Check out Vodafone and the NSPCC help guide for steps you can take to help your child understand the risks of being online.