There is a wealth of family-friendly apps buried inside Google's massive Play Store. To dig up those treasures and make them easier for families to find, Google is launching its Designed for Families program.

The new initiative is expected to go live "in several weeks," according to Google. Designed for Families will introduce new ways to search and discover apps and games for families.

The program is calling on Android developers to push the initiative forward, according to Eunice Kim, a Google Play product manager. The store will be divided into age groups that include "Ages 5 & Under," "Ages 6 to 8," and "Ages 9 to 12."

"There are thousands of Android developers creating experiences for families and children - apps and games that broaden the mind and inspire creativity," said Kim.

Participating developers will be able to label applicable apps as family friendly, according to Kim.

"Starting now, developers can opt in their app or game through the Google Play Developer Console," said Kim. "From there, our team will review the submission to verify that it meets the Designed for Families program requirements."

For developers of eligible apps, inclusion in the Designed for Families program will mean more exposure for their programs. The family-friendly apps will be placed in a new section of the Google Play Store, while still maintaining their presence elsewhere in the online marketplace.

To qualify for the program, developers will have to ensure that their apps comply with Google's content policies and the Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA). Submitted apps will also have to comply with the Designed for Families addendum of the DDA.

Some of the elements that prospective entries must meet include an Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating of either Everyone or Everyone 10+, a link back to the associated privacy policy on the app's listing, and a review by Google to ensure the submissions meet the requirements for inclusion into the program.

For apps that are discovered to be non-compliant after being accepted into the program, they will be removed completely from the Play Store. That includes their general listings in the store.

"Removed apps can follow the same remedies as rejected apps. Suspended apps can be appealed using the developer appeal process," said Google.

Designed for Families doesn't appear to be a straightup answer to Amazon's Free Time, a subscription service chock-full of apps and ebooks for kids. It's still too early to tell, and Google says it has more to share.

"In the coming weeks, we'll be adding new ways to promote family content to users on Google Play - we'll have more to share on this soon," said Kim.

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