There's a problem with children's television: there's an awful lot of it but an awful lot of it is not very good.

Not only that, many of the programmes are imported and re-dubbed and the majority of the output is made up of repeats, presumably on the basis that young children in particular like repetition. Round and round we go, boys and girls. Children deserve better.

One of the central problems in children's TV (what's left of it) is a lack of new ideas and anyone to make them. This week, Anne Wood, the creator of The Teletubbies, bemoaned the fact that her most famous creation, which ran for four years from 1997, was being revived for a new series. Wood sold the rights to the format two years ago so can't do anything about what happens to it next, but she said producers simply feel safer remaking the hits of the past rather than investing in something new.

But the more serious problem is the lack of anyone to turn the ideas into programmes. ITV pretty much pulled out of the market for home-grown children's television a long time ago and commissioning of children's shows on the other commercial channels has shrunk dramatically, leaving the BBC as the only serious commissioner and maker of new home-grown children's programmes. And even at the Beeb things are pretty grim, with virtually no children's shows broadcast on the mainstream channels.

I've spoken to children's producers both at the BBC and at the commercial channels who insist things aren't as bad as we think and they usually say there's much more choice for children than there used to be. That's probably true for very young and pre-school children, but speak to children in the 7 to 12 age group and it's entirely different; there's nothing like the output there was for that age group 20, or even 10, years ago, and that is particularly so with children's drama.

Is there some hope? Possibly, in the form of an unlikely children's hero: the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. From this April, his government will offer tax breaks for live-action children's programmes, and, given that cost is the main reason more children's programmes aren't made in the UK, it should help.

But it's not a solution on its own for an industry that has been struggling for many years and still is. One children's producer told me television has to move on and embrace the fact that there is more entertainment around for children, especially on their tablets. Another producer who works for the BBC told me to get over the fact that you can't recapture the innocence and charm of Blue Peter in the 1970s.

All of that is true to some extent, but the industry will not recover until there are more channels willing to commission good, original children's content. Then they have to have the courage to show it prominently. In the 1970s and 80s, children's television was right there in the main mix of programmes. Then Neighbours happened and the Weakest Link and children's programmes were told to go and play on the digital channels. That is the wrong approach. Our main channels should reflect everyone who watches them, including the children.