It was announced at the Children's Media conference in Sheffield earlier in the year
TBI Vision posted:
ITV is set to introduce a pre-school block on ITVBe after abandoning the concept five years ago...
ITV’s Paul Mortimer, head of digital channels and acquisitions, said the move was a “soft launch” and will be placed on the channel on Mondays from September 2018. He explained: “This came about from a conversation with our sales team, because there are people who don’t advertise on CITV anymore once that slot disappeared. There’s often merchandise and toys related to pre-school content in particular, so you need the eyeballs.”
Mortimer said content aimed at much younger viewers was initially dropped near five years ago because older children were not responding well to the variety.
“We stopped because the older kids thought we had a slightly schizophrenic personality, thought we were a bit too babyish. So we had to make a decision – in the same way that Nickelodeon have their Nick Jr – we had this one space.”
Full article here:https://tbivision.com/2018/07/04/itv-set-to-reintroduce-pre-school-block/
Interesting to note the research indicated that older viewers thought it was too babyish to have the mini CITV block. I suppose even older kids now have always known CBBC & CBeebies as two separate brands and channels, plus Disney & Nickelodeon have their junior versions too.