To date, the neural underpinnings of affective components in language processing in children remain largely unknown. To fill this gap, the present study examined behavioural and neural correlates of children and adults performing the same auditory valence decision task with an event-related fMRI paradigm. Based on previous findings in adults, activations in anterior and posterior cingulate cortex, orbitofrontal cortex and left inferior frontal gyrus were expected for both positive and negative valence categories. Recent behavioural findings on valence decisions showed similar ratings and reaction time patterns in children and adults. This finding was successfully replicated in the present study. On a neural level, our analysis of affective language processing showed activations in regions associated with both semantic (superior and middle temporal and frontal) and affective (anterior and posterior cingulate, orbitofrontal and inferior frontal, insula and amygdala) processing. Neural activations in children and adults were systematically different in explicit affective word processing. In particular, adults showed a more distributed semantic network activation while children recruited additional subcortical structures.