Funding secures more spaces for 30 hours free childcare

25 Sep 2017

Northumberland County Council has secured funding to further expand childcare provision for three and four year olds, increasing the overall number of places available for 30 hours of free childcare per week from September 2017.

The national roll out to offer an additional 15 hours of free childcare to three and four year olds from all eligible families begins this month and supports the government’s commitment to give working parents of three and four years olds 30 hours of free childcare a week.

Northumberland County Council has already successfully piloted the scheme from September 16 in rural areas, with over 600 families benefitting.

The council has secured £2m extra funding allowing it to increase the amount of free places across four early year providers within the county.

The additional funding will allow for a total growth in places which will see nearly 9,000 hours of additional free childcare available for families. The areas set to benefit from the investment include; Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth, and Seahouses.

Bedlington Central Councillor Russ Wallace, who sits on the Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley Local Area Council, said:  “I am delighted that Northumberland County Council has secured this additional funding to provide extra places for free childcare.

“Not only will this help families throughout the county, but it means that there will be additional places in the West Bedlington Early Years Partnership and this will directly impact families within our local area and will form part of helping parents of young children return to or continue working.”

Councillor Wayne Daley, cabinet member for children’s services at Northumberland County Council said:  “The offer of additional hours of free childcare is very important to families with young children and I am delighted that Northumberland County Council has secured funding to increase the number of places of free childcare we can offer throughout the county.

“This funding is very important in allowing the council to support even more working families with young children with their childcare costs.”