Families information service

The Families Information Service is a free, impartial service giving detailed information and advice on childcare as well as general information on a wide range of services for children and young people aged 0 to 20 years and young people aged up to 25 with additional needs and their families in Northumberland.

Childcare choices - looking for childcare?

If you are looking for childcare or an early education place for your child - we can help. We can help you with your childcare choices including Ofsted registered and non-registered childcare and childcare settings suitable for children with disabilities and special educational needs. Please contact us or use our directory, which lists local Ofsted registered childcare providers. Website: Northumberland Childcare Directory

Free entitlement for 2, 3 and 4 year olds

We provide information on the 15 hours of free entitlement to early years provision for all 3 and 4 year olds and where you can access this for your child in Northumberland. We can also signpost you to providers who are offering places for two year olds in Northumberland. Please click on this link for further information link to two year old entitlement page

Advice on paying for childcare

We can provide information on:

  • Tax credits and the childcare element of Working Tax Credit
  • Childcare Voucher Schemes
  • Going back to Further and Higher Education
  • NHS Bursary childcare allowance
  • Career Development Loans
  • Care to Learn (for teenage parents)
  • New Deal for Lone Parents
  • Disability Living Allowance for children
  • Free entitlement to early years provision for 3 and 4 year-olds

Balancing work, training and home life

Information on:

  • Maternity, paternity and parental leave
  • Adoption leave
  • Time off for dependents
  • Flexible working
  • Help with childcare costs

Tax credit estimator

Our tax credit estimator offers a quick and easy way of giving you an indication of how working part-time, full-time or using childcare vouchers could affect the amount of tax credits you might be entitled to. We provide information on Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits (including the Childcare element). Please note that any figures we provide are a general indication only. For further information please call the Tax Credits Helpline (0345 300 3900).

Alternatively, use this Tax Credit Checker to see if you are eligible for help with Childcare Costs:

Tax Credit Estimator

Brokerage Service

We offer a brokerage service providing extra assistance for those who are having difficulty sourcing childcare. We can explain the childcare system and assess childcare needs, help identify sources of funding and support and where necessary act as an intermediary between parents and providers.

We provide assistance to parents of children with disabilities and special educational needs to find the services they need.

Children and Young People’s Directory

The Children and Young People’s Directory provides information on local and national activities, organisations and services for children and young people aged up to 20 years, parents, carers and those who work with children and young people. You can also access local childcare information from our website.

Website: Northumberland Childcare and Information Directory

Childcare Sufficiency Assessment

Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (CSA)

The Childcare Act 2006 places a duty on English local authorities to improve outcomes for children and young people, to secure sufficient childcare so that parents and carers can work, and to provide information about the various forms of childcare available to them.

The purpose of the CSA is to identify gaps in the childcare market, so that we can plan how to support the market to ensure sufficient childcare provision. The CSA focuses on formal registered and formal unregistered childcare provision wherever possible, and involves childcare for 0 to 14 year olds, and 18 year olds for disabled children and children with learning difficulties. A core element of this duty is to complete a CSA every three years.

Please see information section below to view the latest CSA

How can I find out about general information on childcare?

You can contact the Families Information Service for general advice and guidance on childcare issues:

Freephone 0800 023 4440 or 01670 624889

E-mail: fis@northumberland.gov.uk

If you would like to contact another FIS in another part of the country, please use the following link to find their contact information.

National FIS Webpage

Family Support and Placement Service

If you are interested in foster care, family support day care or adoption, please visit our websites:

Private fostering


Foster Care

You can also contact us on 01670 626262 or email familyplacement@northumberland.gov.uk

Portage Service

Portage is a home teaching service for pre-school children with additional needs. It helps parents and carers to support their child's learning. Please click on this link for further information:


FIS Contact Details

If you would like further information on any of the above services, please contact the Families Information Service on freephone 0800 023 4440 or 01670 624889.

E-mail: fis@northumberland.gov.uk

The office is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4.30pm on Fridays (closed on Bank Holidays). Please leave a message on our answerphone outside normal office hours and one of our staff members will call you back.

pdfSchool Admissions Booklet.pdf 405 KB10/6/2014 11:26 AM
pdfsufficiency_statement_2015-2016.pdf 500 KB2/9/2015 11:05 AM
pdf7901 - Help with Childcare Costs.pdf 6,647 KB7/5/2012 2:22 PM
pdfFIS 6pp A4 brochure v16.pdf 2,782 KB7/5/2012 2:22 PM


pdfLocal Services Guide (2).pdf 1,049 KB12/1/2011 2:32 PM


pdfIs your child two Postcard.pdf 111 KB12/8/2014 12:42 PM
pdfNorthumberland Local Code of Practice Sept 2015.pdf 730 KB7/21/2015 4:27 PM
pdfParents guide to free early years entitlement.pdf 1,985 KB1/21/2015 1:18 PM
docxInformation and frequently asked questions regarding Funded Entitlement for 2 3 4 year olds September 2015.docx 52 KB9/24/2015 9:58 AM
docBank_details_form.doc 1,004 KB1/21/2015 1:12 PM
pdfEarly Years Application to Deliver Funded Education Pathway.pdf 248 KB7/21/2015 4:27 PM
pdfearly_education_and_childcare_statutory_guidance_2014.pdf 309 KB1/21/2015 1:21 PM