Dr Therese Coffey MP visited Northumberland childcare provider

Pumpkin Pie Nursery in Felton recently welcomed Rural Minister, Thérèse Coffey, to visit their nursery and discuss the pilot scheme offering 30 hours of free childcare to eligible families.


Northumberland County Council are one of eight local authorities nationally - the Early Implementers - to take part in the pilot scheme to offer eligible families 30 hours of free childcare for 3-4 year olds.


The Minister visited Pumpkin Pie nursery in Northumberland which is participating in the 30 hours free childcare early implementer programme and took the opportunity to meet staff, children and parents to gain a better understanding of how it is working in practice and how this could impact future strategic plans when the programme is rolled out nationally.


Rural Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “It was fantastic to meet the children and families at Pumpkin Pie Nursery benefiting from the government’s offer of 30 hours’ free childcare for working parents.”


“I commend Pumpkin Pie and Felton Primary School for working together with our offer - helping parents who want to work to do so.”


Councillor Robert Arckless, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services at Northumberland County Council, said: “We are delighted to be part of the pilot scheme to offer additional hours of free childcare.


“This visit was a great opportunity for Minister Coffey to see an example of how this scheme is implemented and discuss the benefits and challenges presented along the way, which can go towards helping to shape the development of this scheme on a national level.”


On Wednesday, the Minister also visited Rimside Woodland, between Rothbury and Alnwick, to see the recently constructed forest road. This new access way will bring opportunities for commercial forestry in the North East, benefitting both the local environment and the economy.


The Minister finished her tour of Northumberland with a visit to Morpeth’s new £27 million flood defences, which will better protect 1,000 homes and businesses.

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