Support for families

Access child benefits, free school meals, cost help, activities, Family Hubs and more.

Child benefit

You can claim Child Benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child who is:

  • under 16
  • under 20 if they stay in approved education or training

Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child. It’s paid every 4 weeks and there’s no limit to how many children you can claim for. Click here to claim child benefit.

Get help with maternity costs

You could claim a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child. Check if you’re eligible for the Sure Start Maternity Grant.

Free School Meals

Making sure our children and young people enjoy a hot meal in school, and are supported through the holidays important, think you’re eligible for support? It’s simple to apply. All children in reception, year one and year two are also entitled to free school meals.  Find out more here and fill out our simple application form.

Healthy Start Vouchers

If you are more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk. The England-wide scheme means those eligible, will be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it to use in UK shops and supermarkets which accept Mastercard. The prepaid benefit will be added onto this card every 4 weeks. Find out how to apply here.

Help with food

If you need help with food we can connect you to support in your area. Please phone the Northumberland Communities Together Response Hub on 01670 620015 9am-6pm, 7 days a week or email: to find out more.

Help with school uniform

Both schools and community organisations have a wide range of pre-loved uniform available to all. Please check with your local school office first. Otherwise get in touch and we can point you in the right direction. Speak to the team on 01670 620015 - 9am to 6pm 7 days a week.

Fun-filled school holidays

We recognise school holidays can sometimes be a struggle for families. Northumberland Holiday Provision helps children, young people, their parents and carers have fulfilling, active, fun-filled and healthy school holidays. The provision is mainly for those who receive free school meals and families who may need a bit of extra support. The fully funded holiday activities mean children and young people will be able to fill their holidays with adventure as they make friends, learn new skills and create memories.

If you’ve got a child aged between 5 and 18 please get in touch, we’ve holiday camps, activities and trips out for families, including, tickets to Seaton Delaval Hall, the cinema, activity centres and passes for local leisure centres. We also have some fantastic community days planned in parks and beaches over the 6-week holiday period too. Those taking part will also receive a healthy meal included on the day.

Northumberland Holiday Provision would love to see how you are spending your holidays, so follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @NlandTogether and share your holiday using our hashtags #wearenland, #haf2023, #wearenorthumberland, #nlandholidayprovision and #GrowingUpNorthumberland. To find out more, including how to book click here

If you provide activities for children and families in Northumberland and would like to know more about the Northumberland Holiday Provision please email  Northumberland Holiday Provision activities are funded with support from Department for Education (HAF) and The National Lottery Fund, through North East Child Poverty Trust. 

Leading Link manage Northumberland Holiday Provision on behalf of Northumberland County Council.

Family hubs

Northumberland’s Children’s Centres (previously known as Sure Start) launched as Family Hubs on 26 September 2022. The centres currently provide a wide range of support services for children aged 0-5 and their families. The Family Hubs will now be available to all young people extending the age range to 0-19 and to 25 for anyone with additional needs (SEND).

The Hubs will be in the heart of their communities, with midwives, health visitors, early years and mental health professionals, youth workers, and more - including relationship and parenting programmes, and financial advice – brought together in a friendly one-stop-shop. Family Hubs will also offer online and virtual services and sessions, so that support can be as accessible as possible.  Find out what's on at your local family hub here.


Information about the different types of childcare support.

Tax-free childcare

You can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the cost of childcare. Claim tax-free childcare

30 hours free childcare

Eligible working families in Northumberland with 3 and 4 year old children can receive 30 hours of free childcare a week. Visit Childcare Choices for more information

15 hours free childcare

Families in Northumberland who have 2 year old children and are on certain benefits can get 15 hours of free childcare a week. All families with children aged 3 and 4 can also access 15 hours of free childcare a week. Visit Childcare Choices for more information

Claim back childcare costs

You may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs if you’re eligible for Universal Credit, with up to £646 back each month for one child or £1,108 for 2 or more children. Find out more about claiming back childcare costs. If you would like to make sure you’re getting the right benefits for your family speak to one of the Northumberland Communities Together team on 01670 620015 - 9am to 6pm 7 days a week.

Worried about the immediate welfare of an adult or a child

If you are worried about the immediate welfare (health or well-being) of an adult or a child contact Onecall - 01670 536400 email: - 24 hour service, 365 days a year. If you have speech or hearing difficulties, you can use Relay UK to contact us by dialling 018001 01670 536400 you can find more information about Relay UK here.