Last week saw the national roll-out of the childcare service for youngsters up to the age of four, which was piloted in Northumberland.
This means that parents wishing to access tax-free childcare now or the 30 hours’ free childcare entitlement from September are now able to apply by using the Government’s childcare website.
Northumberland County Council was 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 three to four-year-olds.
The pilot scheme in Northumberland was opened to eligible parents in Northumberland in September last year.
The original target of 415 places were allocated successfully by July 2016 with funding for a further 160 places being granted by the Government, meaning a total of 575 families have benefited from 30 hours of free childcare across the county to date.
In addition to this, due to the success of the pilot, a further 250 families will also benefit this term.
Daljit Lally, deputy chief executive at Northumberland County Council, said: “We are delighted to have taken part in the pilot scheme to offer additional hours of free childcare.”