2000 Miles Pretenders
A free text messaging system's starting - so parents in Northamptonshire don't miss out on services that would help their children.
If you've got under-fives, the service will remind you about registering for a school place, or tell you how to get free books.
You have to opt-in to get the alerts. All you need to do is give a few details, including your phone number and your child's date of birth.
Then the council will send you reminders about:
When to register for primary school
How to get hold of a "bookstart" pack of free books from the library
Free childcare you can get when your child reaches the age of 3
Free "rhymetime" sessions to help babies pick up language and rhythm skills
Councillor Andrew Grant is in charge of policies affecting children and young people at the County Council. He told Heart:
"Juggling work with the demands of running a household and raising a family mean that modern parents have busy lives. We want to provide a way of communicating with parents that cuts back on bureaucracy, and makes it easier to find out about our services."
Cllr Grant says every year some parents don't get the school places they want because they haven't filled in the paperwork before the deadline, and their chosen school turns out to be over-subscribed.
The system has cost £50,000; the money's come from central government as part of a grant to do with hot school meals. The council says the texting idea is "absolutely worth" the money.
The council's already used text messaging to help parents find out if their children are entitled to get free school meals. It says 80 children have been getting free school meals after their parents used the system.
You can register for the text alerts here.