Best Start Scotland
Best Start Grant first payments due December 2018
The Scottish Government is replacing the Sure Start Maternity Grant with the new Best Start Grant. The first payments are due to begin in December 2018. Applications will open on 10th December 2018. This should take 5-10 working days to process, and the first payments will be made before Christmas 2018.
To apply call 0800 182 2222 or apply online.
If you are expecting a baby now, or had a baby since 25 June 2018, and have not yet applied for a Sure Start Maternity Grant, it may be worth waiting to apply for a Best Start Grant instead, as it is worth £100 more. You should make sure you apply for one of them within six months of the baby’s birth.
The Best Start Grant will include 3 different grants:
- The pregnancy and baby grant- to help with the costs of pregnancy or having a new baby. Qualifying families will receive £600 from 25th week of pregnancy to 6 months after the birth of their first child and £300 on the birth of any following children
- The early learning grant– A payment of £250 when your child starts nursery
- The school age grant– A further payment of £250 to help with the additional costs when your child start school
The early learning grant and the school age grant are expected to be paid from summer 2019.
Who can get it?
You’ll be eligible for best start grant if you get any of the following benefits:
- Universal credit
- Income support
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Pension credit
- Housing benefit
- Child tax credit
- Working tax credit
If you’re under 19 and someone else is claiming child benefit, child tax credit or universal credit for you, you’ll be eligible for best start grant regardless of income.
People who have adopted a baby or who have started looking after a baby as a kinship carer can also apply for the grant. They will have until the end of the day before the child’s first birthday to apply.
If you have twins or a multiple birth £600 is payable per child, if you have no other children living with you. If there are other children living with you, it is £300 per child in a multiple birth, plus one supplement of £300.
How to claim
Apply to the Scottish Government. Scottish Government Best Start Grant.
Best Start Foods
Healthy Start vouchers will become known as Best Start Foods by summer 2019. The paper vouchers will be replaced by prepaid digital smartcards. The weekly allowance will rise from the current £3.10 to £4.25. These can be used for milk, fruit, vegetables and vitamins for pregnant women and eligible families.
Find out if you qualify for Healthy Start Vouchers.
All new-born babies in Scotland are entitled to a baby box. The box contains useful items and can also be used as a safe place to sleep. When you’re about 20-24 weeks pregnant your midwife will fill in a baby box registration card with you. The box will be delivered to you 4 weeks before your baby’s due date. Scotland’s Baby Box.
See our Maternity Rights factsheet for income and benefits for single parents in Scotland.
Call or email the Lone Parent Helpline on 0808 801 0323 if you need advice.