Best Start Scotland
Best Start Grant
The Scottish Government has now replaced the Sure Start Maternity grant with Best Start Pregnancy and Baby grant. 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 Best Start Grant includes 3 different grants:
- The pregnancy and baby grant – to help with the costs of pregnancy or having a new baby
- 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 Payment is open for applications. The £250 Payment is for children aged between two to three and a half and can be used for anything from children’s clothes and shoes to toys, books or days out.
You can apply from your child’s second birthday up to the day your child is 3 years 6 months old.
Best start grant school age applications opened on 3rd June 2019, eligible families will receive £250 to help with things such as educational toys and after school activities.
You don’t need to have received the pregnancy and baby grant to be eligible for the early learning grant or the school age grant, as long as you meet the qualifying criteria.
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.
Further information about Best Start Scotland can be found at mygov.scot or by calling 0800 182 2222.
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 advice guide for income and benefits for single parents in Scotland.