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Best Start Grant turns two

A little girl in a pink dress is standing behind a birthday cake with a number 2 candle. She is surrounded by balloons.

Parents who applied for the new Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment when it launched in December 2018 are being encouraged to check if they could now get Early Learning Payment.

Parents who received the new payment and now have a child aged between 2 to 3 and a half could be eligible for a further £250 payment – but they have to reapply as eligibility is based on their current circumstances.

When applying for this, they will have the option to apply for the new Scottish Child Payment at the same time.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“Best Start Grant is there to help families at key stages in a child life. It’s great to see parents and carers coming back to get this help as their family takes its next big step.

“The Early Learning Payment can be spent on anything you need for your child at this age from toys to help them learn to new clothes and shoes – and you don’t have to take up a place in nursery to get it.

“I am delighted that these families will soon be able to access Scottish Child Payment too, giving them an extra £40 every four weeks on top of these one-off Best Start Grant payments.

“We are taking applications now for the Scottish Child Payment ahead of its start date in February to help manage demand, and I encourage parents applying for any of the Best Start Grant payments to select the optional box and apply for Scottish Child Payment on the same form.”

Caitlin Donachie, 26, Glasgow, was one of the first parents to receive the Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment when it launched in 2018. She said:

“At the time I was having my baby it was Christmas so the Pregnancy and Baby Payment meant that I wasn’t left struggling.

“Jace is two now and will be starting nursery soon so I applied for the Early Learning Payment last week. It will be good to get him everything he needs for nursey – new clothes, a bag and wellies.

“I’ve got three other children so getting the Best Start Grant for Jace has been a great help. Just knowing that it’s coming puts your mind at ease. You know you’re not going to be struggling.”


  • Parents need to apply for each Best Start Grant payment when their child enters the age eligibility range - it doesn’t happen automatically.
  • Parents do not need to have received the Pregnancy and Baby Payment to be eligible for any other Best Start Grant payment.
  • To be eligible, parents or carers have to live in Scotland and be receiving tax credits or certain benefits.
  • Social Security Scotland is taking applications for Scottish Child Payment now ahead of its introduction on Monday 15 February 2021 to help manage expected demand.
  • People can find out eligibility criteria and apply at

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