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New Best Start Grant Payment now open

Early Learning Payment spelt with fridge magnets

The £250 Early Learning 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.

This payment is part of the Scottish Government’s new Best Start Grant package. This financial support includes the Pregnancy and Baby Payment, which has been open for applications since December, and the Best Start Grant School Age payment, which will open in June.

When the School Age Payments begin in June, the Best Start Grant package, along with Carer’s Allowance Supplement, will bring the total number of Scottish Government benefits being administered by Social Security Scotland to four.

Best Start Grant is for families in receipt of eligible benefits - including Universal Credit, Income Support, Housing Benefit – and tax credits to help at key stages in a child’s life.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“The Best Start Grant package will support 30,000 to 40,000 families this year – totaling an investment of £12 million. This is £10 million more than previously provided by UK Government support.

“The new £250 payment will help low income families around the time a child normally starts nursery.

“We are encouraging take-up for this benefit by simplifying the application process, providing a range of channels for people to apply and working with frontline service staff and undertaking promotional activity to ensure as many people as possible are aware they can access this support.”

Talking about the new Early Leaning Payment, Katy Stoddart from Loanhead said:

“I think it’s great and I’ll be applying. I’ll be getting Matthew a big boy’s bed to get him out of his cot bed.

“As a single mum on benefits, this will make a big difference for Matthew.”

Social Security Scotland is using a single application process for all Best Start Grant payments so families can apply in one form. Applications can be made online at, over the phone on 0800 182 2222, or in writing by calling and requesting a paper form.

Parents/carers will be eligible if they live in Scotland and are responsible for a child and receive certain qualifying benefits.

Qualifying benefits include Universal Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.

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