Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment celebrates its first birthday!

29 April 2020

two young happy children

We are marking the first anniversary of our Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment.

From the payment launch in April 2019 to December 2019, we received 41,445 applications and paid out £6.9 million to families across Scotland.

The Early Learning Payment provides eligible families with £250 to support their child’s development. Parents can apply if their child is between the ages of two and three and a half years old, even if they haven’t taken up a nursery place or are not attending nursery at the moment due to coronavirus.

The payment could, for example, help with travel costs, changes of clothes for messy play, trips out and toys for home learning. It’s part of Best Start Grant, a package of three payments to help families in Scotland at key stages in a child’s life.

Paula Stewart, 36, from Forfar, received the Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment for her daughter Arwen.

She said: “It was easy and straightforward to apply online and money was paid direct into my bank account once the application was completed.

It made a difference to us because it was an added bonus, an added extra payment.

I am very good at planning ahead and budgeting for uniforms or school shoes or normal shoes or just clothes and jackets, that kind of thing so to receive that extra money was just a nice thing for the family and for us to spend time together.”

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting many families financially. Parents are being urged to check if they are eligible for benefits and to apply.

The Scottish Government is aware that the pandemic may impact people’s ability to get applications for support in on time. That is why they have relaxed application deadlines so that if due to Covid-19, you were unable to apply for Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment before your child turned three and a half, you should still apply.

When we check your application, we’ll look at your circumstances on the final day that you would usually have been able to apply.

If the reason your application was late is because you were waiting to hear the outcome of the application for a qualifying benefit, we’ll take this into consideration too.

For more information and to apply visit the website.

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