Best Start Grant applications flood in

Social Security Secretary welcomes interest in new benefit.

More than 6000 applications for Best Start Grant have been received in just two days following the launch of the Scottish Government’s new Early Learning Payment.

The payment is for children aged between two and three and a half and can be used for anything from children’s clothes and shoes to toys, books or days out.

It is part of the Best Start Grant package and applications for the £250 payment, opened on Monday 29 April.

Parents can apply to Social Security Scotland for all Best Start Grant payments in a single application form.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“The Best Start Grant will give children the best possible start in life and I am delighted we have received so many applications in the two days following the launch of our new payment. This new payment is going to put money in to the pockets of low income families with young children, many of which have been affected by UK welfare cuts.

“The Best Start Grant package will support 30,000 to 40,000 families this year – totalling an investment of £12 million. This is £10 million more than previously provided by UK Government support. For a two-child family, the Best Start Grant package will provide total support of  £1900 – that’s £1400 more than they would get under the previous UK system. This shows the direct difference we are making to families across Scotland with our new powers over social security”


  • Parents/carers will be eligible if they live in Scotland and are responsible for a child and receive certain qualifying benefits and tax credits
  • Children do not need to take up a nursery place to get this payment
  • 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
  • The BSG package has three elements. The Pregnancy and Baby Payment, which has been open for applications since December; the Early Learning Payment, and the School Age payment, which will open for applications in June.
  • Social Security Scotland came into being as an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government on 1 September 2018
  • Given the high volume of applications, it may take longer than the standard processing time of 14-21 days for an eligible client to receive a payment
  • Further information can be found at or by calling 0800 182 2222


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