Best Start Grant

The Best Start Grant is made up of three possible payments. It provides parents or carers who get certain benefits or tax credits with financial support during the key early years of a child's life.

Pregnancy and Baby Payment

We have replaced the UK Government’s Sure Start Maternity Grant with the Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment in Scotland.

Social Security Scotland began taking applications on Monday 10 December 2018.

The Pregnancy and Baby Payment replaces and expands on the UK Government's Sure Start Maternity Grant by:

  • providing eligible families with £600 on the birth of their first child and £300 on the birth of any subsequent children
  • not putting a limit on the number of children that are supported
  • extending the application window from 24 weeks pregnant to 6 months after the birth, giving clients longer to apply

Early Learning Payment

The Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment is a new £250 payment to help with the costs of early learning when a child is between 2 and 3½ years old.

Social Security Scotland began taking applications on Monday 29 April 2019.

School Age Payment

The Best Start Grant School Age Payment is a new £250 payment to help with the costs of preparing for school when a child is first old enough to start Primary school.

Eligibility is based on the age of the child.

The application window for children who were born between 1 March 2014 and 28 February 2015 is now closed. 

The application window for children born between 1 March 2015 and 29 February 2016 opened on 1 June 2020 and closes on 28 February 2021.

Even if the child’s school start has been deferred until next year, or if the child is not going to start school at all, parents or carers of children born between 1 March 2015 and 29 February 2016 should still apply for the payment by 28 February 2021. If they do not apply within this window they will not be able to receive the payment.

Further details can be found on mygov.scot.

Policy position papers

We have published a series of social security policy papers setting out our position on the development of the devolved benefits in Scotland.

Background

Early years assistance: consultation on the Best Start Grant regulations closed on 15 June 2018. An independent analysis of views received and the Scottish Government’s response have now been published.

The Best Start Grant Reference Group, set up in October 2016, will support Scottish Ministers to develop policy around the Best Start Grant.