Best Start Grant

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

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

Best Start Grants will provide lower-income families with financial support during the key early years of a child's life.

They replace and expand 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

Further details can be found on

By Summer 2019 we will introduce two additional payments of £250, per child, to help with the costs of early learning at the age of 2 or 3 and around the time they start school.

Applications for the School Age Payment will open on 3 June. The Early Learning Payment will also be delivered by Summer 2019 and we will confirm a start date as soon as we can.

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.


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.