Early years assistance: consultation on the Best Start Grant regulations

This consultation asks questions on whether the draft Best Start Grant regulations will help to improve children’s wellbeing and life chances.

Section 2 - Policy Objectives of BSG

19. The BSG is split into three payments providing support during key transition periods in a child's early years. The maternity payment also provides support for people who have had a still birth. The policy objectives of the BSG cash payments are to improve children's wellbeing and life chances by providing support to lower income families at key transition points in the early years. BSG aims to help mitigate the effects of child poverty and material deprivation. The support is intended to contribute to improving outcomes for children, including reducing health inequalities and closing the attainment gap:

  • Maternity and New Baby Payment - £600 for a first child and £300 for any subsequent child - will help with expenses in pregnancy or of having a new child, for example a pram or additional heating. This lessens the financial burden on lower income families when they are expecting or have a new child.
  • Nursery/Early Learning Payment - £250 – will help with costs during nursery and early learning years to support child development, for example travel costs, changes of clothes for messy play, trips out and toys for home learning.
  • School Payment - £250 – will help with the costs of preparing for primary school, for example a school bag, educational toys, after school activities such as swimming or football, or helping with the cost of school milk or school trips.

20. The regulations provide detailed rules relating to the BSG, including eligibility, what assistance is available, the value of the three payments falling within it and when to apply. Further rules will be set out in operational guidance.


Email: Barry.Pattison@gov.scot

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