Annex A: Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme Summary
The Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme will replace the UK Nursery Milk Scheme (NMS) in Scotland with effect from 1 August 2021. The new Scheme is underpinned by the Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2021 which came into force on 21 March 2021.
Purpose and ambition
Under the new Scheme eligible childcare providers – those (including childminders) providing pre-school day care, registered with the Care Inspectorate and registered with the local authority for the new Scheme will receive funding via the local authority to enable children in receipt of 2 hours or more childcare in the day to be provided with:
- 189mls (1/3 pint) (or 200mls where supplied in containers of that size only) of plain fresh cow's milk (whole milk for children 1 year and over or to include semi-skimmed milk for children 2 years and over), or 189mls first infant formula for children under 12 months; OR
- where children cannot consume cow's milk for medical, ethical or religious reasons plain, fresh, goat or sheep milk should be provided; OR
- for those children who cannot consume cow's milk, goat's milk or sheep milk for medical, ethical or religious reasons, the provision of 189mls (or 200 mls where supplied in containers of that size only) a specified non-dairy alternative defined as a unsweetened, liquid, calcium enriched; and
- in addition to milk or a specified alternative, a healthy snack item (a serving of fruit or vegetables) for children over six months old.
Our ambition is for as many as possible of the eligible children attending regulated pre-school day care settings for 2 hours or more to receive milk (or alternative) and a healthy snack regularly, and to acquire healthy eating habits for the future.
How this will work
Scottish Ministers will provide funding to local authorities to administer and deliver the Scheme.
Eligible (regulated) pre-school day care settings including childminders, wishing to participate in the Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme must register with their local authority to become a member of the Scheme, providing data about the number of children who attend and the anticipated volume of provision (anticipated number of servings of milk and snack to be provided). For this policy there is no differentiation between ELC funded and unfunded settings.
Local authorities will establish local registration schemes and will calculate and make arrangements for upfront payments to registered settings, based on the number of servings to be provided. Settings registering after the deadline for 1 August payments ("in-year registration) will receive payments within 4 weeks of registration, backdated to the date of registration.
Settings will use the funding provided by the local authority to purchase the necessary volume of milk and healthy snacks (which must conform with the requirements of the Scheme – plain cow's milk or a specified alternative and fresh fruit or vegetables). Settings are encouraged to source milk, fruit and vegetables locally as part of our ambition to improve access to, and understanding of, the benefits of healthy local foods.
While children who cannot consume plain cow's milk for medical, religious or ethical reasons may be offered a specified alternative; it is noted that these alternatives do not offer the same nutritional benefit as cow's milk and should not therefore be regarded as equivalent.
Settings will be asked to retain their proof of purchases which may be subject to occasional audit.
Scottish Ministers and COSLA will agree light-touch monitoring arrangements for the policy and will review the overall arrangements in advance of year 2 in case any adjustments are required. It is envisaged that by the end of year 2 (end July 2023) the new approach will be fully embedded.
Transition from the UK Nursery Milk Scheme
Where settings have been registered with the UK NMS, they may, until the 31 January 2022, continue to submit claims within six months for milk provided no later than 31 July 2021.
Settings which have registered for the new Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme will receive funding from the local authority for the purchase of milk and snack to be provided from 1 August 2021.