Best Start Grant turns one
Extra money for low income families
Social Security Scotland is marking the first anniversary of its Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment.
Since its launch in December 2018 to September, £7.7 million has been paid out to families with children up to six months old.
The Pregnancy and Baby Payment was the first of three new benefits in the Best Start Grant package to be introduced to help low income families at key stages in a child’s life. Along with Early Learning Payment and School Age Payment, a total of £17.7 million has gone to low income families with young children through 61,000 payments between December 2018 and September 2019.
Speaking on a visit to One Parent Families Scotland, Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“It’s a pleasure to mark the first birthday of the Best Start Grant, the first application based benefit delivered by Social Security Scotland.
“We want to ensure that every child has the best start in life, and the Best Start grants help do just that, providing vital financial support to thousands of families across Scotland.
“We know Christmas can cause financial stress for many families, with low income families in particular often feeling the burden as they struggle to cover the normal bills with the extra cost of the festive period.
“I would urge anybody who thinks they may be eligible for any of the Best Start Grant payments to find out more and apply today.”
Caitlin Donachie, 25, from Glasgow, received the Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment for her son Jace last year. He is now celebrating his first birthday.
She said: “I got the Pregnancy and Baby Payment last year. It made a real difference, Jace had just been born and he needed a lot of things. He was born near Christmas and with having two other kids, I was getting stuff for them. If I didn’t have the grant I wouldn’t have been able to buy everything I needed to get for a baby arriving. It was really helpful.
“I also got the Early Learning Payment for my daughter who is three. I used it to get her new clothes, jackets and wellies for the winter coming in. It was really good, I’d recommend it. If you’re entitled for the Best Start Grant, definitely apply for it.”
Director of One Parent Families Scotland, Satwat Rehman said:
“The earliest years of life are vital to a child’s development and affect inequalities in health, education and employment opportunities later in life. We know that single parent families are disproportionately affected by child poverty and the Best Start Grant payments are often a crucial lifeline
“One Parent Families Scotland has supported parents to take part in development of the Best Start Grant all the way through to the launch last year and we are pleased to have helped hundreds of parents access the grant and reduce money related stress.
- Pregnancy and Baby Payment is £600 for a first child and £300 for subsequent children
- Two brand new payments were also introduced, the Early Learning Payment, launched in April which paid out £6 million and the School Age Payment, launched in June has paid out a further £4 million.
- School Age Payment is £250 to help with the costs of preparing for school
- Early Learning Payment is a £250 payment for eligible families who have a child between the ages of two and three years and six months
- Payments are made to families in receipt of eligible benefits – including Universal Credit, Income Support, Housing Benefit and Tax credits
- More information can be found at mygov.scot/best-start-grant or by calling 0800 182 2222
- Payment figures in this release are based on most recent statistical publication which is available at:https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Social-Welfare/SocialSecurityforScotland/BSGBSFSeptember2019