Best Start Grant

Best Start Grant has now replaced the Sure Start Maternity grant in Scotland. To be eligible, you need to live in Scotland and be in receipt of certain benefits or be under 18. The Best Start grant is more generous than the Sure Start Maternity grant and consists of 3 payments.

1. Pregnancy and Baby Payment

You may be eligible if you are pregnant, have a new baby, you have adopted or you’ve become responsible for a child under one years old. This will be £600 for your first baby and £300 for a new baby where you have older children living with you.

Multiple births: if you have no other children living with you, then you will receive £600 per child. If you have other children, you will receive £300 for each child in a multiple birth and an additional £300 supplement.

2. Early Learning Payment 

This payment can be claimed from when your child is two and before they are 3 years and 6 months old. It is £250 per child.

3. School Age Payment

This payment can be claimed depending on when your child was born and is eligible to start school. It is £250 per child.

Who is entitled to the Best Start Grant?

If you or your partner receive any of the following benefits you will be eligible for the Best Start Grant:

  • Universal credit
  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Pension credit
  • Housing benefit
  • Child tax credit
  • Working tax credit

If you are not sure whether you are entitled to any of these benefits you can find more information here: https://www.workingfamilies.org.uk/articles/financial-help-for-families/

You will be automatically eligible regardless of your income if –

  • you are under 18
  • you are aged 18 or 19 and someone claims child benefit, child tax credit, the child element of pension credit or universal credit for you.

When should I apply?

You can apply for the Pregnancy and Baby payment from the 24th week of pregnancy and up to six months after the birth of your child.

If you are responsible for a child through adoption, as a guardian, kinship carer or a surrogacy arrangement then you will be able to make a claim up to the child’s first birthday as long as your application is made within six months of you becoming responsible for the child.

For the early years payment, you can claim at any time from when your child is two to when they reach 3 years 6 months. For the school age payment, you can check the qualifying dates and cut off dates for claiming this year’s school age payment here.

More details and the application form are on the Scottish government website.  You can also find more useful information on the Best Start Grant scheme from Child Poverty Action Group here.


If you have further questions and would like to contact our advice team please use our advice contact form below or call us.

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