Best Start Grant School Age Payment is available to families who get Universal Credit, tax credits or certain benefits with children born between 1 March 2017 and 28 February 2018.

This one-off payment of £267.65 is to help at a key stage in a child’s life and can be used for anything from a new pair of shoes to books or arts and crafts materials.

Parents who have deferred their child’s entry to school from August 2022 to August 2023, or those who are home schooling, should still apply before 28 February 2023 or they will lose out on their payment. There is no cap on the number of children in a household who can get this payment.

Best Start Grant School Age Payment is one of the Scottish Government’s five family payments administered by Social Security Scotland. The package includes Scottish Child Payment, three Best Start Grants, and Best Start Foods. From the end of this year, both the Best Start Grant School Age Payment and the Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment will be paid automatically to families who get Scottish Child Payment when their child is of eligible age.

Emma Harper MSP, said:

“When a child is due to start school it comes with additional costs, and so I would encourage parents and carers to check if you are eligible and, if so, to apply for our Best Start Grant School Age Payment. This money can be used for whatever your child needs and is one of the Scottish Government’s five family benefits, which are only available in Scotland.

“We have built our new social security system to make it as straightforward as possible for people to access support. This is why people can apply online, by post or over the phone. You can also apply for all five family payments for all the children that you are responsible for, in a single straightforward form – and we put no cap on the number of children who can get these payments. We want every child in Scotland to have the best start in life and our social security system is here to help with that.”

Visit mygov.scot/beststart or call 0800 182 2222 to find out more or apply.

Background notes:

• Best Start Grant School Age Payment application window is from 1 June 2022 to 28 February 2023. Application must be made during this nine month period
• You can get the payment for multiple children, as long as each child is the right age when you apply
• The Best Start Grant School Age Payment does not affect payments of the School Clothing Grant in any way
• Social Security Scotland is using a single application process for these payments so families can apply for Best Start Grant, Best Start Foods and Scottish Child Payment in one form. Applications can be made online, over the phone or by post
• Parents/carers will be eligible if they live in Scotland, are responsible for a child and receive certain qualifying benefits. Qualifying benefits include: Universal Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit

Best Start Grant provides support at three key transition points in a child’s early years:

The Pregnancy and Baby Payment helps with expenses associated with pregnancy or with having a new child. It provides £642.35 for a first child and £321.20 for second and subsequent children.

The Early Learning Payment provides £267.65 to support child development when a child is 2-3½ years old.

The School Age Payment provides £267.65 to help with the costs of preparing for school.

• Best Start Foods provides qualifying pregnant women and families with children under the age of three with a minimum of £4.50 a week via a payment card to purchase healthy foods.
• Scottish Child Payment pays the equivalent of £20 per child per week to families with eligible children under six years old who are in receipt of qualifying low income benefits. The payment is made every 4 weeks.
• Subject to receipt of the necessary data from DWP, we will extend the Scottish Child Payment to all eligible under 16s by the end of 2022 and we will increase the Payment to £25 per week.
• At the same time, we will award Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment and School Age Payment automatically to eligible families in receipt of Scottish Child Payment, without the need to apply.