Scottish Early Learning and School Age Payment Claims

When you welcome a new addition to your family, every little helps. But it’s not just those first few weeks that can be expensive in terms of outlay.

In those first few years there can be lots of costs associated looking after your squishy little bundle, particularly during key milestones such as going to school.

To help ease the financial strain for lower income families in Scotland, the Scottish government is this summer rolling out the second and third parts of the Best Start Grant.

We’ve covered the Best Start Grant and its UK counterpart the Sure Start Maternity Grant before on Bump, Baby & You, so if you’d like to check out your eligibility to make a claim, make sure you check out our short guide here

The Best Start Grant is broken down into three payments, the Pregnancy and Baby payment launched in 2018 being the first.

The second payment – the Early Learning Payment, opened for applications on April 29th. And the final school age payment will open for applications on Monday June 3rd.

But what exactly are these payments for and how much can eligible families claim? Let’s take a look….

The Three Best Start Grant Payments

  • The Pregnancy and Baby Payment gives parents (or legal guardians) £600 for the birth of their first child and £300 for subsequent children (further info on our Pregnancy and Baby Payment post) OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS


  • A £250 payment is available to help with the costs of early learning for children aged between 2 and 3.5 years old. Children do not need to take up a nursery place in order to be eligible. OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS


  • School bags, shoes – new shirts – they all add up. The Best Start Grant School Age Payment gives parents £250 to help with the costs of preparing for school. LAUNCHES JUNE 3rd.

Talking about the recent launch of the Early Years Payment, Scottish Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “The new £250 payment will help low income families around the time a child normally starts nursery, demonstrating this government’s ambition to put more money into the pockets of families who need it most.”

The Best Start Grant can be claimed by families in receipt of benefits such as Universal Credit, Income Support, Housing Benefit and tax credits with the aim of providing assistance at key stage’s in the child’s life.

Find out more at

Are you one of the nearly 10,000 families who claimed the Baby and Pregnancy grant in the first three months of launch? How did you find the process?