Parents of children aged four to five are being encouraged to apply for the Scottish Government’s Best Start Grant by Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan.

A one-off £250 payment is currently open to eligible families, with a child who was born between 1st March 2015 and 29th February 2016, who will be starting primary school later this year. 

The School Age payment can be used for anything from a new pair of school shoes or arts and crafts materials for children.

The payment is part of the Scottish Government’s Best Start Grant, a package of three payments for families in receipt of eligible benefits – including Universal Credit and Housing Benefit – to help at key stages in a child’s life.

Alasdair Allan MSP said: “Covering the costs of a child starting school can be tough on family finances, especially in the current climate.

“The Scottish Government’s school age payment offers low income families, or those who receive support like Universal Credit, a £250 payment around the time children start at primary school.

“We’re absolutely determined that every child, regardless of circumstances, gets the best start in life.

"In these unprecedented and difficult times, I’d encourage families across the Western Isles to check what other financial support they may be eligible for too – such as school clothing grants or free school meals.”

Eligible parents of children born between 1 March 2015 and 29 Feb 2016 can access the payment, whether their child is attending school or not.

People can apply for the payment between 1 June 2020 and 28 February 2021.

Parents who are home-schooling or who have decided to defer their child’s entry to Primary 1 until next year, should still apply for the payment by 28 February 2021.

A parent or carer of a child may be eligible if they receive any of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC)
  • Working Tax Credit.

Applicants under the age of 18, and parents aged 18 or 19 who are dependent on someone who is receiving benefits for them, do not need to be in receipt of a qualifying benefit.

The payment doesn’t affect other benefits and there is no cap on the number of children that can be supported.

Best Start Grant is a package of three payments to support families during the key stages in a child’s life.

People can apply for all three Best Start Grant payments along with Best Start Foods on one simple online application form.

Find out more information and apply at mygov.scot/beststart or call 0800 182 2222 and request a call back.