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UK Benefit Guide

Best Start Grants & Foods in Scotland

You can get Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods:

What affects whether you can apply

If you're under 18, you do not need to be on any payments or benefits to apply for Best Start Grant or Best Start Foods.

If you're a parent over 18, you can apply whether you're in work or not, as long as you're getting one of these:

If you're not getting any of these benefits or payments, but have applied for one, you can still apply for Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods.

For Best Start Grant, we do not need to know about your income. For Best Start Foods, some of the benefits have an income limit.

Best Start Grant is 3 cash payments. Each payment can only be paid once per child.

The 3 Best Start Grant payments are:

Pregnancy and Baby Payment

You can apply for the Pregnancy and Baby Payment from 24 weeks pregnant up to the day your baby is 6 months old. This goes up to 1 if you've taken over looking after a child, such as if you've adopted.

You can apply whether a child is your 1st or not, as long as you apply when your baby is the right age. If you can get the Pregnancy and Baby Payment for your 1st child, you'll be paid £600.

You'll be paid £300 for any child that comes after your 1st, such as your 2nd or 3rd child, or any child after these. Special rules apply for multi births.

Early Learning Payment

You can apply when your child is aged between 2 years old and 3 years 6 months old.

If you get the Early Learning Payment, you'll get £250 for each child you can get the payment for. You can spend this money on any of the things you need for your child at this age.

School Age Payment

When you need to apply for the School Age Payment depends on when your child was born:

If you get the School Age Payment, you'll get £250 for each child you can get the payment for.


The School Age Payment does not stop you also getting a regular School Clothing Grant at your local Council.

The Best Start Foods

You can apply for Best Start Foods when you're pregnant, or any time up to your child turning 3 years old.

The payments of Best Start Foods are:

You can find out more about†how you can use your Best Start Foods card in shops.

Social Security Scotland look after Best Start Foods payments, but a business called allpay will look after your Best Start Foods card. This includes things like lost Best Start Foods cards and new cards.

More information about dates, ages and income limits†here