Sharon McDougall - 24th January 2019 - 2 minutes to read
The Scottish government is set to open up applications for grants worth £250 to parents whose children are about to start school.
Applications to ‘Best Start Grants’ for families with school age children will start being accepted from June 3rd 2019 and could soon be a significant financial help for thousands of parents around the country.
The scheme is designed to work as a form of benefit payment and is aimed at parents who are most in need of financial support.
Expectations are that the £250 payments will be spent on various necessities that children need as they transition to school age, as well as on educational tools and on covering the costs of after school activities.
The Scottish government recently announced the introduction of a new benefits programme it calls the Best Start Grant and Pregnancy Baby Payment, which offers parents on low incomes access to £600 after the birth of their first child and £300 for any subsequent children they have.
“We are committed to doing all we can to make sure Scotland is the best place for a child to grow up,” said Shirley-Anne Somerville, Scotland’s social security secretary.
“We want to increase financial support to families, bringing equality to children across Scotland by giving them a help towards a fairer start.”
Ms Somerville pointed out that the Best Start Grant’s pregnancy and baby payments scheme has already paid out in excess of £1.3 million to low income parents across Scotland despite only having been introduced towards the end of last year.
“The new £250 payment will help families with the costs of preparing for school and will use the same eligibility as the extremely successful Pregnancy and Baby Payment, which has been welcomed by families across Scotland,” she said.
No equivalent benefit grants will be made available to parents elsewhere in the UK, which Ms Somerville has said demonstrates the Scottish government’s “ambition to deliver a better social care system”.
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