Scottish Government
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Delivering the best start in life

Over £829 million in social security payments providing boost for families.

The families of more than 329,000 children under 16 are benefitting from Scottish Child Payment, latest statistics show. 

The weekly payment of £26.70, which is unique to Scotland, is helping families with the cost of living crisis, with over £677 million paid since the payment launched.

Scottish Child Payment is part of a wider package of payments – including the three Best Start Grants and Best Start Foods – which together have provided over £829 million in vital financial support at key stages of a child’s life. There is no cap on the number of children in one family who can receive these payments.

In a survey, also released yesterday, the majority of families said that the payments helped their child to take part in social or educational opportunities and also helped them buy milk and healthy food for their children.

Survey responses also suggest that families are finding it straightforward to apply with more than 90% of people noting the application was clear and did not take too long to complete.

Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville yesterdaysaid: 

“As the First Minister has set out, eradicating child poverty is the number one priority for the Scottish Government.

“Scottish Child Payment plays a key part in that mission. Together with our Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods payments, this package of financial support, which is worth almost £25,000 per child by the time their child turns 16, is helping to make sure all children in Scotland get the best start in life.

“We have provided over £829 million to help people raise their families, putting money into the pockets of people who need it most.

“This crucial cash is available as soon expectant parents know they are pregnant all the way through to their child starting nursery, then going to primary and secondary school and helps them cover costs of caring for their children.

“We know from our recent research that families say the application process is clear and doesn’t take too long to apply. So I would urge families to apply for our package of five family payments and get the money they are entitled to.”


The statistics are available in full here:

Scottish Child Payment: high level statistics to 31 March 2024

Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods: high level statistics to 31 March 2024

Client Survey: Five Family Payments August – November 2023 Summary report

Social Security Scotland delivers five family payments to help support costs of raising a family for eligible people getting Universal Credit, tax credits or other qualifying benefits.

Scottish Child Payment: a payment of more than £100 every 4 weeks for each eligible child under the age of 16. 

Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment: a £754.65 payment for a first child and £377.35 for other children. People can apply from the end of the 24th week of pregnancy until your baby is 6 months old. 

Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment: a £314.45 payment when a child is between the ages of 2 and 3.5 years. People can still get the payment if your child is not taking up a place at nursery. 

Best Start Grant School Age Payment: a £314.45 payment when a child is first old enough to start school. People don’t need to take up a place at school to get the payment.   

Best Start Foods: money every 4 weeks on a pre-paid card from pregnancy until a child is 3 years old.

Best Start Grant Early Learning and School Age Payments are paid automatically to parents and carers who already receive Scottish Child Payment when their children become eligible. 

Families who already get Scottish Child Payment for a child under the age of six can add older children to their existing award. There is no cap on the number of children in one family who can receive Scottish Child Payment. 

Families and carers can apply at or by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222


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