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Families are being urged to apply for a government payment aimed at children starting school for the first time.

Applications for the Best Start School Age Payment opened earlier this month and remain open until the end of February next year.

Families of children born between 1st March 2017 and 28th February 2018 can now apply for the grant, which is funded by the Scottish Government and run by Social Security Scotland.

Households in receipt of most means-tested benefits are eligible for the Best Start programme, including in-work benefits.

The one-off payment of £267.65 is aimed at helping at a key stage in a child’s life and can be used for anything from a new pair of shoes to books or arts and crafts materials.

The payment does not depend on school enrolment so children who have deferred entry to primary school are also eligible.

The payment was welcomed by Paisley and Renfrewshire MP, SNP man Gavin Newlands.

Gavin said:

“I’m delighted that applications are now open for another year of the Best Start School Age Payment.

“Over £82 million has been paid to families across Scotland since the Best Start scheme was introduced in 2018, including nearly £2.7 million here in Renfrewshire.

“It’s a key plank of the Scottish Government’s drive to tackle child poverty and provides a vital boost for children in their early years.

“Take together the full Best Start package is worth up to £2,113 for families of babies and young children, real help targeted at the poorest families in our communities.

“Combined with the 1140 hours of fully funded early years learning and childcare, the Scottish Child Payment doubled, expanding, and rising further this year, and the doubling of cold weather assistance, support to families across Scotland has expanded as never before due to the policies of the Scottish Government.

“At a time when the UK cost of living crisis is spiralling out of control and households are being hammered by price rises everywhere, this financial support is a crucial way of supporting those most in need and ensuring no child goes without.

“I would urge anyone who thinks they might be eligible to get in touch with Social Security Scotland and get their application in as soon as possible.”

For more details on eligibility and applying visit or call Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222


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