Applications for the Best Start Grant are now open

The Early Learning Payment is part of Best Start Grant, a package of three payments that will give extra money to low income families during the early years of a child’s life. It is a £250 payment made between the ages of two and three and a half years old. This is to help with the costs of early learning for eligible families who have a child.

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  • Applications for the Early Learning Payment will open at 8am on Monday 29 April.
  • Social Security Scotland is using a single application process for these payments so families can apply for any Best Start Grant Payment in one form. Applications can be made online, over the phone or by post.
  • Parents/carers will be eligible if they live in Scotland and are responsible for a child and receive certain qualifying benefits.
  • Children do not need to take up a nursery of school place to get this payment.
  • Qualifying benefits include Universal Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.
  • The Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment opened for applications on Monday 10 December 2018.
  • The Best Start Grant School Age payment will open for applications on Monday 3 June.
  • This means that the Scottish Government will have four live benefits from Monday 3 June. These are Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment, Early Learning Payment, School Age Payment and Carer’s Allowance Supplement. Estimates in relation to number of payments expected this year and total investment are based on Scottish Fiscal Commission forecasts.
  • Social Security Scotland came into being as an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government on 1 September 2018.
  • Further information can be found at or by calling 0800 182 2222