I am encouraging parents of children aged four to five to apply for the Scottish Government’s Best Start Grant. A one-off £250 payment is currently open to eligible families, with a child who was born between 1st March 2015 and 29th February 2016, who will be starting primary school later this year.
The payment is part of the Scottish Government’s Best Start Grant, a package of three payments for families in receipt of eligible benefits – including Universal Credit and Housing Benefit – to help at key stages in a child’s life.
As we in Scotland look ahead to schools reopening when the Science says it is safe to do so, it’s important that new primary school children across East Lothian and all over Scotland have the best chance of going into a stable and comfortable environment after months of being in isolation.
The Best Start Grant is available to all those families who have found themselves in financial difficulty, whether it be through the pandemic or otherwise. It can be spent on anything from a new pair of school shoes or arts and crafts materials for children.
This has been a stressful time for our youngest members of society, who often can’t vocalise the complex emotions they are feeling: the Best Start Grant will go some way to making sure all our new generation of wee ones can begin school on a more equal footing. I encourage all parents and guardians in low income families, or those who receive support like Universal Credit, to apply for the grant. There is other financial help available as well, so I’d also encourage them to check what other financial support they may be eligible for too – such as school clothing grants or free school meals.
You can find more information at the MyGovScot website: https://www.mygov.scot/best-start-grant-best-start-foods/