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Parents are invited to apply for payment boost to help with school costs

Two kids working at their desks in primary school, close up; Shutterstock ID 503425870
Two kids working at their desks in primary school, close up; Shutterstock ID 503425870

Low income parents and carers are being encouraged to apply for financial support for school costs and healthy foods – even if their child is not starting school yet.

The School Age Payment, part of the Scottish Government’s Best Start Grant, has opened to families who receive tax credits or benefits such as Universal Credit, Income Support and Housing Benefit.

It is hoped that the payment of £250 will help families with the costs of their children starting school.

Parents and carers with a child who was born between March 1 2016 and February 28 2017 are eligible to apply.

They are encouraged to apply even if their child does not have a start date or it has been deferred.

Best Start Foods payments are set to increase to £4.50 per week on August 1 to support low income families to buy healthy food for children under the age of three.

The income thresholds that apply to certain qualifying benefits are also set to increase to maximise support available to families.

Minister for Social Security Ben Macpherson said: “The Scottish Government is working hard to tackle poverty and to create a fairer society, with the powers and resources that we have. As part of this, we are set to increase our Best Start Foods payments within the first 100 days of this new term of government, and we are determined to make sure families with young children get all the financial help that is available.

“Access to financial support is important and we want people to get the money they are entitled to. So please check if you’re eligible and, if so, make sure to apply – and let others know too, so that together we can help build a fairer society here in Scotland.”

Through the Best Start Grant, Best Start Foods and the Scottish Child Payment schemes the Scottish Government is providing support worth around £5,000 by the time a child turns six.

People can check if they are eligible and apply for the School Age payment by visiting mygov.scot/beststart or calling 0800 182 2222.

The closing date for the grant is February 28 2022.

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