New fund available to help struggling families with school costs
Struggling families can now apply for a grant to help with the costs of sending their child to primary school.
The School Age Payment is a £250 award to families with a child old enough to start school this August to help pay for things like uniform and school shoes.
It is part of the Best Start Grant, a package of three payments for families in receipt of eligible benefits - including Universal Credit, Income Support, Housing Benefit and tax credits - to help at key stages in a child’s life.
The Best Start Grant package also includes the Pregnancy and Baby Payment, which has been open for applications since December 2018 and the Early Learning Payment, which launched in April.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Covering the costs of a child starting school puts pressure on family finances, and we have created this new payment to help ease that burden, putting more money into the pockets of families at a time when they need it most.
“We are committed to doing all we can to make sure Scotland is the best place for a child to grow up. We want to increase financial support to families, bringing equality to children by giving them help towards a fairer start.
“We also want to encourage everyone who is entitled to a payment to apply, so will be working with services to promote the benefit to ensure as many people as possible are aware they can access this new additional support.”
Applications for the School Age Payment are now open and will remain open until February next year.