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Do you have a child starting school?

You could be due £250.

The Scottish Government has increased the level of financial support available to low income families with children with the launch of its Best Start Grant School Age Payment.

The £250 School Age Payment is made around the time a child normally starts Primary 1 to help with the costs of a child starting school. You can use it for anything from school bags, shoes, a warm coat, after school clubs, books or days out. It is not a loan so does not have to be paid back.

Delivered by Social Security Scotland, the School Age Payment is part of the Best Start Grant, a package of three payments that gives extra money to parents and carers on certain benefits or tax credits during the early years of a child’s life.

The other payments include:

  • Pregnancy and Baby Payment - £600 for your first child and £300 for all other children
  • Early Learning Payment - £250 when a child would normally start nursery

When you need to apply

The dates when you must apply depend on when your child was born:

Application windows
Your child's date of birthWhen you need to apply
Between 1 March 2014 and 28 February 2015 Between 3 June 2019 and 29 February 2020
Between 1 March 2015 and 29 February 2016 Between 1 June 2020 and 28 February 2021

Parents who have deferred school entry so their children will start school in August 2020 should still apply in the 3 June to 29 February window. If they wait until next year it will be too late and will miss out on the payment. You do not need to take up a school place to get this payment.


Check eligibility below:

  • You have a child starting primary this August
  • You can apply for the School Age Payment if you live in Scotland whether you are in work or not
  • You get certain benefits. 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
    • Working Tax Credit
  • If you are under 18 you are automatically eligible and don’t have to be on a qualifying benefit
  • If you are 18 or 19, in full time education or training and dependent on someone else like a parent or carer who is claiming child benefit, child tax credit, pension credit or universal credit for you

How to apply

Social Security Scotland are taking applications via:

More help and advice can be found on the website.

When you will receive payment

You should receive your money within 14-21 days. If more information or further evidence is required to check that you are eligible it could take longer.

Contact Information

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