Applications for a benefit to help school-age children get the best start at school are now open.
The Best Start Grant comprises of three separate payments for families with children from birth up to five years old.
It provides parents or carers who get certain benefits or tax credits with financial support during the key early years of a child’s life.
Applications for the £250 school-age payment opened on June 1 and the grant is available to families if the child was born between March 1 2015 and February 29 2016.
Other grants available include the pregnancy and baby payment and the early learning payment.
School and family development worker at Ardler Primary School, Jane Allen, said: “The good thing about it is they can spend it on what they want.
“Families are spending a lot more money just now because they have got their child at home and they are eating a lot more snacks and things like that.
“I just want to get the word out there that families can apply for it. You could use it for school uniform, school bag, pencil case lunch boxes.
“The early learning payment could be used to buy educational toys and the pregnancy grant could be used to buy a cot or pram.”
Jane added that with the ongoing situation with coronavirus, those eligible for the benefits may not be seeing people as much so may not be aware that they are entitled to the grants.
Applications have opened for the £250 Best Start grant school age payment to help with the costs of starting school. Go to https://t.co/HsnUF1FtxC to apply. Jane Allen, a School & Family Development Worker in Dundee tells us how it can help #CostoftheSchoolDay pic.twitter.com/thdDS6PDyY
— CPAG Scotland (@CPAGScotland) June 3, 2020
The pregnancy and baby payment is available from 24 weeks in the pregnancy until the baby is six months old, and the early learning payment is for those with children between aged two to three-and-a-half years old.
Jane has also worked alongside Child Action Poverty Group (CPAG) and Dundee City Council on the Cost of the School Day report, which identified the hidden costs families face when sending their children to school and what could be done to reduce the financial pressures they are facing.
For more details on the grants available, how much they are and the criteria to apply for them, see the mygov.scot website.
John Dickie Director of CPAG said: “Families in Dundee and across Scotland are under greater financial pressure than ever as a result of the coronavirus crisis so the Best Start school age payment is a really welcome additional support.
“It’s vital that parents take up their entitlement so that every family has the resources they need to give their children the best possible start in life.”