Scottish Government urges parents to apply
Help is at hand for hard-up families struggling to pay for extra costs arising from children being at school.
Families across Scotland are being encouraged to check if they qualify for the Best Start Grant School Age Payment as schools re-open next week.
The one-off cash payment is open to people who receive certain benefits or tax credits and are a parent or carer of a child born between 1 March 2015 and 29 February 2016.
Parents do not need to take up a school place to get the money – people who are home schooling or have deferred their child’s start date can still apply.
Social security secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “The move from nursery to primary school can feel like a huge step for parents as well as kids. It can also come at a cost - putting extra pressure on low-income families.
“As parents gear up for kids starting school next week, many will be feeling the financial impact of Covid-19. I urge them to check if they are eligible for the School Age Payment and apply today.
“I'd also encourage people to check what other support is available to them at this difficult time, such as the school clothing grant and free school meals.”
Chief executive of Social Security Scotland David Wallace said: “Since the outbreak of coronavirus, we have been working in different ways with the vast majority of our colleagues now working from home.
"Despite these restrictions, we remain committed to getting payments to people who need it.
“We are encouraging people to apply online in the first instance. For those that cannot access the online application, a limited telephone service is available where people can speak to one of our client advisors.”