Best Start Grant (BSG)

Best Start Grant (BSG) is a series of one-off payments to help low income households with the costs of having a child. Support available includes a Pregnancy and Baby Payment, an Early Learning Payment and a School-Age Payment. To qualify, families must have been awarded a qualifying benefit.

The BSG will replace the UK Government’s Sure Start Maternity Grant. The Pregnancy and Baby Payment started in December 2018. The Early Learning and School-Age Payments are being introduced by summer 2019.

Latest forecast

On 12 December 2018, we provided a cost for the introduction of the BSG: Pregnancy and Baby Grant and compared it with the cost of the Sure Start Maternity Grant (SSMG).

Forecast expenditure on Best Start Grant

£ million 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24
Pregnancy and Baby Payment 5.4 5.8 5.9 6.3 6.5
Early Learning Payment 3.7 3.4 3.7 4.0 4.3
School-Age Payment 3.2 3.5 3.7 3.9 4.3
Total 12.4 12.6 13.2 14.2 15.1

Source: Scottish Fiscal Commission (2018) - Scotland's Economic and Fiscal Forecasts December 2018

When the Scottish Government introduces secondary legislation for the Early Learning and School-Age Grants, we will provide a forecast.  

Supporting information

Scottish Fiscal Commission (2018) - Scotland's Economic and Fiscal Forecasts December 2018

Scottish Fiscal Commission. Social Security – Best Start Grant (Pregnancy and Baby Grant) – September 2018 

Early Years Assistance: Scottish Government Response to the Consultation on Best Start Grant Regulations

Scottish Government page on Best Start Grant

Pregnancy and Baby Payment application page