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16/08/17 11:54

Baby Box Bairns

First generation to benefit from expanded free childcare.

Recipients of Scotland’s Baby Box will be among the first to benefit from a doubling of free early learning and childcare in Scotland.

The Baby Box initiative was rolled out yesterday, with all newborns and their parents receiving a box of essential items to help them through their first six months.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today reiterated her government’s commitment to tackling inequality and promoting health during a visit to a nursery in Glasgow, where she met babies who will be among the first to benefit from the commitment to double funded childcare provision by the end of this Parliament.

The Baby Box generation will also benefit from:

  • A new Early Years’ Grant for low income families - delivering £300 birth payments for all children and additional payments of £250 at key transition points in the early years
  • Access to affordable and nutritious food through the Healthy Start Voucher scheme for low income families
  • The expanded Family Nurse Partnership programme
  • 500 more health visitors by the end of next year

Speaking after the visit at Butterfly Nursery in Arden, Glasgow, the First Minister said:

“Scotland’s Baby Box is giving children the best possible start in life, and we are committed to doing all we can to make sure Scotland is the best place for a child to grow up.

“Our commitment to almost doubling entitlement to free early learning and childcare hours will benefit the Baby Box generation and ensure they can grow and develop in the very best environments, like the one I visited today. It will also benefit families by allowing parents to go back to work or further study.

“The importance of early years development simply cannot be overstated, which is why my government is putting so much emphasis on doing all we can to improve the life chances of youngsters across Scotland.

“In doing so, we want to help close the gap which sees too many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds lag behind others when it comes to health, educational achievement and employment.

“This is about laying the foundations for future generations, with the aim of helping to deliver a healthier, fairer and more successful country.”