Local SNP MSP Keith Brown has hailed the nationwide rollout of the baby box across Scotland from the 15th August, following its successful trial run in Clackmannanshire and Orkney earlier this year. Expecting mothers can register for a baby box at their next midwife appointment.
These boxes, containing various essential items for a child’s first weeks and months, signal the SNP Government’s commitment to ensuring that every child in Scotland, regardless of their circumstances, should get the best start in life. The box itself also doubles up as a safe sleep space, awarded British Safety standard accreditation as a crib for domestic use.
This comes on top of the SNP Government using new powers to create new Maternity and Early Years’ Allowances, the Best Start Grant, which provides expectant mothers on low incomes with £600 for their first child, £300 for second and subsequent children and a further £250 grant when their child starts nursery, and £250 again when they start school.
Keith Brown said: “After their successful trial in Clackmannanshire earlier this year, mothers from across Scotland will now be entitled to a baby box full of useful items such as books, clothes, blankets, a bath towel, a changing mat, a bib and a thermometer, while also providing a safe space for babies to sleep near their parents, to promote bonding and early attachment, and send a signal that every child, regardless their background, matters.
“The Scottish Government is gifting a Baby Box to every child in Scotland to help tackle deprivation, improve health and support parents – just one part of our determination to ensure that every child has an equal start in life.
“And with the new powers coming to Scotland, the SNP Government will also provide targeted support of a significantly higher level than elsewhere in the UK, to help low income families via our new Maternity and Early Years’ Allowances- replacing the UK Sure Start grant with our Best Start Grant.
“The new Best Start Grant will be introduced in 2019.”