Scotland introduces baby grant to help low income families have children

(Photo: Unsplash/Alex Pasarelu)

A new grant has been introduced in Scotland to help low income families cover the cost of having children.

Applications for the Best Start Grant opened on Monday, with the first payments due to be made before Christmas.

Under the scheme, the Scottish Government will give eligible families £600 in financial assistance to help with their first child.

It is £100 more than families in England receive under the Sure Start Maternity Grant, which offers new parents a one-off payment of £500.

In addition to the £600 grant for the first child, parents who already have children can receive £300 per additional child.

The application is open to women who are over 24 weeks pregnant and can be made up to six months after the baby's birth.

The grant is intended to help new parents meet the cost of essential items for their baby, such as prams or clothing.

'It's paid to help cover some of the costs of having children,' said Social Security Scotland.

'These costs could be things like needing a pram or buying clothes for your baby but, because it's a cash payment, you can choose how you need to spend the money.'