early years

  • Tax credits and early years project


    We want to contribute to a reduction in the number of families living in poverty in Scotland by maximizing the potential income available to them through the social security system. As the system moves from tax credits to universal credit over the next few years, our focus is on the families who rely on this vital support, with a particular emphasis on vulnerable families including:

  • Best Start Grant - more information


    You will be able to qualify for a Best Start Grant (Pregnancy and Baby grant) if you meet the conditions in relation to:

    • Claiming within the period allowed

    • Pregnancy and birth, or taking on responsibility for a child aged under one

    • Age or qualifying benefits

    • Residence

    • Interaction with the Sure Start Maternity Grant (UK)

    There is more detail on the qualifying conditions, how much you can get, and challenging decisions below. The regulations are currently before the Scottish Parliament and will come into force the day after they are passed.

  • Best start grant


    Best start grant will replace Sure Start maternity grant in Scotland, providing financial assistance for low income families with maternity expenses and with costs as children reach nursery and school age.


    June 2018              Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018

    Sets the framework rules for best start grant, called early years assistance in the Act.

  • Tax credits and early years e-bulletin - Scotland


    Our monthly tax credits e-bulletin keeps you up to date with tax credits news and developments. You can read past editions by following the links below, or sign up to the e-bulletin here.

  • Welfare rights resources


    CPAG in Scotland has a wide range of information and resources on benefits and tax credits. See our ebulletins and Scottish Handbooks below, or visit our factsheets page.

    Are you an adviser looking for our advice line number? See our Help for Advisers page.

  • Financial help in the early years


    These factsheets outline what financial help may be available from pregnancy to school age, how universal credit or tax credits can help you qualify and what other conditions you must meet.

    We have separated the information into two factsheets; one for people who come under the universal credit system, and one for people who are still able to claim tax credits and other legacy benefits.

  • Financial help for teenage parents


    This factsheet gives a brief overview of the financial help available for young parents, and any special rules that may affect them.

    It contains information on benefits and tax credits that is relevant UK-wide, but some other help may only be available in Scotland.

    The information in this factsheet is not a full statement of the law, and individuals should be referred for specialist advice where appropriate.

  • Early years and childcare services


    We are interested in working with early years services, childcare providers and information services to promote access to:

    • quality, affordable childcare through tax credits and universal credit
    • other financial help for families at risk of poverty.

    We are offering free resources including factsheets on financial help with childcare for low income families, a free advice line, and a short seminar for your group – see below for details.

  • April tax credits and early years ebulletin

    29 April 2015

    Read our latest e-bulletin which includes: factsheets; order a tax credits claim form online; Maternal & Early Years conference; Election 2015 pledges on tax credits/early years; and Q&A: Can universal credit claimants get Healthy Start vouchers?

    Sign up to our e-bulletins here.

    Read more
  • CPAG welcome announcement on childcare and early years pupil premium investment

    March 18, 2014
    press release

    In response to the Government's announcement that 85% of childcare costs will be met in Universal Credit and that there will be a £50 million Early Years Pupil Premium funding for the most disadvantaged three and four year olds, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, said:

    Read more