Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan is encouraging all expectant mothers in the Western Isles, whose babies are due on or after 15 August 2017, to 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.
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.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented:
“There are over 200 babies born in the Western Isles every year. From 15 August onwards every child will be gifted a Baby Box to help improve health and support parents – just one part of our determination to ensure that every child has an equal start in life.
“For mothers in the Isles looking forward to welcoming a new born into the world on or after 15th August this summer, all they need to do to be gifted a Baby Box is apply through their midwife in advance, supplying their preferred delivery address.
“The Baby Boxes are 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.
“The SNP Government will also use the new powers coming to Scotland to provide targeted support of a significantly higher level than elsewhere in the UK, to help low income families via a 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.”