Financial support for growing families

We’re by your side to help you understand your next financial steps if you find out you’re expecting.

Employed and expecting a baby?

Paid time off for antenatal appointments

Paid time off for antenatal appointments

If you’re employed in Scotland, you’re entitled to paid time off for antenatal appointments, regardless of how long you’ve been in your job. This is as well as your annual leave.

Employee rights Employee rights link

Maternity leave

Maternity leave

You’re entitled to 1 year off for maternity leave. It’s not mandatory to take the full year, but you must take a minimum of 2 weeks off work following the birth of your child.

Check your entitlement Check your entitlement link

Statutory Maternity Pay

Statutory Maternity Pay

If you decide to take maternity leave and are eligible, you may qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay. This is legally granted for a minimum of up to 39 weeks. Specific details are subject to change.

Learn more at link

Maternity Allowance

Maternity Allowance

If you don’t qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay, you can apply for Maternity Allowance. The amount you receive is based on your earnings and National Insurance contributions.

Check your eligibility Check your Maternity Allowance eligibility link

Employee protection

Employee protection

Pregnant employees are safeguarded by the Equality Act of 2010, which makes sure that pregnant employees are treated fairly and equally. 

Employment rights Employment rights link

Paternity leave

Paternity leave

Fathers are entitled to take paternity leave. The duration and terms of paternity leave may vary, but you may be entitled to 1-or-2 weeks paid leave following the birth or adoption of your child.

Employee paternity rights Employee paternity rights link

Shared parental leave

Shared parental leave

New parents may be able to use shared parental leave. This allows you to share and enjoy up to 50 weeks of parental leave together, while also having the option to share 37 weeks of pay.

Acas guide to shared parental leave Acas guide to shared parental leave link

Statutory Adoption Pay and Leave

Statutory Adoption Pay and Leave

If you are adopting, you’re entitled to Statutory Adoption Pay and Leave. This gives adoptive parents time off work while receiving financial assistance for a specified duration. The details around pay, and duration may vary.

Adoption leave and pay Adoption leave and pay link

Help if you’re on a low income or if you’re unemployed

Universal Credit

If you’re unemployed or on a very low income and don’t qualify for Maternity Allowance or Statutory Maternity Pay, you may be entitled to government benefits such as Universal Credit.

Turn2us is a national charity that offers free support and helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services.

Turn2us benefits calculator What is Universal Credit link

Best Start Grant

Families can benefit from the Best Start Grant. This payment offers financial assistance to eligible families during their child’s early years. The grant is made up of 3 one off payments, helping to cover essential costs such as pregnancy and baby items, early learning essentials and support for school aged children.

Am I eligible? Am I eligible link

Best Start Foods

Best Start Foods provides financial support to low income families with young children. The prepaid card can be used to purchase a range of eligible healthy and nutritious food items at participating retailers across Scotland.

Check eligibility Am I eligible link

Government support

If you are unemployed or on a low income, the government may be able to provide you with extra financial support for your child. In addition, you may also qualify for further benefits such as Job Seekers allowance or Cost of Living payments.


Check benefits and financial support you can get

Childcare and support

Childcare costs can take a chunk out of your family's monthly budget. They can vary depending on the type of childcare you need and where you live.

Early Learning and Childcare (ELC)

The Scottish government offers invaluable support to families through its ELC services. Eligible children may be entitled to up to 1,140 hours (30 hours per week if taken in term time) of free early learning and free childcare per year.

Check your eligibility and apply Check your eligibility and apply link

Tax-Free Childcare (TFC)

Tax-Free Childcare is a government scheme, administered by HM Revenue and Customs, and provides eligible parents with financial support to help cover childcare costs.

Under TFC, for every £8 paid into an online childcare account, the government contributes an additional £2, up to a maximum of £2,000 per year, or £4,000 for a child with a disability. The funds in the account can be used to pay for registered childcare providers.

Child Care Choices Child Care Choices link

Scottish Child Payment

Scottish Child Payment is a social welfare benefit providing eligible families with financial support. You can get £25 per week for each eligible child under 16, paid every 4 weeks. This money is to help families with the cost of food, clothing and other basic essentials.

To be eligible families must meet certain criteria including residency requirements, income thresholds and having children within eligible age ranges. This payment is for families regardless of employment status.

How it works Scottish Child Payment link

School Age Payment

The School Age Payment grant gives families £294.70 per child, to help with the costs of preparing for primary school. It could help with things like school uniforms, stationary and school trips.

The payment is available for each eligible child, as long as they meet the required age criteria at the time of applying. When you apply depends on when they were born. You can receive the payment for multiple children as long as they qualify. You may also be able to apply for additional grants from your local council towards school uniforms and free school meals.

Find out when your child is eligible Find out when your child is eligible link

Information correct as of June 2023.

Other support

Money worries

If you are struggling with your finances, or are worried about the increased cost of living, you are not alone. We can support you to get back on track.

Money worries

Money management

We are by your side, supporting you to manage your money. Whether it's budgeting and saving, or helping someone else, we have tips and tools to help you.

Money management