The county’s two MSPs are encouraging all expectant mothers in Midlothian, whose babies are due on or after August 15, 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 Scottish 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 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.
Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie said: “The Scottish Government is proudly 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.
“For mothers in Midlothian 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 to apply through their midwife in advance, supplying their preferred delivery address.”
SNP colleague Christine Grahame (Midlothian South) added: “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, and send a signal that every child, regardless of their background, matters.
“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.”