An Early Learning Payment is a £250 payment for eligible families on certain benefits or tax credits who have a child between the ages of two and three years and six months. This is to help with the costs of early learning around the time your child might start nursery.

Who can get Early Learning Payment?

You can apply for the Early Learning Payment if

  • you live in Scotland whether you are in work or not.
  • you are eligible if you are the parent or carer of the child and in receipt of one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Income Support
    • Income Related Job Seekers Allowance
    • Income Related Employment Support Allowance
    • Pension Credit
    • Housing Benefit
    • Child Tax Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
  • are under 18 you are automatically eligible and don't have to be on a qualifying benefit
  • you would also be eligible if you are 18 or 19, in full time education or training and dependent on someone else like a parent or carer who is claiming child benefit, child tax credit, pension credit or universal credit for you

How many children qualify for Early Learning Payment in each family?

Every child in a qualifying family will get a payment.

What age must the child be to qualify for the Early Learning payment?

You can apply from your child’s second birthday and the cut off for applying for this payment is when your child turns three and six months. If you apply after this time your application will not be eligible.

My child is within the qualifying age but will not attend nursery. Can I still apply?

Yes, you can still apply if your child is between the ages of two and three years and six months even if they are not going to nursery.

How to apply

By telephone:

Social Security Scotland

or you can download a paper copy to post back. Postal details are on the form/

If you do not want to apply in English, by calling

you can:

  • apply over the phone in any of over 100 languages
  • ask for a paper form to be sent to you in any of over 100 languages