- What is Healthy Start?
- Changes to the scheme for December 2021
- Who is eligible for Healthy Start?
- What does Healthy Start provide?
- How to apply for Healthy Start?
- Where can the Healthy Start Card be used?
- Additional Help from Haringey Council
- Further information
Healthy Start is a government scheme to improve the nutritional health of low income pregnant women, children, and their families. The Healthy Start scheme offers additional money to buy fruit, vegetables, milk (including formula milk for babies) and pulses.
Healthy Start can:
- Support good nutrition during pregnancy
- Support parents to provide healthy food when introducing solids at 6 months
- Support children to eat a greater amount and a wider variety of vegetables, fruit and milk
Healthy Start can provide families with up to £450 per child per year. Healthy Start vouchers can help families give their children the very best start in life.
Healthy Start is changing from a paper voucher scheme to a card-based scheme in December 2021.
Families will be given a card and money will be added to it monthly for each eligible child.
They will be able to use the card in retailers selling appropriate foods who accept Mastercard.
The voucher scheme is being phased out by March 2022.
All families on the voucher scheme need to re-apply to the new scheme to continue to receive the benefit.
Women who are at least 10 weeks pregnant and anyone with parental responsibility for children under 4 years old qualify for Healthy Start, if the family is receiving one of:
- Child Tax Credit (if family income is less than £16,190 a year)
- Income Support
- Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance
- Pension Credit (which includes the child addition)
- Universal Credit (if family take-home pay is £408 or less per month from employment)
- Women over 10 weeks pregnant and receiving income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Families receiving Working Tax Credit run-on if working 16 hours/week or less. You also qualify if you are under 18 years old and pregnant, even if you don’t get any of these benefits
- Pregnant women who are under 18 years old qualify even if not receiving benefits
- Families without recourse to public funds due to their immigration status are entitled to Healthy Start if they are earning less than £408 after tax and have at least 1 child under 4 who is a British citizen
You can check your eligibility on the Healthy Start website (external link).
Money is added on to the Healthy Start card every month to spend on milk, infant formula, fruit and vegetables (fresh, frozen, and tinned) and pulses (fresh, dried and tinned).
The amount families receive varies according to whether they are pregnant or the age of their children:
- Pregnant women: £4.25 per week from week 10 of the pregnancy
- Each baby under the age of 1: £8.50 per week
- Each child aged over 1 and under 4 years old: £4.25 per week
There is no limit to the number of children each family can claim for.
The Healthy Start card can also be used to collect free vitamins for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and for all children under 4 years old.
To apply for Healthy Start, click on the button below, or call: 0300 330 7010.
The new Healthy Start Card can be used in shops that sell appropriate foods and accept Mastercard.
The council is also offering additional £90 payments to those who are eligible for and claiming Healthy Start until 31 March 2022.
This money is to help you and your family with food, energy costs and other essentials you may need - and to help your Healthy Start payment go further.
To claim this payment, you will need to come into your local Children’s Centre which can help process your payment.
You should bring with you
- Proof that you are claiming Healthy Start, such as:
- Healthy Start card with your name on it
- Healthy Start letter with your name and address on it
- Proof of identification, such as a driving license or bank card
- Your National Insurance Number
If you have already received a payment, you will not be eligible.
Help and support including benefits and financial help, employment, housing and mental health.
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