Healthy Start Promotion in Childcare Settings
Wednesday 12th June 2019
Healthy Start is a UK-wide government scheme to improve the health of low-income pregnant women and families with young children on benefits and tax credits. Families at your setting on certain benefits could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods. Pregnant women and children over one and under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week. Children under one year old can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week.
Many families in Cornwall are still unaware of Healthy Start and are missing out on this nutritional safety net. Therefore, we ask all of our Healthy Under 5s settings working towards their Healthy Eating topic, promote this fantastic scheme!
Who is eligible?
Women who are at least 10 weeks pregnant or families with a child under four years old getting any of the following benefits:
- Income Support, or
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
- Child Tax Credit (with a family income of £16,190 or less per year)
- Universal Credit (with a family take home pay of £408 or less per month)
- Under 18s who are pregnant qualify even if they don’t get any of the above benefits.
What can vouchers be spent on?
- Plain cow’s milk – whole, semi-skimmed or skimmed. It can be pasteurised, sterilised, long life or UHT
- Plain fresh or frozen fruit and veg (fruit and vegetables with no added ingredients), whole or chopped, packaged or loose
- Infant formula milk that says it can be used from birth and is based on cow’s milk.
Healthy Start vitamins
Women and children getting Healthy Start food vouchers also get vitamin coupons to swap for free Healthy Start vitamins. Healthy Start vitamins are specifically designed for pregnant and breastfeeding women and growing children.
The Healthy Start vitamins are now available to collect in over 70 community pharmacies across Cornwall. Visit Healthy Start for more information and to order a box of application forms so you can promote Healthy Start to families in your setting.
Making the most of Healthy Start: A practical guide
This First Steps Nutrition Trust resource includes information about how to create simple, tasty family meals which incorporate the fruit, vegetables and milk that can be purchased with Healthy Start food vouchers. Sharing this guide with families is a fantastic way to promote healthy eating in your setting.