An SNP Government scheme to provide children with milk and a portion of fruit or vegetables has started on 01 August.
The Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme expands on the UK scheme it replaces, which was only available to children aged four and under and didn’t include fruit or vegetables.
All pre-schoolers who spend two hours or more a day in eligible childcare settings registered with the scheme will be entitled to a serving of fresh milk. Children who cannot drink cow’s milk for medical, ethical or religious reasons will be offered a specified non-dairy alternative.
More than 3,000 childcare settings and over 116,000 children are already signed up and it’s anticipated that more will register. The SNP Government will provide £9-£12 million of funding to North Ayrshire Council and other local authorities, depending on uptake in the first year.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“We know that diet impacts on children’s health and their ability to learn. This scheme not only provides eligible pre-school children in North Ayrshire and across Scotland with access to excellent sources of nutrition, we hope it will establish healthy eating habits for life.”
In the most recent year’s costing, the SNP Government met the full £3.15 million cost of the UK Nursery Milk Scheme in Scotland.