What is Health Start?
Healthy Start is a voucher scheme which gives pregnant women and families with children under the age of four a set of vouchers through the post every four weeks. Each voucher is worth £3.10 and can be exchanged for milk, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and infant formula milk in registered shops.
Who is Healthy Start for?
Healthy Start is for pregnant women and families with children under the age of four who are:
- Receiving Income Support
- Receiving income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or
- Receiving Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit unless their family is receiving Working Tax Credit run-on only) with an income of £16,190 a year or less (2008/9)
- All pregnant women under the age of 18 also qualify, whether or not they are on benefits.
Check whether you qualify for healthy start (at healthystart.nhs.uk)
How does Healthy Start work?
Applying for Healthy Start is very easy.
- Get an application form and fill it in
- Take the application form to your midwife or health visitor
- Ask them to fill in and sign Part B of the form or give you a letter confirming that you're pregnant and/or that you've got children under the age of four
- Make sure all the information is correct and sign the form
- Send the form (and the letter if you have one) to the Healthy Start team - no need for a stamp (the address is on the website)
Once accepted on the scheme, you will receive a set of vouchers through the post every four weeks. Each voucher is worth £3.10 and can be exchanged for milk, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and infant formula milk in registered shops.
Click to Find your nearest health start shops (at healthystart.nhs.uk)
You will also be entitled to free vitamin supplements which can be collected from children’s centres or NHS health centres.
How many vouchers do families get?
- If you are pregnant and have children aged between one and four you will receive one voucher per week, worth £3.10, for each child/pregnancy.
- If your child is under one year old you will receive two vouchers, worth a total of £6.20.
- If your child is born before the estimated date of delivery (EDD) you will receive two vouchers until one year after their EDD. Babies who are born after the EDD will receive vouchers for one year from the date of delivery.
As well as vouchers, you can get lots of health advice about healthy eating, breastfeeding and infant feeding .