Nats lay out plan to give ev­ery new mum a baby box

Rutherglen Reformer - - Election Special -

SNP can­di­date Clare Haughey this week high­lighted her party’s plans for a pack­age of pro­pos­als aimed at new-born ba­bies and their par­ents.

The pro­pos­als in­cludes the cre­ation of a“baby box’”for ev­ery child born in Scot­land.

An adap­ta­tion of the suc­cess­ful Fin­nish model, the baby box will of­fer es­sen­tial items for a child’s first weeks in­clud­ing bed­ding, cloth­ing, sleep­ing mat and books.

The pack­age will be free to all fam­i­lies ex­pect­ing a baby. It is hoped the plan will en­cour­age more women to take up ante-natal care.

Ms Haughey also said the SNP would com­mit to re­cruit an ex­tra 500 health vis­i­tors in the first years of the next par­lia­ment and ad­vance a ma­ter­nity and early year grant of £600 for low in­come moth­ers as well as fur­ther pay­ments when the child starts nurs­ery and school.

She said:“I’m a men­tal health nurse, spe­cial­is­ing in work­ing with women dur­ing and af­ter preg­nancy, and I know first-hand how game-chang­ing this pol­icy truly is.

“Dur­ing the early weeks, months and years of a child’s life, it is vi­tal we get it right to make sure they have the very best start in life.

“The process should be en­sur­ing that all chil­dren have the same chance to ful­fil their po­ten­tial and it should be­gin be­fore a baby is even born.

“At the heart of the baby box is a mes­sage about fair­ness and op­por­tu­nity that is also at the heart of our man­i­festo.

“The baby box – as well as a prac­ti­cal sup­port pack­age for newly born chil­dren – has been shown in other coun­tries to en­cour­age ex­pec­tant moth­ers to take up ante-natal care at an ear­lier stage, con­tribut­ing to re­duced in­fant mor­tal­ity and lower still­birth rates.

“It will be a uni­ver­sal ben­e­fit to help us to tackle in­equal­i­ties in Scot­tish so­ci­ety. While the Tories have trashed sup­port for new mums and dads on low in­comes we’re re­vers­ing th­ese cuts and ex­pand­ing sup­port which would see a fam­ily with two chil­dren over early years re­ceive £1,900.”

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