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