Registered day care providers, nurseries and childminders must register for the new Scottish Milk and Health Snack Scheme (SMHSS).
The Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme will replace the existing UK Nursery Milk Scheme in Scotland from midnight, 31 July 2021. Payments will be made under the new scheme from 1 August 2021.
Any child aged five years and under attending a registered setting for two hours or more a day will be entitled to receive milk and a healthy snack. The new scheme aims to improve children’s health and wellbeing, by establishing healthy eating habits at an early age, by providing at no charge, dairy produce or a non-dairy alternative at every 2 or more hours session a child attends.
The scheme is available to all early learning and childcare providers who are registered with the Care Inspectorate. It includes playgroups or other early years organisations that look after young children for more than two hours a day who are registered with the Care Inspectorate. It is open to all organisations or individual childminders who meet these requirements and not just those who work in partnership with the council.
Eligible childcare settings which are registered with the Care Inspectorate and have registered for the new scheme, will receive agreed funding via local authorities to provide cow’s milk (or, where children cannot drink cow’s milk, a specified alternative) and a portion of fruit or vegetables to pre-school children who are in registered day care for 2 hours or more.
Children will receive the milk and healthy snack once a day, even if children attend more than one setting in a day. Parents and providers will be responsible for discussing how this should be managed in line with existing arrangements for agreeing division of responsibility for meals, with the expectation that the first setting that the child attends will provide the milk and snack.
Payments will be made to eligible childcare settings which have registered with their local authority for the new scheme.
Guidance is available from Scottish Government website at Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme: guidance for local authorities and day care settings - gov.scot (www.gov.scot).
Settings must register (this is done by the provision of the necessary information) to participate in the scheme. This is essential for the calculation of payments. It is not possible to opt-in to part of the scheme. Settings registering for the scheme must offer both milk and a healthy snack to children with the exception of those under the age of 6 months who would not receive solid food. (Parents may decide to decline all or part of the offer and in this situation, settings are asked to document this).
The registration process will be available until 17 June 2021 to ensure payment for August 2021. The process will reopen in September and November 2021 and again in January and March 2022 to allow new providers to join the scheme, for those that missed earlier entry points or for those already registered that have taken on new children.
Day care settings may apply to the local authority to register for the Scheme where they:
Payment will be made in advance, up to 31 March 2022 and will be based on the information supplied at the point of registration.
Following guidance from Scottish Government the Local Serving Rate for the Scheme Year 1 (1 August 2021 – 31 July 2022) will be:
Settings must inform the local authority if their circumstances change significantly and it is recommended this should be done within a month of the change occurring.
As with any public spending there is a requirement for West Dunbartonshire Council to provide information to Scottish Government on funding allocated.
Under the new Scheme there will not be a requirement for settings to provide proof of purchase i.e. receipts, invoices, contracts although they will be asked to retain these, in case they should be selected for monitoring purposes.
Please submit any questions re the registration process to firstname.lastname@example.org.