Healthy Start

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Healthy Start Payments

Pregnant women and families with children under four who are also in receipt of income support*, could receive free Healthy Start Payments. These can be used to buy milk, fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables (without any additives), fresh, dried and tinned beans and pulses, and infant formula.
Use the checklist in the eligibility section below to see what can be claimed.

If families are not receiving income support but would like vitamins under the universal scheme, they should ring their Children’s Centre to apply.

Please note: A health professional’s signature is no longer required on the application form.

* Income Support includes: Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit with a family income of £16,190 or less per year, Pension Credit, or Universal Credit with total earned income of £408 or less per month for the family.

Further information for Islington residents

Family Support Surgeries are run by a Family Engagement Worker, who can provide support, advice, and information on any issues that may be affecting your family. To find out more for your area, call:

Bright Start North t: 020 7527 8441

Bright Start Central t: 020 7527 8465

Bright Start South t: 020 7527 4089

Eligibility criteria


Criteria All Receiving income support
  Vitamins  Healthy Start Payment Healthy Start Payment 
(women’s vitamins and/or children’s vitamin drops) (£4.25 per week) (£8.50 per week)
Pregnant women < 18* Yes Yes No
Pregnant women 18+ Yes Yes No
Baby < 1 year Yes Yes No
Child between 1 and 4 years Yes No Yes
Baby < 1 year/child 1-4 years Yes Yes Yes
*Pregnant women under 18 are eligible for Healthy Start payments, whether or not they are receiving income support

How to refer


Patients are able to access universal Healthy Start Vitamins, at no cost, through their local children’s centre. 

Families who may be eligible for Healthy Start Payments should be encouraged to apply for the scheme so they can receive payments and other benefits.


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