Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme

Registration for the scheme has now closed. The process will reopen again in November 2021 and February 2022 and we will update social media when the form will next be available.

For those already registered and have taken on new children, there will be an opportunity at a later date to update any new registrations.

The Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme replaced the UK Nursery Milk Scheme (NMS) in Scotland from 1 August 2021.

The new scheme is underpinned by the Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2021 which came into force on 21 March 2021. You are advised to read this legislation prior to registering for the scheme and you should also visit the Scottish Government website to read the Guidance for the Scheme.

Purpose of the scheme

Under the new scheme, eligible childcare providers – those providing pre-school day care (including childminders), who are registered with the Care Inspectorate and registered with the local authority for the new scheme will receive funding via the local authority to enable children in receipt of 2 hours or more childcare in the day to be provided with:

  • 189mls (1/3 pint)* of plain fresh cow’s milk (whole milk for children over 1 year or to include semi-skimmed milk for children over 2 years), or first infant formula (for children under 12 months); or
  • 189mls (1/3 pints)* of plain fresh goat or sheep milk (whole milk for children over 1 year or to include semi-skimmed milk for children over 2 years);
  • Or specified unsweetened calcium- enriched non-dairy alternatives (excluding rice milk) for those children over 12 months who cannot consume cow’s milk because of medical, ethical or religious reasons;
  • and for those aged 6 months and over, a healthy snack item (a portion of fresh fruit or vegetables) meeting the portion requirements.
  • Alternatively, a 200ml container may be provided where the item is commonly supplied in individual portions of this size.

The ambition is for as many as possible of the eligible children attending regulated pre-school day care settings for 2 hours or more to be receiving milk (or alternative) and a healthy snack, and to be acquiring healthy eating habits for the future.

How does it work

The Scottish Government will provide funding to local authorities to administer and deliver the scheme.

Eligible (regulated) pre-school day care settings including childminders, wishing to participate in the Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme must register with their local authority to become a member of the scheme, providing data about the number of children who attend and the anticipated volume of provision (anticipated number of servings of milk and snack to be provided). For this policy there is no differentiation between ELC funded and unfunded settings.

Local authorities will establish local registration schemes and will calculate and make arrangements for upfront payments to registered settings, based on the number of servings to be provided. Settings registering after the deadline for 1 August payments (“in-year registration) will receive payments within 4 weeks of registration, backdated to the date of registration.

Settings will use the funding provided by the local authority to purchase the necessary volume of milk and healthy snacks (which must conform with the requirements of the Scheme – cow’s milk or an alternative and fresh fruit or vegetables). Settings are encouraged to source milk, fruit and vegetables locally as part of our ambition to improve access to, and understanding of, the benefits of healthy local foods.

While children who cannot consume cow’s milk for health, religious or ethical reasons may be offered a specified alternative; it is noted that these alternatives do not offer the same nutritional benefit as cow’s milk and should not therefore be regarded as equivalent.

Settings will be asked to retain their proof of purchases which may be subject to occasional audit.

The Scottish Government and COSLA will agree light-touch monitoring arrangements for the policy and will review the overall arrangements in advance of year 2 in case any adjustments are required. It is envisaged that by the end of year 2 (end July 2023) the new approach will be fully embedded.

How to register for the scheme

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). Registering is available by clicking on the registration button below.

The registration scheme is now closed.

The process will reopen again in November 2021 and February 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. For those already registered that have taken on new children there will be an opportunity at a later date to update any new registrations.

Payment

Following guidance from Scottish Government the Local Serving Rate for the Scheme year 1 (1 August 2021 – 31 July 2022) will be:

  • 19.1p per serving of milk or specified alterative
  • 17p per serving of healthy snack (fruit or vegetable)
  • Total Local Serving Rate = 36.1p per serving

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.

Monitoring

As with any public spending there is a requirement for South Lanarkshire 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

Register for the scheme

Please note that registration for the scheme will re-open in November 2021 and February 2022 - updates will be provided via the council's social media channels.

Before completing your registration, please note the following:

  • Local authority settings are not required to provide bank account details, however, you are required to register to confirm that you are opting into the scheme
  • Funded partners will need bank account details and current and anticipated numbers of children attending your setting
  • Other day care providers will require bank account details and a recent bank statement (for upload) together with current and anticipated numbers of children attending your setting
  • This is a new scheme for all and we understand there will be questions around the policy and registration, for further information please email earlyyears@southlanarkshire.gov.uk.