Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme

Purpose of the scheme

Under the 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

Registration for the scheme for session 2021/22 is now closed.

Details of how to register 2022/23 will be available soon.


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.


As with any public spending there is a requirement for South Lanarkshire Council to provide information to Scottish Government on funding allocated.

Under the 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.

Related content

  1. Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme
  2. Purpose of the scheme