Eligible parents and carers who are pregnant or have children aged under-four can get help to buy healthy food and milk and receive free vitamins.
Croydon Council is encouraging residents with young children to find out if they can get these benefits and apply online to the NHS Healthy Start scheme.
Anyone who cannot apply online can call the helpline on 0300 330 7010, where a telephone translation service is also available if required.
Eligible families will be provided with a Healthy Start card with prepaid funds to make purchases including: plain liquid cow’s milk; fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables; fresh, dried and tinned pulses; and infant formula milk based on cow’s milk.
The prepaid card is topped up every four weeks and the card balance can be checked at any ATM. Healthy Start cards provide:
- £4.25 for each week of pregnancy (from the 10th week of pregnancy)
- £8.50 each week for children from birth to one year old
- £4.25 each week for children between one and four years old
Those eligible can also use the card to collect free vitamins for use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, as well as vitamin drops for babies and young children, to support their development.
The payments stop on the child’s fourth birthday or if they no longer receive the qualifying benefits.
“We are encouraging more parents and carers with young children in Croydon to apply for the NHS Healthy Start scheme. Many families need additional help and support to be healthier at this critical time and we do not want anyone who is eligible to miss out on the important health and wellbeing benefits being offered from this NHS scheme.”
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon
Parents with children up to the age of five can also get help and support from the council’s Croydon Best Start service. Visit the council’s website for more information.