Updated 4 months ago

In Scotland, every new baby gets a welcome box! Scotland has a National Parenting Strategy in place, which strives to provide help, support and resources to both parents and children and the baby boxes are just one way to do that. There is also a variety of childcare types, from childminders and playgroups, to nannies and care in the home.

Parental leave

Scotland offers maternal and paternal leave packages to prospective parents. Ordinary Maternity Leave is 26 weeks, and then the mother can add 26 more to have what is called Additional Maternity Leave. The leave must be taken at the earliest 11 weeks before the expected childbirth, and new moms are obliged to take at least 2 weeks after the birth (or 4 weeks if they’re working at a factory).

Fathers are also entitled to parental leave, up to 2 consecutive weeks. Paternity leave can start either at the actual date of birth of the child or at an agreed number of days after the birth — but the leave must finish within 56 days of the birth.

To calculate how much parental pay and leave applies in your case, you can use the Government’s Maternity and Paternity Calculator, here.

 Good to know:

If you are adopting a child or having one through a surrogacy arrangement, you are still entitled to parental leave of a total of 52 weeks. Find out more here.

Baby boxes

The Baby Box is a relatively new tradition in Scotland. Since August 2017, every baby born and living in the country gets a welcome gift box, packed with essentials for your child’s start in life. The baby boxes are packed with clothing, bedding, books, some toys and a thermometer. It also doubles as a safe cot for your little one to sleep in: it has been designed specifically to be sturdy and safe. It has a place for you to put your baby’s name, and the black and white designs can be coloured so that your box is as unique as your baby.

Find out more and register for a Baby Box here.

Different types of childcare

In Scotland, there are different types of daycare depending on your needs and location. This can be a local authority nursery school, a nursery class in a primary school, an independent school nursery, a local authority nursery, a registered childminder, or a playgroup. Childminders look after your child at their own home, and they can be a fun option by taking your child to loads of activities such as parks and playgrounds. Nurseries offer both playing and learning new skills, as well as developing social skills. Playgroups are run by volunteers, and they provide play and education sessions for children. You can also opt for a sitter or a nanny.

 Good to know:

Every child is entitled to a funded part-time childcare place from their third birthday onwards, but not all childcare places offer funded services. You should visit the website of the Family Information Service to find a place you can access near your location.

 Useful link:

Care Inspectorate — Care Services

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.