If you’re pregnant or have a child under four you may be eligible for free Healthy Start vouchers. These vouchers help to give families the very best start in life.
Pregnant women and children over 1 and under 4 can get one voucher each worth £3.10 a week. Children under 1 can get 2 vouchers a week (£6.20 a week). You can spend the vouchers at participating local shops and supermarkets on milk (cow's milk and infant formula) and plain fresh or frozen fruit and veg (with nothing else added), and fresh, dried and tinned pulses. Plus you’ll also get coupons for free vitamins.
Who can apply?
Women who are at least 10 weeks pregnant or families with children under four qualify for Healthy Start vouchers if the family is receiving:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit and has an annual income of £16,190 or less
- Universal Credit (with a family take home pay of £408 or less per month)
Women who are under 18 and pregnant also qualify, even if they don't receive any of the benefits or tax credits listed above.
Where to use the vouchers
You can use your Healthy Start vouchers in any shop that is registered to take part in the scheme. Lots of shops accept Healthy Start vouchers. Look out for the Healthy Start sticker in shop windows, or ask inside.
How to get an application leaflet
You can get an application leaflet by:
- asking your midwife or health visitor for one
- calling the Healthy Start helpline on 0345 607 6823 and asking them to send one to you by post
- filling in the application form online and then printing it off
Send the form to Freepost RRTR-SYAE-JKCR, Healthy Start Issuing Unit, PO Box 1067, Warrington, WA55 1EG.
You no longer need a signature from a health professional for Part B of the form
Healthy start vitamins
Women and children getting Healthy Start food vouchers also get vitamin coupons to swap for free Healthy Start vitamins. Healthy Start vitamins are specifically designed for pregnant and breastfeeding women and growing children.
Your midwife or health visitor will be able to tell you where you can swap your coupon for vitamins in your area.