Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme

The Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme ensures that as many children as possible attending eligible settings are in receipt of the milk and healthy snack each day, embedding the habit of regular consumption of high-quality dairy produce and fruit and vegetables from an early age.

The purpose of the Scheme is to support improvement in children's health in the earliest years, which is crucial in tackling health inequalities.


Childcare settings which are registered with the Care Inspectorate and which provide care to eligible children (babies to children not yet attending primary school) for 2 hours or more per day are eligible to apply to join the Scheme. This includes all children not just funded children.


Under the scheme, an eligible child (babies to children not yet attending primary school) who is attending childcare for more than 2 hours per day should receive once in the day, the following benefit:     

  • 189 mls of first infant formula  for children under 12 months
  • 189mls (1/3 pint)  - or a 200ml container- of plain fresh cow's milk (whole milk for children 1 year and over, including the option of semi-skimmed milk for children 2 years and over) ;
  •  or, where children cannot consume cow's milk for medical, ethical or religious reasons,  plain fresh goat or sheep milk (whole milk for children 1 year and over or to include semi- skimmed milk for children 2 years),   
  • or where children cannot consume cow's milk, goat's milk and sheep's milk for medical, ethical or religious reasons a specified unsweetened calcium-enriched non-dairy alternative;
  • AND a healthy snack portion ( fruit or vegetables) per child per day.

Childcare providers should offer cow's milk to children except where children may not drink this for medical, ethical or religious reasons. In these instances, settings should offer a sheep or goats milk, or where those are not acceptable, a specified, unsweetened non-dairy alternative may be offered (details on specification will be included in the guidance). First infant formula can be provided for children up to the age of 12 months.

Where a child attends two or more providers in one day, you must let the provider know where your child is taking their milk and healthy snack. 


Funding for the Scheme will be provided via the Local Authority which will confirm the payment arrangements.  Funding provided via the Scheme must be used for the specified benefit only.  Families should not be charged for a benefit which has been funded via the Scheme.

A childcare provider that is no longer entitled to a payment under the Scheme due to a change in circumstances must inform the Local Authority (acting on behalf of Scottish Ministers) of that change as soon as reasonably practicable.


Registered childcare providers must have regard to any guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers with respect to the operation of the Scheme. Please read the full information on the Scheme using the link below: This will be updated as more information becomes available.

Maternal and child health: Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme - (

Provision of information

Registered childcare providers must provide specified information as requested by the Local Authority in relation to the Scheme. Information that may be required is listed within the regulations.

How to apply (Registered Childcare Providers Only)

Please complete the link below to apply for this Scheme if you are a registered Day Care of Children's Services provider and offer care for more than 2 hours in a day. Parents need not apply. 

SMHSS Return

If you have any queries, please email  We will collate these into a Q and A sheet and issue to all providers.

Page last updated: 05/03/2024
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