Tax credits and early years project

We want to contribute to a reduction in the number of families living in poverty in Scotland by maximizing the potential income available to them through the social security system. As the system moves from tax credits to universal credit over the next few years, our focus is on the families who rely on this vital support, with a particular emphasis on vulnerable families including:

  • Low-paid and temporary workers with childcare needs
  • Lone parents
  • Young parents
  • Families affected by disability or caring responsibilities
  • Families affected by addiction, violence or imprisonment

The importance of getting the finances right in the early years cannot be underestimated. Growing up in poverty has a negative impact on children’s health, education and lifetime opportunities. Without an adequate income it is very hard for parents to provide for a child’s basic needs and participate fully in society. Information on benefits, grants, help with childcare costs and other entitlements can make a real difference and enable parents and early years workers to concentrate on the important job of parenting. More information can be found from the Maternal & Early Years website and Growing Up in Scotland study.

We aim to increase the capacity of front line agencies in health, education, childcare and the public or voluntary sector to provide accurate, high quality and effective information on financial support for families with children, from pregnancy to school years. We aim to achieve this through:

  • Information - see our new Tax Credits Toolkit
  • Training
  • Factsheets
  • Our monthly e-bulletins
  • Our advice line

We are always looking to improve our services to meet your needs, so if there is information or training you would like us to provide for agencies working with families, please get in touch.

Early years and childcare services

If you work in early years or childcare services in Scotland, we are offering you FREE resources and support to promote take-up of benefits and tax credits, identify problems and make effective referrals. Find out more on our information page for early years and childcare services.


We run a range of courses for workers of different levels of experience and knowledge.

Our half-day basic courses are for frontline workers who do not specialise in welfare rights but need to ensure their clients are not losing out financially. Some courses are at the special price for organisations in Scotland of £45 per person. We also provide these courses in-house for £250 in total for up to 20 people at your workplace or a venue which suits you.

Fees and booking information

Early years factsheets

We have produced factsheets on a range of topics, concentrating particularly on areas of social security affecting families with children. You can view and print all our factsheets below. To request printed copies if available, email with your contact details and which titles you would like.

See also Students and tax credits from our Benefits for students project.

Tax credits and early years ebulletin

Our monthly tax credits and early years ebulletin keeps you up to date with the latest news and developments. You can read recent editions by following the links below, or sign up to the ebulletin here.

Advice line for advisers in Scotland

We offer advice and information to advisers in Scotland on all aspects of the welfare benefits and tax credits systems through our advice line.

For further information please contact:

Mark Willis
Tel: 0141 552 3722

This project is funded by the Scottish Government.