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New milk and healthy snack scheme

Service update

Registration for the scheme is currently closed and will re-open at the end of January.

Registered daycare providers, nurseries, and childminders across North Lanarkshire must register for the new Scottish Milk and Health Snack Scheme (SMHSS).

Early learning and childcare

Any child aged five years and under attending a registered setting for two hours or more a day will be entitled to receive milk and a healthy snack such as a piece of fruit for free.

The new scheme aims to improve children’s health and wellbeing, by establishing healthy eating habits, including regular consumption of quality dairy produce or non-dairy alternatives from an early age.

The scheme is available to all early learning & childcare providers who are registered with the Care Inspectorate. It could include playgroups or other early years organisations that look after young children for more than two hours a day.

It is open to all organisations or individual childminders who meet these requirements and not just those who work in partnership with the council.

The Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme replaced the former UK Nursery Milk Scheme in Scotland on 31 July 2021.

Eligible childcare settings which are registered with the Care Inspectorate and register for the new scheme will receive agreed funding via local authorities to provide cow’s milk (or, where children cannot drink cow’s milk, a specified alternative) and a portion of fruit or vegetables to pre-school children who are in registered daycare for two hours or more.

Children will receive the milk and healthy snack once a day, even if children attend more than one setting in a day. Parents and providers will be responsible for discussing how this should be managed in line with existing arrangements for agreeing division of responsibility for meals, with the expectation that the first setting that the child attends will provide the milk and snack.

Payments will be made to eligible childcare settings which have registered with their local authority for the new scheme.


The process will re-open at the end of January 2022 for the next entry point to allow new providers to join the scheme, for those that missed earlier entry points or for those already registered that have taken on new children.

Settings must register (this is done by the provision of the necessary information) to participate in the scheme. This is essential for the calculation of payments. It is not possible to opt-in to part of the scheme. Settings registering for the scheme must offer both milk and a healthy snack to children except those under the age of six months who would not receive solid food. (Parents may decide to decline all or part of the offer and in this situation, settings are asked to document this). 

Eligibility for the SMHSS

Daycare settings may apply to the local authority to register for the Scheme where they:

  • provide pre-school care to children for 2 hours or more per day;
  • are registered with the Care Inspectorate


Payment will be made in advance, up to 31 March 2022, and will be based on the information supplied at the point of registration. 

Following guidance from the Scottish Government the Local Serving Rate for the Scheme year 1 (1 August 2021 – 31 July 2022) will be:

  • 18.4p per serving of milk or specified alternative
  • 16.4p per serving of healthy snack (fruit or vegetable)
  • Total Local Serving Rate = 34.8p per serving

Settings must inform the local authority if their circumstances change significantly and it is recommended this should be done within a month of the change occurring.


As with any public spending, there is a requirement for North Lanarkshire Council to provide information to the Scottish Government on funding allocated.

Under the new scheme, there will not be a requirement for settings to provide proof of purchase i.e. receipts, invoices, contracts although they will be asked to retain these, in case they should be selected for monitoring purposes.

Please submit any questions regarding the registration process to


The Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2021 were laid in Parliament on 19 February 2021, based on proposals set out in the 2018 Welfare Foods consultation and with the aim of improving children’s health and wellbeing through improved nutrition and tackling health inequalities.

The SMHSS is delivered by local authorities (LAs) who will provide direct and upfront funding for all pre-school daycare providers and childminders (Settings) which are registered with the Care Inspectorate; where children spend two or more hours per day; and where Settings have registered with their local authority to be part of the SMHSS (SMHSS Guidance issued separately).

The scheme will fund a daily portion of plain fresh cow’s milk (or specified alternative) and a healthy snack (fruit or vegetables) for pre-school children spending two2 hours or more in the care of a regulated daycare provider and/or childminders that has registered for the scheme.

  • Children who attend regulated childcare settings which have not registered with their local authority to be part of the Scheme will not be eligible to receive the benefit offered through the Scheme.
  • Children who attend unregulated childcare settings (those not registered by the Care Inspectorate) will not be eligible to receive the benefit offered through the Scheme.
  • Children will not receive the benefit offered through the Scheme if they attend a setting for less than two hours on an individual day.
  • Children in receipt of childcare but who have commenced school or an equivalent (e.g. home-schooling) will not be eligible.

Guidance from Scottish Government can be found here: Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme: guidance for local authorities and day care settings - (

Page last updated:
10 Jan 2022

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