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Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme

Service update

Registration for the scheme for the 2024/25 term is now open.

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

Early learning and childcare

Any child aged five years and under who attends 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 Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme replaced the former UK Nursery Milk Scheme in Scotland on 31 July 2021. 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.

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 they 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 that have registered with their local authority for the new scheme.

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 two hours or more per day.
  • Are registered with the Care Inspectorate.

It is open to all organisations or individual childminders who meet these requirements and not just those who work in partnership with the council. It could include playgroups or other early years organisations that look after young children for more than two hours a day.


The process has now started for the 2024/25 term. Settings that were part of the scheme in the previous term are required to apply again to provide accurate and up-to-date information.

Settings must register (by providing 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). 


Once registration has been completed, payment will be made in advance, up to 31 March 2025, 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 4 (1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025) will be a total Local Serving Rate of 58.2p 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, we are required to provide information to the Scottish Government on the funding allocated.

Under the new scheme, there is no requirement for settings to provide proof of purchase, for example receipts, invoices and contracts although they will be asked to retain these in case they should be selected for monitoring purposes.

Please email any questions about the registration process to

Information on the Scheme for Parents and Carers


This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Please contact us to request an accessible format.


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 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 two hours or more in the care of a regulated daycare provider and/or childminders that have 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 who receive childcare but who have started school or an equivalent, for example home-schooling, will not be eligible.

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

Useful information leaflets


These files may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Please contact us to request an accessible format.

Page last updated:
18 Jun 2024

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