If you can’t find the answer to your question about the scheme here, email us or phone 0845 607 6823 for further advice. If you have any questions about your or your baby’s health, speak to your midwife or health visitor.
- Can I apply online?
- Will you keep information about me?
- How long will it take before I get vouchers?
- I’m under 18 and not on benefits. Do I qualify?
- I get Working Tax Credit. Do I qualify?
- I have one child of two and one of five. How many vouchers do I get?
- If I am claiming Universal Credit can I get Healthy Start vouchers and vitamins?
- As my baby was premature, do I get two vouchers a week for more than a year?
- I don’t want milk, fruit or vegetables – can I spend my vouchers on something else for me or my baby?
- Can I buy follow on formula with my vouchers?
- Do all shops accept Healthy Start vouchers?
- What if no shops near me accept the vouchers?
- My children don’t like plain milk. Can I get chocolate milk with Healthy Start?
- Who can get free Healthy Start vitamins?
- Where do I get my free Healthy Start vitamins?
- If I eat a healthy diet do I still need vitamins?
You can start filling in the form online and print it out. But by law we need a hard copy of the form that is signed and dated by you and by your health professional (usually your midwife or health visitor). Fill in an application form online
Once we receive your application form, if you have filled it in correctly and we can confirm with HMRC Tax Credits or the Department for Work and Pensions that you qualify, you should receive your vouchers within two weeks.
If you are pregnant and under 18, you can get support from Healthy Start until your baby is born whether or not you’re on the qualifying benefits or tax credits. After your baby is born, you will only continue to qualify if you get the qualifying benefits or tax credits. To make sure you keep getting vouchers once the baby is born you should call us on 0845 607 6823 and also apply for Child Tax Credits as soon as you can – don’t delay or your vouchers may stop.
Check if you qualify
If you, your partner or your carer get Working Tax Credit, you don’t qualify for Healthy Start unless you are under 18 and pregnant, or unless you get Working Tax Credit run-on only. Working Tax Credit run-on is the Working Tax Credit you receive in the 4 weeks immediately after you have stopped working for 16 hours or more per week.
Check if you qualify
Healthy Start vouchers are for children under the age of four and pregnant women only. You will get one voucher a week for your two-year-old.
If you are claiming Universal Credit and you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you should call the Healthy Start helpline on 0845 607 6823 to find out more about the Healthy Start scheme.
Yes, you’ll get two vouchers a week until a year after the date your baby should have been born. After that, you’ll get one voucher a week until your child’s fourth birthday.
No. The vouchers are for you to spend on milk, plain fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables and infant formula milk. Many shops have a big range, so there’s plenty to choose from.
What you can get with Healthy Start
No, you can use your vouchers to buy infant formula labelled ‘suitable from birth’. Infant formula is fine for babies to have up to 12 months of age. After that they can have cows milk, which you can buy with your vouchers, as a drink.
Only retailers registered to accept the vouchers are allowed to do so. Look out for the Healthy Start sticker in the window or ask inside.
Find a shop near you that accepts vouchers
It shouldn’t be difficult for you to find a shop near you that accepts the vouchers – but if it is, call us on 0845 607 6823 and we’ll see what we can do. If there are particular shops you want to be able to use your vouchers in, why not tell them all about Healthy Start and suggest they call the Healthy Start retailer helpline on 0844 991 22 22, or visit www.hsru.co.uk for more information.
Download the Information sheet for retailers which you can give to your local shop.
No. You can only get plain cow’s milk or infant formula milk based on cow’s milk. If your children don’t like the taste of cow’s milk on its own, why not mash up some fruit and make your own milkshakes?
Women can have Healthy Start vitamin tablets while they are pregnant and up to their baby’s first birthday. Children can have free Healthy Start vitamin drops from the age of six months until their fourth birthday (but speak to your midwife or health visitor if your baby is fully breastfed as they may benefit from them earlier).
Your primary care trust, health board or health trust is responsible for making free Healthy Start vitamins available to you. Ask your midwife or health visitor where to get your free Healthy Start vitamins or click here for more information.
Yes. You will get most of your vitamins you need from food. However, young children may not get enough vitamins A and D even if they are eating well. Pregnant and breastfeeding women may not get enough vitamin D or folic acid and both are really important for the health of your baby.