Healthy Start

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Please note: Some mothers and families have reported difficulties/errors with online applications to Healthy Start. Camden and Islington have provided more information if families and mothers need additional support with their application.

Healthy Start Card

Pregnant women and families with children under the age of four may be eligible for Healthy Start payments.

Families can get around £440 a year if their child is under 1, or £220 a year for each child between 1 and 4, and if they’re pregnant. The Healthy Start card is used like a debit card; it has weekly top-ups and can be used at any shop that accepts Mastercard.

Eligible parents will be sent a pre-paid Healthy Start card that can be used to buy the following:

  • plain liquid cow’s milk
  • fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables
  • fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
  • infant formula milk based on cow’s milk.

The card will be topped up every four weeks.

Healthy Start Vitamins

Women who are trying to conceive, women who have a child under the age of one, and all children under the age of four, who are registered for a Healthy Start card, can also receive free vitamins. In Camden and Islington, these free vitamins are offered universally, regardless of whether they receive a Healthy Start card or not. 

The vitamin tablets for women contain folic acid and vitamins C and D. The drops for children contain vitamins A, C, and D. These vitamins are essential for the health and development of mother and child.

Eligibility Criteria


HS Card

  • pregnant women under the age of 18
  • pregnant women over the age of 18 who receive income support
  • families with children under the age of four that receive income support.

HS Vitamins

Women who:

  • are residents
  • are trying to conceive
  • are pregnant 
  • have a child under one
  • have children under the age of four.

How to Refer


Families and mothers can self-refer via the NHS site.

Camden & Islington

Some people have had difficulties using the online application form. Applicants should make sure their details are entered exactly as they appear on their Benefit Award letter, that each child is named on their Universal Credit claim, and that Healthy Start and DWP is notified that a child has been born if registered to Healthy Start when pregnant. 

Further support with applications can be provided by: 


Pathways View All

Review date: Saturday, 30 November 2024