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To ask the Scottish Government for what reason the cost of the baby box project has risen to £35.3 million.

Answered by Mark McDonald (01/06/2017):

The Scottish Government is committed to providing a Baby Box of essential items to every newborn child and his or her family to help ensure they get the best possible start in life. We considered the views of parents in determining the contents for the initial national roll-out of boxes.

Consequently, we have included more expensive items, including the digital thermometer and the baby wrap, which parents involved in the pilot have indicated that they found more useful than they originally anticipated. These are the sort of items that some families on low incomes might consider to be unaffordable, yet they are recommended by professionals as being helpful for babies’ wellbeing.

The value of this contract is estimated at £35.3 million over the potential life of the contract (four years).

The average cost of each Baby Box is approximately £160, with this total covering all contents as well logistics such as storage and delivery. The total cost of the £35.3million is over a number of years. We will keep the contents and costs of the box under constant review to ensure we continue to achieve effective value for money.

Current Status: Answered by Mark McDonald on 01/06/2017
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