Q&A: Aneta Zych
Family health advisor on making the most of Healthy Start vouchers
Aneta Zych is a family health advisor and Healthy Start coordinator. She works alongside health visitors in children’s health centres. As a family health advisor, Aneta provides information and support to new parents, helping families to develop strong relationships, reduce stress and build confidence in parenting. She also offers practical help in accessing services and support groups.
Aneta promotes Healthy Start in Islington and organises and provides training to health professionals, so that they can tell families about the benefits of the programme. She tells us more
What is Healthy Start?
Healthy Start supports pregnant women and families to eat well and get the vitamins they need for healthy development. You could receive Healthy Start payments of £8.50 per week if you have a baby aged under one year, £4.25 per week if you are pregnant, and £4.25 for each child aged under four years old.
Instead of paper vouchers, you will now receive a prepaid card that you can use in any shop that accepts Mastercard. You can also check your balance at an ATM machine – making it even easier to use.
However, this means that all families currently receiving Healthy Start vouchers need to reapply online by 10 March to continue to receive Healthy Start payments. You will stop receiving Healthy Start payments from 1 April if you have not reapplied by 31st March. If doing the application online is not possible for you, call the National Healthy Start Team on 0300 330 7010.
Who can apply?
You qualify for the Healthy Start scheme if you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant, or you have at least one child that’s aged under four years old, or if you are also receiving Income support* or certain other benefits. You can check if you qualify for Healthy Start on the website.
Why should families sign up to Healthy Start?
You can use Healthy Start payments to buy fresh, tinned or frozen fruit and vegetables. fresh, dried, and tinned pulses, plain cow’s milk, and infant formula. This is to support you to give your family the best start in life.
Is any other support available?
You can contact your local children’s centre if you need further support with applying for a Healthy Start prepaid card.
For more information, visit the Healthy Start website.