Free nursery milk to continue

The government has scrapped plans to stop free milk for children under 5 years old who are in day care.

The plan was originally set out by health minister Anne Milton – as she said that there was no evidence it improved childrens’ health. In a letter to Shona Robison, Scotland’s public health minister, Anne said: ‘Children in more affluent families are likely to be drinking plenty of milk at home. Children in very low-income families may be less likely to attend childcare.’

She said she expected the nursery milk scheme to cost £50 million this year and to rise to £59 million next year.

However, a few minutes after this plan was revealed on TV, Downing Street said that the plan would not be going ahead, as David Cameron ‘did not like’ the idea.

What is the nursery milk scheme?

Children under 5 who are in approved daycare currently receive 1/3 pint of milk free every day.

The scheme dates back to 1940 when milk was given to pregnant women and young children to help protect them from shortages caused by the war.

Free milk for children over 7 was scrapped in 1971, and free milk for 5-7 year olds ended in 1980.

What do you think?

Is free milk in nurseries necessary? Does it really help kids? Leave a comment below or tell us what you think on Facebook.

Where to next?

10 easy ways to get your kids drinking milk
Advice for fussy eaters
More on kids’ health