Baby Boxes: Companies invited to bid for contract to provide items for newborns
3 January 2018, 07:21 | Updated: 3 January 2018, 07:22
Scottish firms will be given the chance to bid for the contract to provide items for baby boxes, childcare and early years minister Maree Todd has said.
The invitation to tender for the second year of the scheme will open in early 2018, providing opportunities for businesses including small and medium sized enterprises.
Baby boxes - containing essential items for newborns - are available for all expectant mothers and were introduced across Scotland in August.
Ms Todd made the announcement as she visited a distribution centre in Edinburgh where the first baby boxes of 2018 were being prepared.
The first deliveries of the new year will begin on Wednesday.
Ms Todd said: "It feels very special to be packing up baby clothes, thermometers, scratch mittens and other extremely useful items for some of our very first newborns of 2018.
"The baby box demonstrates that as a society we value each and every child born in Scotland and want to give them all an equal start in life."
She added: "Following a very successful first year in 2017, with 77% take-up, more than 22,000 boxes delivered and high parent satisfaction with the contents, we want to continue to build on this in 2018.
"That is why, now the baby box scheme is more fully established, we can start to make improvements to develop the economic as well as the social benefits.
"I very much hope Scottish businesses will embrace the opportunity to bid for the contract to provide some of the contents of Scotland's baby box next year."