The announcement of the new Scottish Child Payment is a significant moment in Scotland’s effort to solve child poverty. Every child deserves the very best start in life, but all too often growing up in a family with a low income is holding many back from achieving their full potential.

This new payment, which will start to be rolled out to eligible children up to age six in early 2021 and fully available to children up to age 16 by the end of 2022, signals a clear commitment by the Scottish Government to translate ambitious targets to reduce child poverty into bold action.

At the start of this week, a coalition of over 70 organisations called on the First Minister to accelerate the introduction of this new social security payment to provide much-needed support to families struggling to make ends meet. It is hugely welcome to see that these concerns have been listened to and acted upon.

READ MORE: Charities hail Scottish Government's new Scottish Child Payment as child poverty "game changer"

At a conference hosted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation earlier this week, David Wallace, chief executive of Social Security Scotland – the agency tasked with delivering this new benefit– said we should see social security as an investment in the people of Scotland. He is absolutely right.

We have heard from people in North Ayrshire, Glasgow and Dundee that the introduction of a policy such as the Scottish Child Payment will provide a vital lifeline. Families said that an additional £10 a week of support for each child is the difference between being able to afford shoes and clothes for their kids when they need them, buying fresher food or occasionally saying yes to school trips or a fun family day out.

We all want to turn the tide on rising levels of child poverty in Scotland. It is intolerable that nearly one in four children living in families in and out of work are currently locked in poverty. That is why we and many others pressed ministers hard to accelerate their plans to tackle poverty.

As a result of the actions announced yesterday, once fully rolled out it is likely that 410,000 children will be better off and 30,000 will be provided with the additional support they need to break free from poverty – leading to a three percentage point fall in the child poverty rate.

The challenge for us all now is to work with families and shape the new payment in a way that is easily accessible to those who are eligible for it, ensuring it reflects the realities of people’s lives and offers the greater certainty families need to build a better life.

This announcement shows a willingness on the part of the Scottish Government to use its new devolved powers to be a positive force for good. It shows we can redesign our social security so it loosens the grip of poverty on families. Now it’s time to press ahead and work together to achieve our shared goal of ending child poverty - and build a just and compassionate society that leaves no child behind.

Jim McCormick is Associate Director (Scotland) of the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation.