The NSW Government is helping kids get creative with the new Creative Kids program.
Parents, guardians and carers can apply for a voucher with a value of up to $100 per calendar year for each school-enrolled child.
The voucher may be used with an approved activity provider for registration, participation and tuition costs for performing arts, visual arts, coding, languages, literary, music and other eligible creative and cultural activities.
Why creative activities are important
Why are creative activities important for my child?
Children have unlimited creative potential. They are curious, playful, imaginative, and open to new experiences. Creativity is not a fixed quantity, but a renewable skill and a way of thinking that can be improved and nurtured by allowing a child’s potential to develop.
Research has shown that children’s engagement with creative activities has positive effects on their interpersonal, intellectual, social and emotional development.
- They engage with their imagination and originality as they imagine and explore original ideas. Children who use fantasy and imagination are better able to engage in divergent thinking, and to generate ideas.
- They stretch their flexibility, maintaining openness to unique and novel experiences.
- They practise decision making, the ability to make thoughtful choices that support creative efforts.
- They hone their communication and self-expression skills, learning to communicate ideas and their authentic selves with confidence.
- They find internal motivation in striving to achieve a meaningful goal.
- They experience the benefits of collaboration as they develop social skills that foster creative teamwork.
- By using action and movement, they boost their creative potential through physical activity.
Choosing a creative activity
How do I choose a creative activity for my child?
When choosing a creative activity for your child, especially one which is new to them, it can be useful to ask yourself some questions.
Aside from all the safety questions which we have reviewed as part of the Creative Kids Provider eligibility requirements, consider the following:
- What is my motivation for choosing this activity? Is it because it appeals to me, or is this activity likely to be of real interest to my child?
- Will my child find this activity fun and engaging?
- Does this activity allow my child to respond individually and express themselves creatively?
- Is this activity appropriate to the age of my child and their level of development?
- Is the activity challenging without being so far beyond my child’s capabilities that they will lose motivation?
Identifying and nurturing creative potential in childhood is crucial for raising the next generation of innovators whose mindset and problem-solving skills will solve today’s (and tomorrow’s) greatest challenges. Best of all is an activity that will bring your child joy.
Applying for a voucher
How do I apply for a voucher and what information is required?
You can apply for a Creative Kids voucher through your MyServiceNSW Account. To do this, you'll need to log into or create an account and select the Creative Kids’ icon under Services.
When creating a MyServiceNSW Account, you'll be asked to provide your contact details including a mobile number and email address.
As part of the Creative Kids voucher application you'll need to provide your child’s name, date of birth and Medicare number. There are also some questions to gather basic information about your child’s current activities.
You can apply for one voucher for each child. Each voucher can only be used for the child that is displayed on the voucher, and vouchers cannot be combined. Each child is entitled to claim one voucher per year.
Each child must be school-enrolled, home-schooled or enrolled in secondary school education at TAFE NSW or equivalent, at the time of application.
What if my child exists on two Medicare cards?
If your child exists on more than one Medicare card, use the card that Medicare issued to you for your child.
How will I receive the Creative Kids voucher?
If your application is approved, a voucher will be displayed at the end of the transaction and emailed to the nominated email address for your MyServiceNSW Account. The voucher displays the student/child's name, voucher number, expiry date and value of up to $100.
If you need to access the voucher information after the transaction is complete, you can do this through your MyServiceNSW Account. There is no requirement to print your voucher. Approved activity providers only need the voucher number and expiry date, and your child's full name and date of birth when processing your registration.
You will be able to see the status of your child's voucher in your MyServiceNSW Account. The voucher will show as either 'Available' if you haven’t yet used it, or 'Redeemed' after your provider has applied for the discount and been reimbursed by Service NSW.
How do I apply for a voucher if there is no internet access or I don’t have a mobile number or email address?
You can visit a Service NSW service centre and a digital representative will help you set up an email address (if required) and assist you in creating your MyServiceNSW Account before applying for the voucher.
Using a voucher
How do I use my Creative Kids voucher?
Your voucher information needs to be given to your chosen Creative Kids provider at the time of registering your child. This can be done either face to face, or when using online registration. The provider will discount your fee by up to $100, and they will be reimbursed by Service NSW for the amount. The creative provider must be approved by the Creative Kids program in order to accept your voucher.
The voucher can be used for creative and cultural activities within the included activity list.
The voucher cannot be used for individual items such as clothing, uniforms, leotards, instruments, creative supplies (paints, books, canvas) or other equipment that would usually be purchased from a retailer and paid for by the individual, as part of participating in the activity, and separate to any membership or registration fees charged by the provider. Note, packages where these items are included within the course costs are eligible. Other excluded costs are examinations fees and travel costs.
Travel to and from competitions is also excluded from eligible costs.
The voucher can be redeemed with only one provider per calendar year. If the activity you have chosen is less than $100 you cannot redeem the balance of the voucher. Expired vouchers will not be accepted and are only valid during the year of application.
Can I use my voucher at my child's dance studio?
Yes, if your child’s dance studio is an approved Creative Kids provider. All providers must apply for registration and must meet certain criteria to be a part of the program. If the dance studio is not an approved provider, the voucher cannot be redeemed.
Are vouchers valid for my child’s art class?
Yes, vouchers can be used for art classes that meet the program requirements and timeframes. The providers must meet the eligibility criteria, be registered and approved with the Creative Kids program to be able to accept vouchers.
Are vouchers valid for holiday programs?
Yes, vouchers can be used for holiday programs that focus on a specific skill development covered in the eligible categories.
Are school excursions that are all day included?
No. Any activity within the school curriculum organised through school programming is not included.
I registered online using my voucher. How do I know it has been paid?
The online registration should have provided you with a receipt, identifying that the $100 from the voucher was applied.
If this didn't occur, you will need to speak to your creative provider. If it did show the voucher was applied, then the provider will receive the $100 that was discounted from your fee.
How do I cancel my child’s registration or classes?
If you want to cancel your child’s registration or class, you must discuss this directly with the provider.
The voucher value cannot be reimbursed as cash, nor can it be transferred to another child. The voucher cannot be refunded back to you.
Can I use my Active Kids voucher and my Creative Kids voucher with the same provider?
There are some crossover activity categories where providers can be registered for both programs. We do encourage the use of Active Kids vouchers and Creative Kids vouchers for different activities to ensure your child can explore and develop a range of skills and activities.
What is Creative Kids?
Creative Kids is a program to help NSW families meet the cost of getting their kids into creative and cultural activities.
As of 1 January 2019, the NSW Government is providing a voucher of up to $100 for parents/guardians/carers to use towards the payment of lesson and activity costs with an approved provider registered with the Creative Kids program.
The program allows eligible recipients to receive one voucher per eligible child each calendar year for 4 years, commencing 1 January 2019.
The voucher can only be used one time with one provider. If an activity costs less than $100, the balance of the voucher cannot be redeemed.
When does the Creative Kids program start?
From 1 January 2019, parents/guardians/carers can claim a voucher of up to $100 voucher for each eligible school-enrolled child, by applying online through their MyServiceNSW Account.
After the start date, approved providers registered with the Creative Kids program, can accept and redeem valid vouchers from recipients.
This is a 4-year program that is currently planned to run until 31 December 2022.
Who is eligible for a Creative Kids voucher?
Every child (4.5 to 18 years old) who has a current Medicare card and is enrolled in school from Kindergarten to Year 12 is eligible. This includes those who are home-schooled or enrolled in secondary school education at TAFE NSW.
It will not be means tested and one voucher will be available for every child annually over the next 4 years.
There will be no limits on the number of applications per family, as long as each child is enrolled in school and has a valid Medicare card.
What if my child doesn't currently have a Medicare card?
To be eligible for the program, your child must be listed on a current Medicare card in order for their name and age to be validated.
If your child is not included on a current Medicare card, yet is eligible, please contact Medicare to apply for one.
What if my child turns 19 during the season?
If the eligible applicant is 18 and enrolled in school at the time of registration, they can redeem the voucher for that season. A student can claim a voucher up until the day before they turn 19 years old.
My child has lessons and is 4 years old. Can I claim a voucher?
A child aged 4.5 to 18 years old, enrolled in school from Kindergarten to Year 12, and is residing in NSW will be eligible for a voucher. Pre-school children are not part of this program.
Are children on bridging visas and asylum seekers eligible for a voucher?
If the child resides in NSW, is school-enrolled and is a holder or listed on a valid Medicare card, they are eligible to claim a voucher.
I live on a border town. Can I claim a voucher?
- My child lives in NSW and has music lessons with a NSW organisation – the child is eligible to claim a voucher.
- My child lives in Queensland and has art classes in NSW – the child is ineligible to claim a voucher.
- My child lives in NSW, goes to school in Victoria – the child is eligible to claim a voucher to use with an approved provider in NSW.
- My child lives in NSW but has dance classes with a local provider in Victoria – the child is eligible to claim a voucher but cannot use the voucher at a studio operating outside NSW.
My child boards at school in NSW but we live in Victoria. Is my child eligible?
Yes, if your child is school-enrolled and is a full-time boarder at a NSW school, they can claim a voucher, as the school is their residential address.
What types of activities are included?
- Public art
- Media arts
- Industrial design
- Game design
- Augmented/virtual reality
- Graphic design
- Fashion design
Literary and linguistics arts
- Creative writing
- Public speaking
- Circus arts
- Creative expression
- Synchronised swimming
Eligible activities are those that are provided as part of a structured program where there are clear skill development outcomes. Structured creative and cultural lessons are:
- Tutoring on a specific skill delivered in person or 'virtually' over 4 weeks or more. 'Virtually' includes tuition delivered by technology, such as Skype, with live interaction between the student and tutor/teacher.
- Time-bound set of lessons/activities to learn a skill, based on the following timeframes:
- 4 weeks or more weekly classes, minimum of 30 minutes per week
- weekend course, minimum of 2 days for 5 hours per day or a total number of 8 hours or more
- 1 week, minimum of 4 days within a 7-day period for 3 hours per day
- 1 day, minimum of 5 hours.
- Cultural experience and master class such as a concert or performance followed by:
- structured workshop for 1 to 4 hours, or
- question time with a high-profile artist or performer, relating to skills and art form development.
All activities are to be delivered outside of the school curriculum. NSW public, private and Catholic schools are ineligible providers.
What types of activities are excluded from the program?
Ineligible activities are:
- skill-based classes or activities that are only run for half a day (less than 4 hours)
- one-off tutoring sessions
- mobile app subscriptions
- after-school care services where no structured program on a consistent topic is run
- membership that is not part of a structured program
- school excursions
- activities that are part of the school curriculum
- school-run competitions, concerts, drama programs, including weekend activities or inter-school competitions or activities.
Are there costs that I can't use my voucher for?
Ineligible costs are:
- individual items such as clothing, uniforms, instruments, creative supplies (paints, books, canvas) or other equipment that would usually be purchased from a retailer and paid for by the individual as part of participating in the activity. Note: packages where these items are included within the course are eligible.
- examination fees for qualifications and assessment
- travel costs to and from activities, competitions or concerts (except where this is part of the overall package).
How do I find an approved provider?
You can search for approved providers on our website under Find a Creative Kids provider.
Approved providers will include local Art Galleries, music conservatoriums and local businesses offering eligible activities.
If your preferred activity provider is not appearing in the list, please contact your provider and ask them to sign up to the program.
Why is my provider declining my voucher?
A provider cannot accept the voucher if they are not registered and approved for the Creative Kids program.
If the provider's membership or classes are at capacity or they are not able to offer a class due to insufficient numbers, the provider has the discretion to not accept the vouchers. Should an approved provider accept a voucher for registration, however not proceed with the class, the voucher must be returned to the parent as long as no payment request was made by the provider to Service NSW. If the voucher was redeemed but the class did not go ahead please contact Service NSW.
Can a provider increase prices or fees?
Providers cannot raise their fees as a result of their registration in the Creative Kids program nor can they apply differential pricing for voucher holders vs non-voucher holders.
Generally speaking, if a fee increase isn't warranted in the absence of a voucher program, then it would be deemed unreasonable.
Providers may be audited at any time by the Creative Kids team, including review of fee increases.
If a fee increase is deemed unreasonable by Creative Kids, providers may be suspended or removed from the program.
The cost of activity is less than $100. Can the provider claim the full $100?
No, when the fee is less than $100, the provider is paid the lesser value and the recipient cannot use the remaining balance to pay another provider for an activity.
How do I create a MyServiceNSW Account?
A parent, guardian or carer of an eligible child can apply for a Creative Kids voucher for their child once they activate a MyServiceNSW Account.
I get an error message when I enter my child's Medicare card details in the voucher application. What do I do?
If you are receiving an error message, check the following:
- Your child's name is entered exactly as it appears on the Medicare card.
- All 10 digits of the Medicare number are entered.
- Your child's date of birth details are correct with Medicare.
If your Medicare card is expiring in the next 2 months, contact Medicare to obtain the current details to enter on your application.
My child's school is not listed in the voucher application. What do I do?
If you cannot locate your school listed in the Creative Kids voucher application, click on 'i can't find my school' twice. Type in your child's school name and enter the suburb of your residential address. This will allow you to continue with your application.