The NSW Government is helping kids get creative with the 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 aged 4.5-18 years.
The voucher may be used with an approved activity provider for registration, participation and tuition costs for performing arts, visual arts, coding, languages, literature, music and other eligible creative and cultural 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 like, drama, music, dance, coding, languages and other eligible activities.
Since 1 January 2019, the NSW Government has provided parents/guardians/carers with a voucher of up to $100, which can be redeemed towards 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. The program commenced 1 January 2019 and is currently planned to run until 31 December 2022.
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.
Definitions for providers
What is a provider?
To be a provider with Creative Kids, your organisation must deliver a structured activity within the eligible activity list and be an approved provider registered with the Creative Kids program prior to participating in the program and accepting vouchers.
These could be:
- art galleries
- art classes or workshops
- music and drama groups
- theatre companies
- language schools
- Aboriginal cultural knowledge centres or language programs
- arts and cultural workers and private businesses offering programs in the creative and cultural space
- organisations and businesses working in the creative industries
- for-profit or not-for-profit activity providers located in NSW.
NSW public, private and Catholic schools are ineligible providers.
Eligible activities are those that are provided as part of a structured program where there are clear skill development outcomes. The primary purpose is for children to learn or participate in a specific creative or cultural activity. The activity must demonstrate value for money and be relevant to the age and skill level of participants.
The following are eligible structured activity types:
- Learning and developing a specific creative skill (private or group based) delivered in person or online* through a set of lessons/activities/workshops and/or performances/events.
- Cultural and creative learning experiences that provide skills and knowledge of cultural identity, for example, Aboriginal cultural learning workshops. Experiences may be delivered in person or online*.
- Membership fees or hiring instruments/equipment that are part of a structured program.
- Participation and learning activity package, such as a concert/performance/exhibition tour, delivered in person or online*, followed by:
- an interactive workshop
- masterclass or question time relating to skills and artform development.
- Activities that support or link to the school curriculum, including co-curricular/extra-curricular activities and incursions/excursions (NSW public, private and Catholic schools are ineligible providers.)
- Packages that include individual items for creative/cultural use such as instruments, arts and craft supplies or other equipment/materials, alongside a lesson plan or instructions on how to complete an activity or develop creative skills.
Providers must apply and be approved by Service NSW to be registered with Creative Kids. If your program doesn't fall within the above activity types, contact Create NSW for advice.
*Online activities and programs include those delivered through video hosting platforms (e.g. Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Vimeo, YouTube, Zoom) and webinars (e.g. access to pre-recorded material). Online providers will need to show that participants are able to ask questions or seek lesson support. This can be via phone, email, live video or an online messaging platform.
What is a high risk activity and what additional documents are required?
Indicators of 'high' risk activities are:
- water based
- physical contact
- those requiring specialised safety equipment
- dangerous or extreme, such as circus.
Additional insurance requirement
Providers whose activities are deemed high risk activities are required to have public liability insurance coverage of at least $20 million.
What is the definition of a low risk activity?
Low risk activities are those that do not have 'high risk' indicators, as above. Providers whose activities are deemed low risk only are required to have public liability insurance coverage of at least $10 million.
How do I find a list of registered providers?
You can search and find a Creative Kids provider.
What are the included activity categories for Creative Kids?
- Public art
- Media arts
- Other Visual Arts.
- Industrial design
- Game design
- Augmented/virtual reality
- Graphic design
- Fashion design
Literary and linguistics arts
- Creative writing
- Public speaking
- Spoken word
- Slam poetry.
- Circus arts
- Other Performing Arts.
Structured learning activities with a focus on strengthening Aboriginal and culturally diverse community practices, for example, the Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge Program or Cultural Experience (Aboriginal and culturally diverse communities).
What is the eligibility criteria to be a Creative Kids provider?
To register as a provider with the Creative Kids program, you must deliver a creative or cultural program and meet the following provider requirements:
- be based or have a physical presence in NSW (this includes providers delivering online programs)
- be based or have a ‘physical presence’ in NSW, or in a Permitted Border Town. If you deliver an eligible activity in a border town not defined in the Terms and Conditions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss eligibility before applying.
- hold a current ABN, and must not have any outstanding actions or enforcement orders recorded by the Office of Fair Trading (ensure that your details are up to date with the Australian Business Register)
- have a child safe policy or complete the Child Safe eLearning module provided by Office of the Children's Guardian
- obtain Working With Children Check clearance for all staff and/or volunteers who work with children
- hold current Certificates of Currency for Indemnity and Insurance policies appropriate to the type and level of activities being delivered.
Provider Qualification Requirements
Providers must hold appropriate skills, experience, or qualifications for the activities provided, including appropriate accreditation for high-risk activities for example, circus activities.
Providers with 1 to 5 employees must provide an overview of the qualifications and experience that their staff hold to teach the chosen activities, including at least 1 of the following criteria:
- 2 or more years of professional experience in a relevant field
- a teaching degree and practical experience in a relevant field
- a degree or tertiary qualification in a relevant field i.e. fine arts, drama, music
- awards, industry recognition or accreditation in a relevant field.
For cultural experiences, be a cultural elder or provider within that culture recognised by their community as having the appropriate cultural knowledge to pass on.
If you do not meet the requirements above but provide an eligible activity that is:
- in rural or remote NSW
- for children with disabilities, or
- an Aboriginal Cultural Activity or Program led by a recognised Aboriginal person or elder in your community,
please register your interest at email@example.com to participate in the program and provide details of your program for assessment.
Service NSW reserves the right to contact you during the application process to discuss the application and may need to refer to other government agencies to complete the assessment. We will assess all requests and our decision is final around eligibility.
What is a child safe policy and how do I complete the Child Safe eLearning module?
Information about the child safe policy and the Child Safe eLearning can be found on the Office of Children's Guardian website. There are 8 eLearning units, which take approximately 6 hours to complete.
What does ‘physical presence’ in NSW mean?
For the purpose of the Creative Kids program, a provider must meet one or more of the below criteria to be deemed to have a ‘physical presence’ in NSW. The provider:
- has an ABN registered to a NSW address
- has an office or franchise in NSW and the program is delivered in NSW
- delivers at least one program or activity in NSW on a recurring basis
- delivers touring activities or events in NSW and employs at least one permanent (part-time or full-time) staff member who permanently resides and works in NSW.
I believe that my activity program qualifies for Creative Kids program. Should I apply?
Yes, apply for the program.
Your organisation needs to meet both the provider and activity requirements.
Service NSW will assess your application and if you meet the criteria you will receive notification from the Creative Kids team.
If you are not approved, you will receive advice indicating why the application has not been accepted.
If your application is deemed ineligible and you do not believe that this assessment is accurate or you have additional evidence which you believe demonstrates your ability to satisfy the eligibility criteria, you may submit a request for review.
A request for review should be submitted via firstname.lastname@example.org and addressed to the Director, Creative Kids Program, Middle Office.
Can I run my classes online?
Yes, as long as your business has a 'physical presence' in NSW. A list of eligible activity formats can be found on page 5 of the Creative Kids Provider Guidelines – PDF.
Online activities and programs include those delivered through video hosting platforms (e.g. Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Vimeo, YouTube, Zoom) and webinars (e.g. access to pre-recorded material). To be eligible for Creative Kids, all online programs must:
- allow for participants to ask questions or seek lesson support. This can be via phone, email, live video or an online messaging platform.
- be delivered by an individual or business based in NSW (online programs cannot be delivered from interstate border towns, unless the provider is unable to deliver face to face programs due to COVID-19 restrictions, or their programs are comprised of both face to face and online elements).
If your program doesn't fall within the eligible activity formats in the Guidelines, contact Create NSW for advice.
I provide an activity program within a school. Am I eligible to be a Creative Kids provider?
Yes, eligible activities include those that support or link to the school curriculum, and co-curricular/extra-curricular activities.
Activities that are organised via a school or at a school but are out of hours or additional activities to school curriculum may be considered where the school is not the provider.
Some of the children who attend my classes or activities do not live in NSW. Can they get a Creative Kids voucher?
It is a requirement of the program that the child must be a resident of NSW to be eligible for a voucher.
What types of activities are excluded from the program?
Ineligible activities are:
after-school care services with no structured creative arts program
membership fees that do not include a structured creative arts program
school run competitions, concerts, drama programs, including weekend activities or interschool competitions or activities
online or digital programs delivered by an individual or business that is not based in NSW
individual items such as instruments, arts and craft supplies or other equipment/materials sold without an instructional program/lesson plan and lesson support.
Ineligible activity categories are:
- cookery classes
- games and gaming (e.g. board games, chess, digital games)
- aerobic dance
- martial arts
- pole dancing
- physical culture
Note: Ineligible activities will be regularly reviewed.
Ineligible costs are:
- examination fees for qualifications and assessment
- travel costs to and from activities.
I was previously rejected but think I might be eligible under the new Guidelines, can I reapply?
Yes. To reapply please contact email@example.com.
My organisation is in a border town. Can we claim vouchers and which kids are eligible for a voucher?
As defined in the Creative Kids Provider Terms and Conditions, the following cities/towns are considered ‘Border Towns’:
- Canberra and surrounding suburbs (ACT)
- Coolangatta (QLD)
- Wodonga (VIC)
- Echuca (VIC)
- Mildura (VIC).
If you deliver an eligible activity in a border town not listed above, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss eligibility before applying.
Only children who reside in NSW are able to redeem Creative Kids vouchers. Therefore children participating in the program who reside in any state other than NSW will be unable to download or redeem a Creative Kids voucher.
How do I become a Creative Kids provider?
You can Register as a Creative Kids provider online.
Check the Creative Kids program: Provider guidelines – PDF to find out if your organisation is eligible.
What information is required to register as a provider?
You'll need a MyServiceNSW Account and when you register you'll be prompted to create a Service NSW business profile. You must be authorised to act on behalf of the organisation and be one of the following:
- Associate (partner, director, sole trader, public officer, etc) as listed on the Australian Business Register (ABR).
- Officeholder (director, secretary) as registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
- Other person with authority of any of the above to carry out functions on behalf of a business/entity.
To create a business profile, you'll need:
- a personal identity document (an Australian driver licence, Australian passport, or ImmiCard).
- your organisation’s Australian Business Number (ABN) and contact details stored with the Australian Business Register for your ABN.
Important: Your identity document name details must match the name details held with the Australian Business Register for your ABN.
Once your business profile is activated, you'll need to enter further details for registration as a Creative Kids provider, including:
- organisation entity details
- activities offered
- location where are activities are offered
- dates and times
- a short description that explains your program offering
- a PDF copy of your program structure that describes eligible activities, what is offered and what the learning outcomes are
- a PDF copy of associated fees for the eligible activities plus a separate short description to explain this
- qualifications of you and your staff to run the program offered
Certificate of Currency insurance (in PDF format). You can obtain a copy of this document from your insurer. It needs to:
List the activity/activities you are covered for i.e music lessons, dance, craft workshops.
Include a minimum public liability cover of $10 million for low risk activities and $20 million for high-risk activities
Examples of high-risk activities include those which are water based, have physical contact, are dangerous, extreme (e.g. circus arts) or require specialised safety equipment.
- copies of Certificates of Currency for insurance and indemnity cover
- business bank account details for the account that will take reimbursements
- declarations including Working With Children Check (WWCC) clearance
- confirmation that you have completed the Child Safety eLearning module run by Office of the Children's Guardian
- acceptance of Terms and Conditions.
Service NSW may request additional information as part of the registration process after the initial submission.
How long does it take for my application to be assessed once submitted?
Applications can take up to 28 days for Service NSW to assess and let you know if you are approved or not.
My Working With Children Check failed but I know I have a valid number. What should I do?
There are multiple reasons why your Working With Children Check has failed. You can check your Working With Children Check status or contact the Office of the Children's Guardian.
How long are vouchers valid?
Vouchers are valid for redemption during the current calendar year of the activity program (that is, 1 January to 31 December).
Vouchers expire at the end of the calendar year.
Vouchers cannot be redeemed retrospectively.
Vouchers are available for redemption once only for the nominated registered season or term of activity.
When can I start redeeming vouchers?
Once you are approved as a Creative Kids provider, you can accept and redeem vouchers.
How do I check if a child is eligible and has a valid voucher?
Eligible recipients will be able to apply for a voucher through Service NSW.
Providers are able to check validity of vouchers by viewing the ‘Redeem Voucher’ tab on their Creative Kids dashboard. A voucher is used or consumed once it is validated.
Invalid vouchers will not be redeemable.
How long will it take to be paid for the vouchers I've redeemed?
Reimbursements will be made within 7 days of the provider redeeming the voucher online, if vouchers are valid and banking details verified.
Providers will be reimbursed the actual value of the activity up to the value of $100 and will not automatically receive $100 for each voucher.
No retrospective reimbursements will be made, but organisations may allow for part or deferred payment at the time of registration.
How do I claim a reimbursement?
You'll be able to lodge your voucher reimbursement request online via your MyServiceNSW Account.
Already a provider
There are some activities that are eligible to be providers in both the Active Kids and Creative Kids programs. Providers must register for both programs as they run separately.