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The NSW Government is helping kids get creative with the new Creative Kids program.

From 1 January 2019, 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 membership costs for performing arts, visual arts, coding, languages, literary, music and other eligible creative and cultural activities.

Learn more about:

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.

From 1 January 2019, the NSW Government will provide a voucher of up to $100 for parents/guardians/carers, which can be redeemed towards payment of lesson and activity costs with an approved provider registered with the Creative Kids program.

The program will allow 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 rebate program start?

From 1 January 2019, parents/guardians/carers can claim up to $100 voucher for each eligible school enrolled child, by applying online through the MyServiceNSW Account.

After the start date, approved providers registered with the Creative Kids program can accept and redeem valid vouchers from recipients.

When will the program finish?

This is a 4-year program that is currently planned to run until 31 December 2022.

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
  • conservatoriums
  • music and drama groups
  • language schools
  • private tutors and businesses offering programs in the creative and cultural space
  • for-profit or not-for-profit activity providers located in NSW.

Structured creative and cultural lessons or activities have been identified as:

  • 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 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.

Providers must apply and be approved by Service NSW to be registered with Creative Kids.

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

You are required to have $20 million public liability insurance.

What is the definition of a low risk activity?

Low risk activities are those that do not have 'high risk' indicators, as above.

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?

Visual arts

  • Drawing
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
  • Sketching
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Advertising
  • Public art
  • Screen
  • Media arts
  • Design
  • Multimedia
  • Craft

Creative industries

  • Architecture
  • Coding
  • Industrial design
  • Game design
  • Augmented/virtual reality
  • Graphic design
  • Fashion design
  • Radio

Literary and linguistics arts

  • Creative writing
  • Languages
  • Publishing
  • Public speaking
  • Poetry

Performing arts

  • Music
  • Drama
  • Singing
  • Circus arts
  • Creative expression
  • Choreography
  • Synchronised swimming
  • Parkour
  • Theatre
  • Dance

Cultural experiences

Workshop and performance activities in line with the structure program requirements associated with multi-cultural communities.

What is the eligibility criteria to be a Creative Kids provider?

Providers must:

  • hold a current ABN, and must not have any outstanding actions or enforcement orders recorded by the Office of Fair Trading
  • hold appropriate skills, experience, or qualifications for low risk activities they provide and/or appropriate accreditation for high risk activities, specifically circus activities
  • have Working With Children Check (WWCC) clearance for all staff and/or volunteers who work with children, and provide:
    • for business of 1-5 employees - each employee's WWCC number, date of birth, and PDF of resumé/qualifications
    • for business of 6 or more employees - your business registration number that starts with REG followed by 7 digits
  • hold current certificates of currency for indemnity and insurance policies appropriate to the type and level of activities being delivered
  • have a Child Safe policy or complete the Child Safe eLearning module provided by Office of the Children's Guardian
  • provide course content and lessons with associated prices 
  • provide details of staff qualifications and provider experience.

If you do not meet the requirements above but provide an eligible activity that is:

  • in rural or remote NSW
  • to children with disabilities, or
  • delivering cultural experiences to children by a recognised indigenous elder,

please register your interest 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 qualifications are required?

Providers need to provide an overview of the qualifications they hold to teach the chosen activities and what their tutors or staff are required to have. This information should be provided by way of a resumé for solo providers or, for companies with more than 2 staff, a profile of the qualification requirements used for hiring.  

One of the following criteria must be met (there may be exemptions on a case-by-case basis):

  • teaching degree and practical experience in relevant field
  • degree in relevant field, for example fine arts, drama, music
  • 5 years or more of professional experience in the relevant area
  • awards, industry recognition or accreditation in relevant field
  • for cultural experiences, be a recognised cultural elder or provider within that culture.

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.

I provide an activity program within a school. Am I eligible to be a Creative Kids provider?

School-run activities, competitions and creative pursuits that are in school and part of the curriculum are not part of this program.

This program aims to increase children's participation in activities after school (outside school hours) and on weekends.

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. 

Organisers need to check with the Creative Kids team at Service NSW to discuss specific circumstances.

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.

A voucher can only be used for a program with a provider that is located within NSW.

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 incursions
  • activities that are part of the school curriculum
  • school-run competitions, concerts, drama programs, including weekend activities or inter-school competitions or activities.

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).

My organisation is in a border town. Can we claim vouchers and which kids are eligible for a voucher?

Business and organisations located outside NSW will not be eligible to register for the Creative Kids program, even if it has NSW residents involved in its activities or competitions.

Vouchers can only be used with approved providers located in NSW.

An organisation located in NSW is eligible to register. However, if it has children registered who live in another state or territory, those children will not be eligible to claim a voucher.

Children must reside in NSW to be eligible for a voucher.

Some example scenarios:

  • An organisation/business in Queensland with children residing in northern NSW – the organisation/business is ineligible to register. Children residing in NSW who are attending activities with Queensland based businesses are are eligible for a voucher but may only redeem their voucher with an organisation located in NSW.
  • An organisation/business in the ACT with registered participants who reside in NSW - Queanbeyan or Yass for example - is ineligible to register.

Contact the Creative Kids team on 13 77 88 or via email creativekids@service.nsw.gov.au to ask about your situation. 

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. 

View the How to register as a Creative Kids provider video.

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, such as Australian driver licence or passport
  • 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
  • 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. Please note for the initial provider onboarding October 2018 to December 2018 the approval process can take up to 90 days. 

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.

When can families start downloading and using their vouchers?

From 1 January 2019, families will be able to apply for their vouchers online through their MyServiceNSW Account.

Vouchers can be used towards the cost of creative activities and lessons with registered providers from 1 January 2019.

Families can apply at any time within the calendar year.

Providers must be approved and registered with Service NSW before accepting vouchers.

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?

From 1 January 2019, 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 28 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.

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. 

Some of the activities eligible for both Active Kids and Creative Kids are: 

  • Dance 
  • Theatre
  • Parkour
  • Choreography
  • Circus arts.
Source url: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/creative-kids-faqs-providers