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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 to 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.

Note: The program closes in June 2023.

Program information

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. The program also aims to support businesses and organisations in the arts, culture and creative industries.

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, commencing 1 January 2019. The program will close in June 2023.

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
  • conservatoriums
  • 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.

What is an eligible program?

An eligible program is a structured, focused program with clear creative skill development outcomes, delivered in real-time (live). The primary purpose is for children or young people to learn or participate in interactive creative or cultural activities. The program must demonstrate value for money and be relevant to the age and skill level of participants.

The following are eligible programs:

  • in-person programs that involve learning and developing a specific creative skill (private or group-based)
    • creative materials are permitted for in-person programs if the items are being borrowed or used during the lesson for the purpose of developing a final artwork to take home, such as canvas)
    • only the final artwork can be taken home, not the creative materials that were used/borrowed to make the artwork
    • art kits and/or unused creative materials are not permitted for inclusion in any programs.
  • online programs that involve learning and developing a specific creative skill (private or group-based). Online programs must:
    • be delivered in real-time and be interactive
    • have no more than 20 participants per lesson
    • be delivered by an individual or business based in NSW (online programs cannot be delivered from outside NSW, including interstate border towns, unless the provider is unable to deliver face-to-face programs due to COVID-19 restrictions, or their programs comprise both face-to-face and online elements)
    • not include creative materials or art kits.
  • cultural and creative learning experience programs that provide skills and knowledge of cultural identity, for example, Aboriginal cultural learning workshops
  • membership fee-based programs that include a structured creative arts program
  • performance/exhibition-based programs that are delivered live (in real-time) either in-person or online must be followed by:
    • an interactive workshop, or 
    • a masterclass or question time, relating to skills and artform development.
  • programs that support or link to the school curriculum, and co-curricular/extra-curricular activities.

Please note: As of 1 March 2022, voucher redemption for creative items, art kits, creative kits is no longer permitted. This includes but is not limited to paints, books, stationery, canvases, clothing, uniforms, leotards, instruments or other equipment.

Providers must apply and be approved by Service NSW to be registered with Creative Kids. If your program doesn't fall within the above program types, contact Create NSW for advice.

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?

Visual arts

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

Creative industries

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

Literary and linguistics arts

  • Creative writing
  • Languages
  • Publishing
  • Public speaking
  • Poetry
  • Spoken word
  • Slam poetry.

Performing arts

  • Music
  • Drama
  • Singing
  • Circus arts
  • Choreography
  • Parkour
  • Theatre
  • Dance
  • Other Performing Arts.

Cultural programs

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). 

Provider eligibility

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 creativekids@create.nsw.gov.au 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. Evidence of qualifications can be requested at any time by the agency.

Providers with one to 5 employees must provide an overview of the qualifications and experience that their staff hold to teach the chosen activities. Providers will be required to demonstrate relevant industry experience, or experience in creative education or teaching fields. Documents to support your application may include:

  • a degree, tertiary qualification or training in a relevant field, such as fine arts, drama or music, or
  • awards, accreditation or industry recognition in a relevant field, or
  • up to 3 professional references or letters of support, or
  • for cultural experiences, evidence of being 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 creativekids@create.nsw.gov.au to participate in the program and provide details of your program for assessment.

Service NSW and Create NSW reserve 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. If your situation changes and you no longer meet the eligibility criteria, you or an authorised representative must notify Service NSW immediately.

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 the below criteria to be deemed to have a ‘physical presence’ in NSW.

  • The provider has an ABN registered to a NSW address and has maintained that continuously for twelve months or more; and
  • The provider has maintained an office or franchise in NSW continuously for twelve months or more; and
  • The provider employs at least one NSW resident who permanently resides and works in NSW on a part-time or full-time basis; and
  • The program is delivered 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 info@service.nsw.gov.au 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 and you meet the online delivery requirements listed below. A list of eligible activity formats can be found on page 5 of the Creative Kids provider guidelines – PDF.

Online activities and programs are those delivered in real-time (live) through online platforms including but not limited to Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Vimeo, Zoom). To be eligible for Creative Kids, all online programs must be:

  • live (in real-time) and be interactive (online programs cannot be pre-recorded)
  • 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 comprise both face-to-face and online elements)
  • have no more than 20 participants per lesson

From 1 March 2022, creative materials or art/creative kits required to participate in the online class are not permitted.

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:

  • all programs that include the supply of any creative materials or art/craft kits (including those accompanied by written instructions or live lessons)

  • online activities that have no live and interactive component (such as pre-recorded tutorials)

  • online lessons that host more than 20 participants per online lesson

  • 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.

Ineligible activity categories are:

  • cookery classes
  • games and gaming (e.g. board games, chess, digital games)
  • gardening
  • gymnastics
  • aerobic dance
  • martial arts
  • pole dancing
  • physical culture
  • yoga.

Note: Ineligible activities will be regularly reviewed.

Ineligible costs are:

  • creative materials, art/creative kits, including but not limited to paints, books, stationery, canvases, clothing, uniforms, leotards, instruments or other equipment
    • creative materials are permitted for in-person programs if the materials are being borrowed or used during the class for the purpose of developing a final artwork to take home, such as canvas painting
  • 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 creativekids@create.nsw.gov.au.

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 creativekids@create.nsw.gov.au 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. 

Registration

How do I become a Creative Kids provider?

You can Register as a Creative Kids provider online.

Check the Creative Kids 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. Please note that this timeframe might be delayed if we require further information from you during the assessment period.

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.

Redeeming 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?

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.

Reimbursements

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.

March 2022 guideline updates

Why are these changes being made when the guidelines were just updated on 1 January 2022?

Expanding the Creative Kids guidelines to accommodate art kit and online programs was a COVID-19 response measure that supported children across the state to continue participating in creative activities while not being able to interact with each other, or their teachers in person.

As restrictions started to lift, on 1 January 2022, the Creative Kids provider guidelines were updated to refocus the Creative Kids Program on encouraging children and young people to participate in interactive real-time and face-to face creative programs.

As part of this update, art kit programs (any programs that involve the participant receiving creative supplies or materials) that were not delivered in real-time (live) were no longer eligible under the Creative Kids program.

With the continued easing of COVID-19 restrictions across the state, children and young people returning to school, and face-to-face interactions with other children and educators permitted, the Creative Kids provider guidelines are being further amended.

The changes aim to encourage children and young people back to real-time (online and face-to-face) creative and cultural learning opportunities delivered by qualified professional artists, cultural workers, and/or experienced educators.

What changes have been made?

From 1 March 2022, the following changes were implemented:

  • Voucher redemption for creative items or art kits/creative kits will not be permitted and any Creative Kids programs that included the purchase of materials or supplies are no longer eligible. This includes but is not limited to paints, books, stationery, canvases, clothing, uniforms, leotards, instruments or other equipment.  
  • Online programs will be capped at 20 participants per lesson to ensure meaningful interactive activities for children and young people.
  • New providers will be required to demonstrate relevant industry experience or experience in creative education or teaching fields. Documents to support your application may include:
    • a degree, tertiary qualification or training in a relevant field, such as fine arts, drama or music, or
    • awards, accreditation or industry recognition in a relevant field, or
    • up to 3 professional references or letters of support, or
    • 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.

What does this mean for Creative Kids providers?

As of 1 March 2022, providers:

  • can no longer accept Creative Kids vouchers for creative items or art kits/creative kits and any Creative Kids programs that included the purchase of materials or supplies are no longer eligible. This includes but is not limited to paints, books, stationery, canvases, clothing, uniforms, leotards, instruments or other equipment.
  • must ensure live online programs are capped at 20 participants.

When can a get a copy of the new Creative Kids provider guidelines?

You can download the new Creative Kids provider guidelines now.

What is defined as an art/creative kit and creative materials?

  • Creative items/materials means any items that are required to participate in a lesson. This includes but is not limited to paints, books, stationery, canvases, clothing, uniforms, leotards, instruments or other equipment.
  • Art kits/packs or Creative kits/packs means a collection of one or more creative items/materials.

Can I continue selling creative materials or art kits if that’s my business decision?

You can continue to sell creative materials and art/craft kits; however, you cannot redeem Creative Kids vouchers for these kits or supplies. 

What will happen if I continue to accept vouchers for art kit programs or towards creative materials/items?

If a provider continues to redeem vouchers for ineligible programs, their Creative Kids account will be subject to suspension or cancellation.

Providers may be required to pay back any funds for vouchers accepted and redeemed illegitimately.

I deliver an in-person program. Can I continue to provide materials within my lessons?

You cannot supply children with any creative materials or art kits to own and take home. However, creative materials can be incorporated into your in-person lesson if they are being borrowed or used during the class for the purpose of developing a final artwork to take home, such as canvas painting.

Only the final artwork can be taken home, not the creative materials that were used/borrowed to make the artwork.

Can I sell creative materials, separate to my Creative Kids program, that participants can purchase to accompany my online lessons?

The sale of creative materials is no longer eligible as part of any Creative Kids voucher program. Eligible programs can be found on page 5 of the Creative Kids provider guidelines.

If you are offering online classes that require creative materials in order to participate, you may list what creative materials are required so that the parent/child can source these items themselves, for example, they may buy them from you or another source, or may already have them at home.

If your program requires individual bespoke creative materials that only you sell, these creative materials must be available to the general public (not just Creative Kids voucher users) at the same price. Discounts or subsidies cannot be applied to any creative materials on the basis of someone using a Creative Kids voucher for one of your Creative Kids programs.

If you are selling creative materials as part of your business separate to your Creative Kids program, these creative materials cannot in any way be promoted as included or bundled with your Creative Kids program.

All creative materials sold should also be for sale to the general public (i.e., for purchase by non-Creative Kids voucher users) and cannot be for sale conditional on the use of a Creative Kids voucher.

Under no circumstances can a voucher be used for the purchase of creative materials, products or kits.

Can I bundle or add free items or value-adds to my Creative Kids offer?

No. Any discounts/free offers on materials and any other products related to or not related to the lesson, should be promoted without any mention, link to or connection with the Creative Kids program, whether it be vague, direct, or indirect.

Can I offer discounts on my products needed to participate in my lessons if I sell them separately to the Creative Kids program?

The pricing of materials is at the discretion of your business. Any materials being offered as part of participation in lessons must also be for sale to the public at the same price. This means that:

  • if you discount the materials you sell for participation in lessons then the same discount should also be available at the same time to the public without needing to enrol in lessons
  • a parent/child/guardian must be clearly informed that they can purchase the discounted materials without using their Creative Kids voucher
  • the parent/child/guardian can participate in your lesson without ever needing to purchase any creative materials suggested for your lesson
  • you may discount any materials, but they cannot be in any way promoted as included or bundled with your Creative Kids program
  • any discounts free offers on materials and any other products related or unrelated to the lesson should be promoted without any mention, link to or connection with the Creative Kids program, whether it be vague, direct, or indirect
  • required materials (whether discounted or not) for your lesson should be listed and parents advised they can purchase through your shop, elsewhere or bring their own.

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.

Related links

Last updated: 4 November 2022