These guidelines relate to the Active and Creative Kids voucher program.

1. About the Program

1.1 Administered by Service NSW and the Department of Customer Service on behalf of the NSW Government, the Active and Creative Kids Voucher program (Program) aims to support certain families with school-aged children by providing two $50 vouchers per calendar year.

1.2 The purpose of the Program is to:

(a) assist low-to-middle-income families meet the costs of accessing sport and recreational and/or creative and cultural activities;

(b) encourage school-aged children from low-to-middle-income families to participate in sport and recreational and/or creative and cultural activities; and

(c) support the wellbeing of school-aged children from low-to-middle-income families.

2. Funding

2.1 The Program involves the provision of two $50 vouchers, totalling $100 per child, per calendar year.

2.2 The vouchers can be used towards Eligible Activities at Registered Providers as follows:

(a) for term 1, one voucher from the initial launch date on 1 February 2024. Subsequently, from 15 January each year thereafter; and

(b) for term 3, one voucher from 15 July each year.

3. Eligibility

3.1 Customers
(a) To be eligible for the Program, a child must be:
(i) a NSW resident;
(ii) aged 4.5 to 18 years; and
(iii) under the care of a parent, guardian or carer receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A, or Family Tax Benefit Part B, or both Family Tax Benefit Part A and Family Tax Benefit Part B.

3.2 Providers
(a) To participate in the Program, Providers must:

(i) operate in NSW;

(ii) have a valid and active Australian Business Number (ABN);

(iii) offer an Eligible Activity. For the avoidance of doubt, Providers that provide both Eligible Activities and ineligible activities, may be eligible for the Program;

Note: At any time, Service NSW may request evidence to verify whether a Registered Provider is in compliance with the Eligible Activity criteria outlined in these Guidelines. Such verification may encompass a review of the Registered Provider’s ANZSIC code against the list provided in Appendix C and/or if the Registered Provider is providing an Eligible Activity.

(iv) be appropriately skilled and hold the right type of experience, accreditation, and qualifications for all Eligible Activities they provide;

(v) have completed the Office of the Children’s Guardian’s Child Safe e-Learning Module and be able to demonstrate a commitment to the Child Safe Standards; and

(vi) have a smartphone or tablet to accept vouchers, using the Service NSW Business Bureau mobile application. Service NSW will provide details of how to scan vouchers to all Registered Providers.

3.3 Sporting, active, recreation, creative, arts or cultural organisations that do not meet the above criteria may contact Service NSW to discuss options. For example, organisations located outside of NSW, but within border towns, may request consideration. Service NSW reserves the right to determine any such cases conditionally or unconditionally, in its discretion, having regard to the Program’s underlying policy intent.

3.4 Activities
(a) To be eligible for the Program, an activity must be either a Creative Activity or Physical Activity that:

(i) is offered privately or in a group; and

(ii) is provided to children as part of a structured, supervised program; and

(iii) is in person and face to face; and

(iv) comprises a structured component, if part of a membership fee-based program; and

(v) involves the provision of either no material or Activity-linked Material only; or

(vi) is expressly set out in Appendix A; or

(vii) isn’t contemplated or covered by paragraphs (i) to (vi), but is otherwise approved by Service NSW in accordance with clauses 3.4(c) and 3.4(d)
(the Eligible Activities).

(b) The following are ineligible under the Program:

(i) activities offered by a School;

(ii) travel associated with an Eligible Activity;

(iii) items, equipment or materials that would usually be purchased from a retailer and paid for as part of participating in an activity, except where the item, equipment or material is an Activity-linked Material;

(iv) examinations and assessments for qualifications;

(v) an activity or item set out in Appendix B; and

(vi) activities that aren’t contemplated by paragraphs (i) to (v), but are otherwise determined by Service NSW as being ineligible in accordance with clauses 3.4(c) and 3.4(d)
(the Ineligible Activities).

(c) Individuals may make submissions for the inclusion of an activity that does not meet the above criteria by contacting Service NSW. For example, an online activity may be considered if it is to meet the needs of children of rural and remote areas, or children/Providers with a disability.

(d) Service NSW reserves the right to determine submissions under paragraph (c) conditionally or unconditionally, in its discretion, having regard to the Program’s underlying policy intent. For the avoidance of doubt, such determination may result in the activity being either determined eligible or ineligible and added to Appendix A or Appendix B, respectively.

4. Application process

4.1 Customers
(a) To register on behalf of a child, the applicant must be the parent, guardian, or carer of the child(ren) 
(the Customer).

(b) Customers must:
(i) login to their MyServiceNSW Account and apply through the Service NSW application or website;

Note: Customers that do not have a MyServiceNSW Account can create an account online or can contact Service NSW if assistance is required to lodge an Active and Creative Kids voucher application.

(ii) provide proof of identity documents for the Customer;

(iii) provide a current Medicare card, as follows:
(A) the child’s Medicare card listing the child’s name and the name of the parent, guardian, or carer (as applicable), or
(B) a Medicare card listing only the child’s name where the child does not have a Medicare Card listing both the name of the child and the parent, guardian, or carer; or

(c) To receive further vouchers, following the initial launch in February 2024, Customers must declare they remain eligible in line with these Guidelines:
(i) between 15 January and 31 December each year, to receive term 1 vouchers; and
(ii) between 15 July and 14 July of the following year, to receive term 3 vouchers.

Note: eligibility will be verified prior to vouchers being released. Customers may become ineligible at various points during the Program. Customers may contact Service NSW to discuss this process.

(d) Only one Customer can apply per child. Customers can apply for multiple children in the same application.

(e) Where the school-aged child has parents, guardians, or carers at separate addresses, and spends time at each address, the parent(s), guardian(s) or carer(s) (as applicable), must appoint one person to apply for the voucher/s.

(f) If successful, the voucher/s will be under the “Voucher” section of the MyServiceNSW Account or an email will be sent from Service NSW with the vouchers available to download and print, or display using a mobile device.

(g) Customers who do not have a current Medicare card or are experiencing difficulty with the requirements can contact Service NSW to discuss options.

4.2 Providers
(a) Businesses and not-for-profits must apply through the Service NSW Business Profile and demonstrate a connection to the Provider by supplying at least two of the following documents, at the time of registration:
(i) a utility bill in the name of the Provider;
(ii) a bank statement in the name of the Provider;
(iii) the most recent lodged income tax return in the name of the Provider (Providers can choose to redact their Tax File Number);
(iv) a Business Activity Statement (BAS) in the name of the Provider;
(v) a registration certificate in the name of the Provider; or
(vi) an insurance policy or insurance Certificate of Currency in the name of the Provider.

(b) Providers may appoint an authorised representative to register on their behalf. The authorised representative must provide at the time of registration:
(i) details of and proof of authority to act on behalf of the Provider by providing a fully completed letter of authority; and
(ii) an attestation that the Provider will comply with the Terms and Conditions.

(c) Providers must provide at the time of registration Australian bank account details for receiving payment when vouchers are redeemed.

(d) Providers must demonstrate relevant industry experience for the Eligible Activity they provide, as follows:
(i) for swimming; at the time of registration, an AustSwim, Swim Coaches and Teachers Australia (SCTA), Swimming Australia or Royal Life Saving licence/accreditation number for each staff member involved in delivering the activity;

(ii) for Creative Activities; at any time after registration, evidence of tertiary qualification, training, accreditation or industry recognition in a field relevant to the Eligible Activity;

(iii) for Cultural Experiences; at any time after registration, evidence of being a cultural elder or similar within the relevant culture that is recognised by the community as having the appropriate cultural knowledge; and

(iv) for any other activity; at any time after registration, evidence that demonstrates experience relevant to the Eligible Activity.

(e) Providers must provide a Program Structure together with supporting evidence at the time of registration. The Program Structure must set out details about the Provider’s Eligible Activity/ies, the fee structure, the outcomes, and timetable.

(f) Providers must:

(i) for sole traders who do not have any employees, volunteers or contractors – have and maintain for the duration of their involvement in the Program, a current Working With Children Check clearance

(ii) for providers with employees (including those who are self-employed), volunteers and/or contractors – require all of their employees, volunteers, and contractors engaged in providing any Eligible Activity to have and maintain for the duration of their involvement in the Program, current Working With Children Check clearances

For both subparagraphs (i) and (ii) – the Provider must provide to Service NSW, upon registering, evidence that this requirement has been met (for example, a business registration ID or an individual's registration number).

Note: For sole traders, individuals should check the validity and currency of the Working With Children Check.

(g) Providers must maintain insurance policies with an Approved Insurer appropriate to the type and level of Eligible Activities being delivered and hold a relevant Certificate of Currency for the duration of their participation in the Program, and provide evidence of the same at the time of registration.

Note: Service NSW may request evidence per clause 4.2(d) at any time during or after registration and during or after Program closure (for a period up to 7 years). For more information on compliance activities that take place after Program closure, please see clauses 6.6, 6.7, 6.8 and 6.9.

5. Voucher use

5.1 At the dates set out in clause 2.2, Service NSW will provide a $50 voucher in the form of:
(a) a digital voucher, displayed in the MyServiceNSW Account; or
(b) a printable-form voucher, delivered by email.

5.2 Vouchers may only be used subject to the following conditions:
(a) vouchers must be used prior to the voucher expiry date specified on the voucher, or during the following periods:
(i) for term 1 vouchers, before 31 December of each calendar year; and
(ii) for term 3 vouchers, before 15 July of each following calendar year;

(b) the term 1 and the term 3 vouchers may be combined and used together in a single transaction, provided each voucher is used according to the dates in clause 5.2(a);

(c) vouchers must be used to contribute towards Eligible Activities. Vouchers cannot be used for an Ineligible Activity. Other activities may be added to the Eligible Activity list at Appendix A or the Ineligible List at Appendix B, at the discretion of Service NSW, having regard to the Program’s underlying policy intent;

(d) each voucher can only be redeemed once. If the transaction is less than the total value of the voucher, the remaining balance is forfeited and cannot be used in another transaction. For example, if the transaction is $46.50, the remaining $3.50 is forfeited;

(e) Vouchers may only be redeemed for Eligible Activities, and Customers are encouraged to use them in conjunction with other incentives and discounts offered at the discretion of the Registered Provider, subject to clause 5.4(b);

(f) customers are to use the vouchers at the time of payment;

(g) the voucher amount is fixed;

(h) vouchers cannot be reloaded or topped up;

(i) vouchers can only be used with a Registered Provider.

Note: Registered Providers can opt-in during registration to be searchable by using the Service NSW business and voucher finder. Customers should check the Provider is a Registered Provider by using the business and voucher finder before using their voucher or by contacting the Registered Provider directly.

(j) vouchers are non-transferable and must be used by the Customer registered to receive the voucher unless shared by the child’s parent, guardian, or carer with another of the child’s parents, guardians or carers;

(k) vouchers cannot be traded for cash including, with any other person;

(l) vouchers cannot be donated to charity; and

(m) vouchers cannot be exchanged for a gift voucher or a credit note from the Registered Provider or any other entity or person.

5.3 Customers
(a) Customers are responsible for ensuring they can cover the remaining cost of the Eligible Activity if a voucher does not cover the full amount, or the full cost of the Eligible Activity if the Registered Provider does not accept the voucher/the voucher has expired. Customers should take care and make enquiries prior to agreeing to the sale.

(b) Customers may report Registered Providers or other businesses they consider to be non-compliant with these Guidelines to Service NSW. This may lead to an investigation and/or deregistration of the Registered Provider from the Program.

(c) Customers who believe their vouchers have been fraudulently used should contact Service NSW.

(d) Customers must not access any more vouchers than those to which they are entitled, being two $50 vouchers per child per calendar year.

(e) Vouchers will be made available to Customers as a QR code which will be either displayed in the Service NSW application, or sent by email. A unique alphanumeric voucher code is also issued which can be entered manually if required.

(f) Customers must use their voucher(s) at the point of sale with the Registered Provider by:
(i) presenting the voucher using their mobile device; or
(ii) providing the voucher QR code or alphanumeric code.

(g) Customers can view on their MyServiceNSW Account how many vouchers they have.

5.4 Registered Providers
(a) Registered Providers must allow payment by at least two different payment methods that is, one voucher and one other payment type, if a bill is more than the voucher amount.

(b) Registered Providers must accept all valid and unexpired vouchers and must only accept them for Eligible Activities. In doing so, the Registered Provider may allow Customers to combine the voucher with other discounts and incentives at their discretion provided the combination is accepted in exchange for an Eligible Activity only.

(c) Registered Providers are responsible for ensuring vouchers are applied to the cost of Eligible Activities only.

(d) Service NSW will not reimburse Registered Providers for fraudulent or invalid vouchers.

(e) Subject to clause 5.4(f), Registered Providers may only seek reimbursement of vouchers for which they have provided the relevant Eligible Activity.

(f) Registered Providers may seek reimbursement of vouchers from Service NSW before delivering the corresponding Eligible Activity, where the Eligible Activity’s structure comprises upfront pre-payment for the service.

(g) Registered Providers are prohibited from unjustly increasing prices or engaging in "price gouging” when accepting vouchers or promoting Eligible Activities. Subject to clause 5.4(i), where Service NSW suspects a Registered Provider is engaging in such practices, it may investigate, suspend, or deregister the Registered Provider from the Program without investigation.

(h) Registered Providers must notify Service NSW immediately if they can no longer meet the eligibility requirements of the Program or can no longer comply with the Terms and Conditions. Registered Providers that do not comply with these Guidelines or the Terms and Conditions (including those found to be non-compliant during random audits, spot checks and mystery shops) will be deregistered from the Program.

(i) Service NSW may suspend voucher redemptions upon suspecting any activity described in either clause 5.4(g) or clause 5.4(h) has occurred, and in such circumstances, any outstanding voucher redemptions will not be honoured as at the date of the suspension, or at a later date, as determined by Service NSW.

(j) Registered Providers must set up voucher registration prior to accepting vouchers.

(k) Registered Providers may redeem vouchers through an application on devices registered in their Service NSW Business Profile.

(l) Registered Providers can register/deregister scanning devices from inside their Service NSW Business Profile. More than one scanning device may be registered.

(m) Registered Providers can either scan the Customer’s Voucher QR code or enter the accompanying serial number to redeem the voucher.

(n) Registered Providers will be paid within 5 business days of lodging a claim for the value of vouchers redeemed.

(o) Where services have been pre-purchased, and the Registered Provider is unable to fulfil the terms of the arrangement, the Registered Provider must allow the Customer to use the value of the voucher to purchase another Eligible Activity before the Program ends.

6. Important information

6.1 These Guidelines are correct at the time of publishing.

6.2 Customers and Providers must declare the information provided in their application is true and correct. Penalties apply for false or misleading information. Where false or misleading information is provided, Service NSW may refer the matter to law enforcement.

6.3 Service NSW/the Department of Customer Service reserves the right to amend, alter or change these Guidelines at any time, and it is the responsibility of the Customer/Registered Provider to ensure that they check the Service NSW website prior to application.

6.4 The Guidelines that apply to each Customer/Registered Provider will be the current Guidelines as published and will apply to all current and future Customers/Registered Providers. It is the responsibility of Customers/Registered Providers to ensure they remain updated on the Guidelines.

6.5 Service NSW reserves the right to refuse an application, registration or payment where these Guidelines are not met, or where sufficient information is not provided to determine if these Guidelines are being or have been met.

6.6 Registered Providers and Customers may be subject to audit or investigation activities by Service NSW or its agents, the purpose of which will be to determine compliance with these Guidelines and/or the Terms and Conditions. Customers and Registered Providers must provide any information or documentation that is reasonably required for the purpose of any such audit or investigation.

6.7 Customers must retain all evidence including receipts, bank statements, Medicare details or other similar documentation and evidence related to their eligibility and application for 7 years from the date of receipt of money or benefit under the Program.

6.8 Registered Providers must retain all evidence including tax invoices, official receipts, bank statements or other similar documentation and evidence related to their eligibility and application for 7 years from the date of receipt of money or benefit under the Program.

6.9 Failure to demonstrate compliance with these Guidelines and the Terms and Conditions during application, a compliance audit or otherwise, to the satisfaction of Service NSW, may result in a debt recovery notice, suspension from the Program (without reimbursement of outstanding payments) deregistration from the Program, and/or referral to law enforcement.

7. Monitoring and evaluation

7.1 To ensure compliance with the Guidelines and Terms and Conditions, unannounced audits, spot compliance checks and mystery shopping may be conducted at random for Registered Providers.

7.2 Either Service NSW or the Department of Customer Service will seek feedback from Registered Providers and Customers on their reason/s for participating in the Program.

8. Definitions

8.1 Terms or expressions starting with a capital letter have the meaning given in this section.

ABN means Australian Business Number.

Activity-linked Material means material that is incidental to and used as part of an Eligible Activity, where the materials are borrowed or used for the purpose of the Eligible Activity. For example, a canvas painting, where the activity involves developing a final artwork.

ANZSIC means the numerical classification system used to categorise and classify businesses and economic activities within Australia and New Zealand.

Approved Insurer has the meaning of a general insurer given in the Insurance Act 1973 (Cth).

AustSwim means the Australian national organisation committed to teaching swimming and water safety.

Business Profile means the online portal provided by Service NSW for businesses.

Certificate of Currency means a document issued by insurers that confirms the insured party holds a valid insurance policy.

Child Safe e-Learning Module means the online training program designed to educate individuals, organisations and institutions that work with children on how to create safe and supportive environments for children, accessible on the Office of the Children’s Guardian website (or jurisdictional equivalent, for Providers outside of NSW approved in accordance with clause 3.3).

Child Safe Standards means the standards stipulated by the Office of the Children’s Guardian, which are accessible on the Office of the Children’s Guardian website (or jurisdictional equivalent, for Providers outside of NSW approved in accordance with clause 3.3).

Creative Activity means an activity that provides participants with opportunities to participate in creative, arts, or cultural programs allowing the individual to acquire creative knowledge and develop skills using creative techniques, including performances/exhibitions that have an interactive workshop or masterclass component and a Cultural Experience.

Cultural Experience means an Eligible Activity that involves activities that embody a particular nation, culture or community.

Customer has the meaning given in clause 4.1(a).

Department of Customer Service means the Crown in the right of the State of NSW acting through the Department of Customer Service.

Eligible Activity has the meaning given in clause 3.4(a).

Family Tax Benefit Part A means the financial assistance program named as such, provided by the Australian Government, through Services Australia, to support eligible families with dependent children.

Family Tax Benefit Part B means the financial assistance program named as such, provided by the Australian Government, through Services Australia, to support eligible single-parent or one-income families with dependent children.

Guidelines means these guidelines.

Ineligible Activity has the meaning given in clause 3.4(b).

Medicare means the publicly funded healthcare system in Australia that provides access to essential medical services.

MyServiceNSW Account means the personalised online account provided by Service NSW through which customers access NSW Government services, including the Program vouchers.

Not-For-Profit Organisation means an organisation that does not operate for the profit, personal gain or other benefit of particular people.

Office of Sport means the Government agency established in NSW for the purposes of developing and implementing policies, programs and initiatives regarding sports, among other things.

Office of the Children’s Guardian means the independent statutory authority within NSW that works to protect the safety of children by supporting and regulating “child safe organisations”, among other things (or jurisdictional equivalent, for Providers outside of NSW approved in accordance with clause 3.3).

Physical Activity means an activity:
(a) where the primary purpose is to assist children to participate in sport or active recreation activities; and

(b) that requires participants to engage:
(i) in moderate to vigorous physical activity; or
(ii) in a sport that is represented by a State Sporting Organisation (or jurisdictional equivalent, for Providers outside of NSW approved in accordance with clause 3.3).

Program has the meaning given in clause 1.1.

Provider means a business or not-for-profit organisation that has applied to participate in the program.

Registered Provider means a Provider registered by Service NSW to participate in the Program and whose registration has not been suspended or cancelled.

Royal Life Saving means the organisation dedicated to the teaching of lifesaving and the prevention of drowning in Australia.

School means a place or institution for teaching and learning defined by any of the following ANZSIC codes:
(i)   8010 Preschool Education;
(ii)  8021 Primary Education;
(iii) 8022 Secondary Education;
(iv) 8023 Combined Primary and Secondary Education;
(v)  8024 Special School Education; and
(vi) 8101 Technical and Vocational Education and Training.

SCTA means the peak body for swimming coaches, teachers and swim schools in Australia.

Service NSW means the Crown in the right of the State of NSW acting through Service NSW.

Service NSW Business and Voucher Finder means the directory of all registered Providers provided by Service NSW.

State Sporting Organisation means an official sporting entity recognised as such by the NSW Office of Sport. See a list of the State Sporting Organisations.

Swimming Australia is the peak governing body for swimming with nearly 1,000 clubs and 90,000 registered members nationally.

Terms and Conditions means the terms and conditions applicable to the Program, as published on the Service NSW website.

Working With Children Check is defined as the authorisation given to an individual engaged in child-related work and is as stipulated by the Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012.

Appendix A: Eligible Activities

(a) Examples of Eligible Activities include:

Physical Activities  

(i) Aerobic dance, Australian rules football, archery, athletics (track and field), badminton, baseball, basketball, biathlon, billiards/snooker, boccia, bootcamps, bowls, boxing, cadets/guides/scouts, canoeing, cricket, croquet, cycling, darts, disability sports, diving, dragon boating, equestrian sports, fencing, flying disc sports, football (soccer), golf, gridiron (American football), gymnastics (including rhythmic gymnastics), handball, hockey, holiday programs and camps, ice hockey, ice racing, lacrosse, martial arts, mixed martial arts, motor sports, mountain biking, multi-sport academies and clubs, netball, Oztag, paddle boarding, parkour, polo, rowing, rugby league, rugby union, sailing, shooting, skating, softball, sport climbing, snow sports, squash, surfing, surf lifesaving, swimming, table tennis, tenpin bowling, tennis, touch football, triathlon, volleyball, water sports, weightlifting, wheelchair sports, wrestling, yoga; and

Creative Activities 

(ii) Aboriginal cultural knowledge programs, advertising, architecture, augmented/virtual reality, choreography, circus arts, coding, craft, creative writing, cultural experiences, dance, design, drama, drawing, fashion design, game design, graphic design, industrial design, languages, media arts, multimedia, music, visual arts, painting, photography, poetry, pottery, printmaking, public art, public speaking, publishing, puppetry, radio, robotics, screen, sculpture, singing, sketching, slam poetry, spoken word, theatre.

Note: In accordance with clauses 3.4(c) and 3.4(d), Service NSW may approve and add to this Appendix other activities at its discretion, having regard to the Program’s underlying policy intent. Accordingly, individuals may request consideration of activities that do not comply with these Guidelines by making a submission.

Appendix B: Ineligible Activities and items

(a) Examples of Ineligible Activities and items include:

Ineligible Activities 

(i) School care services (including before and after minding services), academic tutoring (involving educational assistance to students, the main purpose of which is to help students improve their understanding of academic subjects), cookery classes, games and gaming (such as, board games and digital games), gardening, and school activities (including weekend and interschool activities); and

Ineligible items 

(ii) jerseys, socks, boots, art kits, craft kits, paints, books, stationery, canvases, clothing, uniforms, leotards, and instruments.

Note: In accordance with clauses 3.4(c) and 3.4(d), Service NSW may add to this Appendix other activities in its discretion, having regard to the Program’s underlying policy intent.

Appendix C: ANZSIC List

CodeIndustry
9001Performing Arts Operation
9002Creative Artists, Musicians, Writers and Performers
9003Performing Arts Venue Operation
9111Health And Fitness Centres and Gymnasia Operation
9112Sports And Physical Recreation Clubs and Sports Professionals
9113Sports And Physical Recreation Venues, Grounds and Facilities
9114Sports And Physical Recreation Administrative Service
9131Amusement Parks and Centres Operation
9139Amusement and Other Recreational Activities n.e.c.
8922Nature Reserves and Conservation Parks Operation
8921Zoological and Botanical Gardens Operation
8910Museum Operation
8211Sports And Physical Recreation Instruction
8212Arts Education
8219Adult, Community and Other Education n.e.c.
8220Education Support Services
6010Libraries and Archives
5522Music and Other Sound Recording Activities

Related information

Variations to guidelines

Variations made to the guidelines will be provided here.

Published dateSummary of changes
1 February 2024
  • Removal of language allowing a child to apply on their own
  • Adjusting dates to align with application period and expiry 
  • Adjusting list of definitions to ensure all key terms are defined appropriately and terms not mentioned are removed
    • Inclusion of additional eligible activities: pottery, Oztag, cadets/guides/scouts, multi-sport academies and clubs, bootcamps, holiday programs and camps.
19 February 2024
  • Added Swimming Australia as fourth accrediting body.
Last updated: 19 February 2024