$50 back-to-school boost for 600,000 Aussie kids

Thousands of New South Wales families can receive a $50 cash boost from today, as part of the state government’s revamped active and creative kids voucher scheme.

From February 1, the government’s new means-tested Active and Creative Kids scheme kicks in. This replaces the previous two schemes, which were given to all parents, guardians and carers of school-aged kids in the state.

Under the new scheme, only parents who receive the Family Tax Benefit can receive the $50 voucher twice a year.

Composite image of Australian money/cash and kids heading back to school

Eligible NSW families can apply for the new $50 cash boost twice a year. ((Source: Getty/AAP))

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However, this actually represents a cut for parents. When the Active Kids scheme was first introduced in 2018, all families were able to receive two $100 vouchers per year. This was then halved to $50 on July 1 last year as part of the transition. And those households not receiving Family Tax Benefit are now ineligible for any vouchers.

The vouchers can be used for eligible active or creative activities with registered providers, including activities such as swimming lessons, music lessons and sport registration or membership fees.

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When announcing the changes to the scheme last year, NSW Premier Chris Minns said it was a “tough but economically responsible decision”.

“I want kids from low- and middle-income families participating in sport, creative activities and learning to swim,” Minns said. “This new program ensures we can continue these important initiatives in a fairer, more sustainable way.”

Around 600,000 school-aged children will be able to benefit from the new voucher scheme, which is estimated to cost $28 million per year. This covers nearly half of the 1.35 million school-aged children in the state.

Yesterday was the final day for parents to apply for and use the government’s previous voucher before it was replaced.

How to get the $50 voucher

Parents, guardians and carers receiving the Family Tax Benefit Part A, Part B or both can apply for the new Active and Creative Kids voucher for each eligible school-aged child. The $50 voucher is available twice a year.

Voucher 1 is available from term 1, with applications opening February 1, 2024 and closing by December 31, 2024 (with vouchers also needing to be used by this date).

Voucher 2 is available from term 3, with applications opening July 15, 2024 and closing by July 14, 2025.

Applications can be made online through your MyServiceNSW account.

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