Steph Cooke and a school student look at a computer together.
Steph Cooke with a student in the Ariah Park Central School library. This is a file photo and dates from prior to current social distancing measures.

Families in the Cootamundra electorate are taking up the NSW Government’s $100 Creative Kids vouchers and staying connected to creative learning activities during social distancing restrictions.

The increase in children engaging with the Creative Kids program is thanks to an expansion of the eligible activities and $1 million in funding to help program providers make the digital transition.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the Creative Kids program has seen 3,413 vouchers redeemed across the region.

“I’m thrilled that families in the Cootamundra electorate are taking up these vouchers and ensuring school aged children remain engaged and active across creative, cultural and technology-based activities,” Ms Cooke said.

“The NSW Government is working hard to ensure regional children, no matter where they are and what technology they have can access quality activities, and to reduce the financial burden on families during these challenging times.”

Key changes to the program include:

  • $1 million to support digital adaptation grants for Creative Kids providers of up to $5,000
  • a digital toolkit to help providers pivot to online delivery
  • extension of the use of Creative Kids vouchers for online programs and educational materials
  • improved Service NSW website to make it easier for parents to find a provider

The expanded guidelines will ensure children with limited access to the internet, including in regional and remote NSW, have more opportunities by allowing Creative Kids vouchers to cover the cost of more creative materials and equipment.

Applications for the Creative Kids provider grants are still open. To be eligible, grant applicants must:

  • clearly demonstrate adaptation of Creative Kids activities to online delivery,
  • describe how this support can maintain or increase voucher redemption during COVID-19, and
  • meet the objectives of the Creative Kids program.