New South Wales families with school-age children are set to be given an extra cash boost, thanks to a $193 million government initiative.
The Back to School New South Wales Vouchers program allows parents to apply for three $50 vouchers, which can be used to pay for a range of essential school items.
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The vouchers can be used to purchase uniforms, shoes, textbooks, bags, lunchboxes, stationery and other products such as school sporting equipment, musical instruments and art supplies that are specific to a selected class. The vouchers are available to apply for now and are valid until June 30, 2023.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the vouchers had been released in line with the school summer holidays, which was a good time for families to start buying supplies for the new school year.
"Parents, guardians and carers, including foster carers, can apply for three $50 Premier's Back to School NSW Vouchers per child, which can be used at registered businesses towards items including bags, shoes, prescribed textbooks and lunchboxes," Perrottet said.
"The end of the year is an expensive time for many households, with Christmas and family holidays to pay for, which is why the NSW government is investing $193 million into the vouchers to help ease those cost-of-living pressures."
Each child per family is entitled to the $150 in vouchers but must be enrolled in primary, secondary school or home-schooling in NSW in 2023.
How to apply
Parents can apply on behalf of their child using their MyServiceNSW account and two forms of identification, including their Medicare card with the student's details on it, along with their NSW driver's licence or Australian passport.
Students who have their own Medicare card are eligible to apply for their own vouchers. Once approved, the vouchers will be emailed or sent to your Service NSW app.
Those who cannot apply online can also visit a Service NSW Centre.
While NSW businesses still have the opportunity to register, some are already accepting the vouchers, including Shoes and Sox, Best & Less, LOWES, Dymocks, Betts shoes, Officeworks and Myer.
"Not only are the Back to School NSW Vouchers a big help for families in getting kids equipped with what they need, they'll provide a real shot in the arm for businesses across the state too," NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said.
The NSW Back to School program is one of more than 70 government rebates and vouchers available through the Savings Finder program.
Other vouchers available in 2023
Parents can also take advantage of a range of other NSW government vouchers in 2023.
Creative Kids vouchers are available for children aged four-and-a-half to 18 years old who are enrolled in NSW schools. One voucher to the value of $100 is available for each student to use across a number of creative activities, including music, dance and art classes. The program, which started in 2019, is currently funded until June 30, 2023.
The NSW Government First Lap voucher is also available to parents and guardians of children aged three to six years old who are enrolled in swimming lessons and do not attend school. The $100 voucher can go towards lessons of an approved provider and is valid until June 30, 2023.
Meanwhile, the popular Active Kids voucher program, which allows parents to apply for two $100 vouchers for children who attend school to use throughout the year, has been funded until the end of 2022. These can be used for sporting, fitness and recreational activities. It has not yet been announced if the scheme will run in 2023.