Labor is urging the NSW Government to extend the validity period of 2020 Creative Kids vouchers to ensure families and kids don’t miss out on opportunities to get involved in the arts due to COVID-19.

The vouchers expire on 31 December 2020 even though a third of the 359,978 vouchers requested by parents have yet to be used.

This year, COVID-19 restrictions have left many families unable to access arts and creative programs. The arts and creative industries have been amongst the worst hit by restrictions.

Shadow Minister for Better Public Services Sophie Cotsis, and Shadow Minister for Cost of Living Jo Haylen today wrote to the NSW Government requesting the $100 vouchers be able to be used into next year, ensuring the money is not lost to families and arts organisations.

Even though parents can apply again next year, when vouchers expire, their value is lost to families, kids and communities.

Ms Cotsis said: “COVID-19 restrictions have played havoc on both families and arts organisations. Kids have had to miss out on art classes, dance competitions, music recitals and more.
“Extending the validity of the vouchers would mean the program does its job and properly supports families to access these important programs.
“The money has already been budgeted and the Minister could do this with the stroke of a pen.”
Ms Haylen said: “Extending the validity date for the Creative Kids vouchers would mean an extra $100 per child for families heading into the school holidays.
“Families are doing it tough, especially in the lead up to Christmas, and extending these vouchers would be a much-needed boost heading into the new year.
“Families are often desperate for options to keep their kids entertained during the Summer holidays and extending the vouchers would mean they have more options to access creative programs and keep their kids busy.”