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Office of Sport

Information for parents

The First Lap voucher program provides vouchers for parents, guardians and carers of children aged 3-6 years who are not enrolled in school to contribute towards the cost of swimming lessons.

The voucher may be used for an eligible child’s participation in a structured swimming lesson program with an approved First Lap provider. 

Frequently asked questions for parents, carers or guardians

The First Lap voucher program aims to make water safety education more accessible for NSW families, providing pre-school aged children (3-6 and not enrolled in school) one voucher each financial year to contribute towards the cost of swimming lessons.

From 1 July 2023, parents, guardians and carers of children aged 3 to 6 years who are not enrolled in school, can apply for a $50 voucher towards the cost of swimming lessons.

The voucher can be used for a structured swimming lesson program with an approved First Lap provider.

The voucher is valid until 30 June 2024

An eligible child is a person who at the time of application:                

              i)         Is aged 3 years or over and less then 6 years.

             ii)        is a resident of NSW;

             iii)       holds or whose parent, guardian or carer holds a valid Medicare Card with the child’s name on it; and

             iv)       is entitled to apply based on their school enrolment or home school status 

Children aged 3-6 years who are not enrolled in school are eligible for the First Lap voucher.

From 1 July 2023, parents, carers and guardians will be able to access one new $50 voucher per eligible child for swimming lessons until 30 June 2024.

Expired vouchers cannot be redeemed for reimbursement.  

A First Lap voucher may be claimed by any parent, guardian or carer of an eligible child.  

The First Lap voucher must be used with an approved First Lap provider. 

The First Lap voucher can be used for both intensive (where there is a lesson everyday), or regular weekly swimming lessons. 

The swimming lessons must be: 

  • a structured and supervised program; 

  • given by a swimming teacher; 

  • in a swimming pool; and 

  • a program of at least 5 lessons. 

Programs that take place in the following are not eligible: 

  • Moving bodies of water 

  • Water with potential underwater hazards 

  • Water with low visibility  

Other costs and activities that are not eligible are: 

  • Centre membership fees of an approved First Lap provider that are not part of a structured program  

  • Casual visit passes 

  • Any sessions not in a safe and suitable swimming facility 

  • Travel to and from sessions 

  • Any virtual or online program 

  • Individual items or equipment (such as swimmers, goggles, flippers)  

No - online programs do not satisfy the core objectives or requirements of the First Lap program. 

Parents, guardians and carers can claim a First Lap voucher through Service NSW. You will need to have or create a MyServiceNSW account. 

You will require a valid Medicare card with details of the eligible child to complete the transaction and claim the voucher. 

Parents, guardians and carers will also need one form of ID to confirm their identity before completing the transaction.  

Parents, guardians and carers of eligible children in rural or remote areas of NSW and/or children with disabilities who have bona fide reasons why they are unable to claim a voucher online via Service NSW may make an application in writing to the Director – Policy and Programs at the NSW Office of Sport here.

The vouchers you have claimed will be displayed as ‘First Lap Voucher' on your First Lap dashboard in the MyServiceNSW account that was used to apply for the voucher. This information will also be available on your MyServiceNSW mobile app.  

Login to your account to see the vouchers claimed and redeemed for each child.   

To use the voucher, you will need to give your approved First Lap provider the: 

  • voucher number or QR code 

  • child name on the voucher 

The provider will discount the fee using the voucher. The voucher is not transferrable for cash. 

You can find a swimming school that is a First Lap Provider in your local area by visiting Find a First Lap swim provider on Service NSW.

To be eligible for a First Lap voucher, each child must reside in NSW. 

The provider where the child registers must also be an approved First Lap provider.

  • My child lives in NSW and participates in swimming lessons with an approved First Lap provider – the child is eligible to claim a voucher. 

  • My child lives in QLD and participates in swimming lessons with a NSW provider – the child is ineligible to claim a voucher. 

No – First Lap vouchers can only be used for structured learn to swim programs with an approved First Lap provider.  

A voucher can only be used once with an approved First Lap provider.   

Expired vouchers cannot be redeemed for reimbursement.  

If a program costs less than the full voucher amount, any balance is forfeited and cannot be used with another provider. 

No, when the fee is less than the full voucher amount, the provider will be reimbursed the lesser value. 

When a voucher has been successfully redeemed, the status on your voucher in your MyServiceNSW account will change from a green label saying ‘valid’ to a grey label saying ‘used’.  

You will also be able to see the provider that you redeemed the voucher with.  

If you want to cancel your child’s booking, you must discuss cancellation with the approved First Lap provider directly.  

The voucher value cannot be reimbursed as cash, nor can it be transferred to another child. The voucher cannot be refunded back to you. 

The First Lap provider you originally booked with is not obliged to transfer the value of the voucher to another provider, but may do so at your request at their discretion.  

Providers cannot raise their fees as a result of their registration in the First Lap program nor can they apply differential pricing for voucher holders vs non-voucher holders. 

Generally speaking, if a fee increase isn't warranted in the absence of a voucher program, then it would be deemed unreasonable. 

Providers may be audited at any time by the First Lap team, including review of fee increases. 

If a fee increase is deemed unreasonable by the First Lap team, providers may be suspended or removed from the program. 

Call Service NSW on 13 77 88 or email

If you require assistance from an interpreter, please call the Australian Government's Translating Interpreting Service on 13 14 50

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