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Office of Sport

Information for parents

The First Lap voucher program provides $100 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 program has been expanded for the 2021/22 financial year to include children in kindergarten in 2021 and children starting kindergarten in 2022, who missed out on vital water safety education during their pre-school years due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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

Vouchers are valid for redemption during the financial year of issue.

The First Lap program will run from 1 December 2021 to 30 June 2023.

Frequently asked questions for parents, carers or guardians

The First Lap voucher program provides $100 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 program has been expanded for the 2021/22 financial year to include children in kindergarten in 2021 and children starting kindergarten in 2022, who missed out on vital water safety education during their pre-school years due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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

Vouchers are valid for redemption during the financial year of issue.

The First Lap program will run from 1 December 2021 to 30 June 2023. 

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

              i)         Is:

                              (1)  aged 3 years or over and less than 7 years and 6 months; or

                              (2)  if aged 7 years and 6 months or over, is in possession of an appropriate Certificate of Exemption issued under section 25 of the Education Act 1990;

             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 in accordance with the following:

 

 

1st Voucher Period

(1 December 2021 – 30 June 2022)

2nd Voucher Period

(1 July 2022 – 30 June 2023)

Pre-Kindergarten

Entitled to apply.

Entitled to apply.

Kindergarten grade (including home school)

Entitled to apply if enrolled in Kindergarten (or home schooled) in calendar year 2021 or 2022.

Not entitled to apply.

Grade 1

(including home school)

Entitled to apply if enrolled in Grade 1 (or home schooled) in calendar year 2022.

Not entitled to apply.

Grade 2 onwards (including home school)

Not entitled to apply.

Not entitled to apply.

Children aged 3-6 years who are not enrolled in school are eligible for the First Lap voucher. However, the program has been expanded for the 2021/22 financial year to include children in kindergarten in 2021 and children starting kindergarten in 2022, who missed out on vital water safety education during their pre-school years due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The first $100 First Lap voucher is valid from 1 December 2021 to 30 June 2022. 

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

The first voucher is available from 1 December 2021 to 30 June 2022. 

The next voucher will be available on 1 July 2022, expiring on 30 June 2023. 

Expired vouchers cannot be redeemed for reimbursement.  

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. 

Visit service.nsw.gov.au or open the Service NSW app. Navigate to the First Lap voucher, select ‘Find a business’ and search.

*All applications for registration as a First Lap provider must be assessed and approved by the Office of Sport prior to them accepting any vouchers.

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

The provider where the child registers must also be located and operating in NSW. 

  • My child lives in NSW and participates in swimming lessons with a NSW 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. 

  • My child lives in NSW and participates in swimming lessons with a VIC provider – the child is eligible to claim a voucher but cannot use the voucher with a provider outside NSW. They can use the voucher at an approved NSW provider. 

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 $100, any balance is forfeited and cannot be used with another provider. 

No, when the fee is less than $100, 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 firstlap@sport.nsw.gov.au

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

Translated flyers

This flyer provides information about how to claim and redeem your First Lap voucher. It is available in the following languages:

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