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As students head back to school, parents in New South Wales are being offered $500 vouchers to help with before and after school care.

The vouchers are aimed at ‘putting downward pressure on the family budget’, and, according to Premier Dominic Perrottet, ‘help mums and dads balance work and family life’ after an ‘incredibly tough’ time balancing home schooling and work during the pandemic. “We want to do whatever we can to improve that daily juggle,” the Premier explained.

Parents and carers can access a $500 voucher for every primary school student they have responsibility for, with the program worth $155 million.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the $500 back to school vouchers are critical for working families and essential workers. “I think this $155 million investment in making before and after school care more affordable for families is really important, and I know it will be welcomed by a lot of working parents,” she said.

How do I get a $500 back to school voucher?

You’ll be able to apply for the back to school vouchers from February 28, through the Service NSW app. According to Education Minister Sarah Mitchell, it should be a ‘very simple process’, much like the one used for the Active Kids and Creative Kids vouchers.

The vouchers will available via the same app used to distribute the Dine and Discover vouchers.

How can I use my $500 back to school voucher?

Once parents and carers have their voucher, they can provide them to their childcare provider for a credit of $500 per child. The vouchers will cover the parent gap fee paid by families after their Commonwealth-funded childcare subsidy is applied.

According to Finder, the cost of sending kids to school has skyrocketed this year, with school supplies setting parents back $570 for primary school kids, and $780 for secondary school students. And that’s just for textbooks, stationary and a uniform.

Other costs like tuition fees, excursions, sports equipment and transport blow the budget out to $3,621 for each primary school child and $6,957 for secondary students.

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  • Its a great idea to help parents with costs.

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  • NSW have such great programs. All our students got was free RAT tests ;)

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  • That’s a great bonus for those who struggle in NSW !

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  • Well this will be welcome relief for many. Hopefully it gives a boost to attendance at the services too.

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  • Well that’s a lovely bonus for those who’re struggling !

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  • I’m from NSW and my children are too young for this but I know that this would be very helpful for the parents in VIC

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  • This will help many struggling families.

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  • At last some recognition of putting help where it is needed. But needs to be for all states and territories, not just NSW

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  • I find it weird how all states are different with these things. I get our premiers are different but come on Scomo?!

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  • I imagine Victorian families who have endured the absolute worst would love this!!

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  • Because here in Tassie we have to b pay more everything and get nothing back and no one wants to do anything about it.

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  • Why not in Victoria too???? The most locked down city in the world!!! My son and daughter in law would have appreciated it

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  • Even though we’re not eligible (sigh), my kids were thrilled to be back at school.

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  • That sounds very handy and helpful.

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  • Great initiative for NSW. Hope it really helps some families out :)

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