Accessing NSW Active Kids vouchers in 2024
The following Memo to Clubs was sent to all AFL NSW/ACT clubs by Community Football Manager, John Boulous, on 31 January 2024.
As announced by the NSW Government in June 2023, the Active Kids Voucher (‘AKV’) program will expire on 31 January 2024. Replacing the AKV will be a new program, the Active and Creative Kids Voucher (‘ACKV’) program, which will commence from tomorrow, 1 February 2024.
The new ACKV program will be managed by Service NSW, has a revised means tested eligibility criteria, making it only available to families who currently receive Family Tax Benefits, and has been reduced from $100 to $50 per child, twice in a calendar year.
The new ACKV process for sporting Clubs and Participants redeeming the voucher has only recently been finalised by Service NSW. Unfortunately, Service NSW has had some challenges implementing the smooth integration process clubs and participants need to access the ACKV. The new process now means some immediate changes regarding how our clubs and participants will access and redeem the new ACKV and these are detailed below.
Of significance, all sporting clubs and providers that are current AKV registered providers will be required to re-apply to be an ACKV provider through Service NSW. Additionally, the current automated process for redeeming vouchers (API link) needs to be connected to Service NSW and rebuilt by each sport into their registration platforms.
To assist us in this transition period and ease the burden on our volunteers and enable free flowing registrations, AFL NSW/ACT will now step in and manually process all requests for Clubs and participants until the automated system is returned and our Clubs have all re-registered as providers.
Please read through the below details carefully as there are actions for each club in the below correspondence to find out what this means for your club and participants.
What does this mean for Clubs?
Before a club is able to accept vouchers from participants, they must be a Service NSW approved ACKV program provider. To become an ACKV program provider, clubs will be required to apply via the ServiceNSW website.
The application process is thorough and can only be completed by a person authorised to act on behalf of the club as listed on the Australian Business Register. To help clubs prepare for the application process AFL NSW/ACT has put together the quick guide in the Appendix to this memorandum, accessible here. We strongly encourage you read the quick guide prior to starting the application process to ensure you’re equipped to complete it with minimal disruption.
Please note that Community Clubs that also operate as an Auskick Centre are not required to apply for the ACKV program in relation to Auskick as the AFL has done this on your behalf.
Service NSW has advised that due to a large influx of applications, it may take several days for an outcome to be advised. With the program beginning on 1 February and families ready to utilise their vouchers, clubs will unlikely be able to become approved program providers in time. Therefore, to minimise impact on participants and maximise voucher redemption and player registration, AFL NSW/ACT will accept all ACKV’s on behalf of clubs centrally from 1 February. How this will work is the registering family will be required to contact ClubHelp (email@example.com) who will provide them with a discount code connected to your club to use upon registration. The AFL will then reimburse all clubs for vouchers used. This process will be in effect until PlayHQ automation is set-up and ready to accept vouchers upon registration and each club is an approved provider with bank account details in the Service NSW system.
We are asking clubs to ensure they are approved ACKV program providers by no later than Monday, 4 March 2024. We encourage clubs to make this application process a high priority as we anticipate the automated process will be live shortly thereafter.
While the process for applying to be an eligible service provider may seem arduous and creates additional workload for club volunteers, it is important to remember that this program has been established to assist means tested families with the ability for their children to continue to play sport. This makes it even more imperative that all clubs register to be providers for this program so that AFL continues to be the sport of choice for our existing families and provides an incentive for new families. In addition, Service NSW has committed to funding this program for the next four years.
What does this mean for Participants?
Although the new ACKV program will be live through Service NSW from 1 February, the vouchers will not be automatically redeemable through PlayHQ at this time. AFL NSW/ACT are working with Service NSW and PlayHQ to ensure this new program integration is able to function in the same way as the previous program. However, it is currently estimated that the functionality won’t go live in PlayHQ before 1 March.
In the meantime, families will be able to redeem their ACKV’s by contacting ClubHelp with their voucher details and Club Name as it appears on PlayHQ. ClubHelp will then create a unique discount code in your club’s PlayHQ database that the participant will be provided to use upon registration.
Participants can contact ClubHelp on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 PLAY AFL between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.
Clubs and participants will be notified once vouchers are able to be automatically redeemed through PlayHQ. AFL NSW/ACT will then work through reimbursing clubs for all player vouchers that were manually redeemed during this interim period.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your Community Football and Competition Manager.
We appreciate this outcome is less than ideal for our network and continue to work closely with Service NSW on a smoother transition during our peak registration period. We are pleased that we have the ClubHelp team that are able to step in and assist with the process in the interim.