What is the Active Kids Program?
The Active Kids Program is an NSW Government initiative that provides two $100 vouchers for parents, guardians and carers of school-enrolled children to use towards sports and physical recreation costs each year. The overall aim of the program is to reduce the levels of childhood obesity in NSW. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey, almost 25% of Australian children aged between five and 17 were overweight or obese in 2017-2018.
Who is eligible for an Active Kids Voucher?
If you’re a parent, carer of guardian, the school-enrolled child will be eligible if they’re:
- an NSW resident
- aged between four and a half and 18 years old
- enrolled in school (including those home-schooled or at TAFE NSW)
- a current Medicare card holder
How can you apply for an Active Kids voucher?
You can apply online for an Active Kids voucher at Service NSW. You’ll need a MyServiceNSW account and your child’s Medicare card details.
How can you use the voucher?
To use the voucher, you’ll need to find a registered Active Kid provider that will accept it.
You can search for a provider at Service NSW or read more about providers.
How much should children be exercising?
The Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Guidelines recommend the following:
- ·one to five years – at least three hours of physical activity each day
- five to 12 years – at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day and several hours of light physical activity
- 13 years to 17 years – at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day and several hours of light physical activity
Vigorous activities are those that strengthen muscle and bone. Children aged five to 17 should do these at least three days each week.
Healthdirect Australia outlines the many benefits of exercise for children including:
- developing healthy bones, muscles and joints
- improving balance and posture
- improving strength and muscle control
- maintaining a healthy weight
- developing social and teamwork skills
Regular physical activity also reduces the risk of developing many serious illnesses later in life including:
- heart disease
- lung disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
All information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice and does not supersede or replace a consultation with a suitably qualified healthcare professional.