The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) provides payments for eligible students to attend activities like:
- school camps or trips
- swimming and school-organised sport programs
- outdoor education programs
- excursions and incursions.
This $148 million initiative helps ensure all Victorian students can take part in school trips and sporting activities. The fund commenced in 2015 and will initially run for four years.
Applications for 2017 closed at the end of term 2 2017. Applications will re-open in term 1 2018.
Who can apply
Families holding a valid means-tested concession card or temporary foster parents are eligible to apply. There are two criteria that must be met:
Criteria 1 - Eligibility
On the first day of term one (29 January 2018) or the first day of term two (18 April 2018), a parent or legal guardian of a student must:
- be an eligible beneficiary of one of these cards:
Veterans Affairs Gold Card
Centrelink Health Care Card
Pensioner Concession Card
OR they must be a temporary foster parent
OR the student is 16 years or older and holds a valid concession card (such as a Youth Allowance Health Care Card)
AND the parent or legal guardian must submit an application by the due date.
Parents who receive a carer allowance on behalf of a child, or any other benefit or allowance not income tested by Centrelink, are not eligible for the CSEF unless they also comply with the above.
Eligibility will be determined when the parent’s concession card successfully validates with Centrelink on either the first day of term one or term two.
If the eligible card is in the name of the student, the fund is only granted to that student, not their siblings.
Criteria 2 - Be of school age and attend a Victorian school
For the purposes of CSEF, students may be eligible for assistance if they attend a Victorian registered primary or secondary school. Typically, these students are aged between five and 18 years.
School is compulsory for all Victorian children aged between six and 17 years of age.
CSEF is not payable to students attending pre-school, kindergarten, TAFE or who are home schooled.
Special consideration is given to:
Families on a bridging visa, temporary protection visa, are in community detention or are asylum seeker families
A letter from the Australian Red Cross, AMES, or similar organisation is required as evidence. A copy of an 'immi' card is also acceptable evidence.
Students in out of home care
Institutions such as Mackillop Family Services, Anglicare, Berry Street Victoria and other Community Service Organisations are eligible to make an application for students residing on a short term or long term basis. The carer or Community Service Organisation should alert the school of the requirement for a special consideration application
Students in statutory kinship care
The care arrangement must be formalised through the Department of Health and Human Services. The carer should request that DHHS or a Community Service Organisation supervising the placement provide a letter confirming the statutory kinship care arrangement to enable the application to be assessed.
- $125 per year for eligible primary school students
- $225 per year for eligible secondary school students.
Payments are made directly to the school and are tied to the student. Most payments start from March onwards.
Applications can be received over term one and two. Payments are for the application year and cannot be claimed for previous years.
Year 7 and Prep students in government schools who receive the fund are also able to get support for school uniforms. For more information regarding this initiative, see:
State Schools' Relief
The CSEF payment cannot be used towards voluntary school charges, books, stationery, school uniforms, before/after school care, music lessons, or formals/graduations.
Schools administrators can find information on how to process CSEF applications at:
Schools - CSEF
Submit an application
You need to complete an application form and submit it to your school. You should do this as soon as possible in term one, as payments are made from March onwards.
Schools will be able to accept and process applications up until the end of term two each year.
You generally only need to submit an application form once. Your school will then rollover your information from the previous year. This is a new process from 2018 onwards.
You will need to submit a new form if:
it's a new student enrolment: the student has started or changed schools or you did not apply with the same school in 2017
there has been a change in family circumstances: such as a change of custody, change of name or CRN or new siblings commencing at the school.
Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund application form
If there's shared custody
The payment system only allows one application per student. Parents in shared custody situations are encouraged to make a decision on who applies for the CSEF.
Schools should not be put into the position of arbitrating this decision.
If you cannot decide who should apply, you are encouraged to resolve the dispute through the Family Court, or contact the Department's CSEF Helpdesk for more information on 1800 060 970.
If you have already paid for some activities
If you have already paid for some camp, sports or excursion costs up front, you have the option to:
- allocate the payment towards remaining activities in 2018
- carry over the amount to be used on eligible activities in 2019
- create a family credit for the money to be used on other expenses. It is up to the school whether they agree to this option. The school must demonstrate the CSEF payment was utilised towards approved activities.
CSEF funds cannot be directly refunded to families.
If the student is completing primary or secondary school
For students completing year 6 in 2018:
- Unspent funds are usually transferred to their high school. If the amount is small, the schools may agree not to transfer funds as long as the new school commits to provide the student with assistance to the same amount.
- The school has the option of creating a family credit according to the rules above.
For students completing year 12 in 2018:
- Schools have the option of allocating unspent funds to the student's siblings once the student leaves school.
- Schools have the option of creating a family credit according to the rules above.
- If none of these options are feasible, remaining CSEF funds will stay with the school and may be used towards school-incurred costs for camps, sports activities and excursions.
The CSEF parent application form and an information flyer to assist schools with communicating the availability of the CSEF to parents is available for download:
Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund application form
Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund flyer
Translated CSEF information flyers are available in 13 different languages and are available for download:
Information for schools
For information on processing applications, see:
Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund Information for Schools