ParentsNext supports parents and carers who receive Parenting Payment to plan and prepare for work by the time their youngest child starts school.
Support includes help with developing skills, training or work experience, help arranging financial support for job preparation skills, training and other work-related expenses or connecting to local support services such as counselling.
From 5 May 2023, ParentsNext participants will not receive financial suspensions or penalties for missing an activity or appointment.
Participants will continue to have the same access to help and support and can continue to take part in the program. Participants will only need to report income to Centrelink each fortnight if they or their partner is working.
The Government has announced that ParentsNext will be ending from 1 July 2024 and a new voluntary program will be developed to take its place.
Who is ParentsNext for?
ParentsNext is for parents and carers who:
- Have received Parenting Payment for the last 6 months
- Care for a child over 9 months and under 6 years of age
- Have not reported paid work to Centrelink in the last 6 months.
Centrelink will contact parents and carers, and if they are eligible to participate, refer them to a ParentsNext provider.
What are the benefits of ParentsNext?
Eligible parents and carers can be connected to a ParentsNext provider who can offer help with:
- connecting you with other parents and local support services
- helping find and access financial support, including towards the costs of starting work or study and for childcare
- finding a course or work experience
- writing a résumé and job interview practice.
How does ParentsNext work?
There are no mandatory requirements in ParentsNext.
If you choose to take part in ParentsNext, you will be connected to a provider by Centrelink. You can also contact a ParentsNext provider directly if you would like to take part in the program.
You will meet with your provider in person for your first appointment, then afterwards, every three months either in person, by phone or online. You can meet with your provider more often if you prefer.
Your provider will get to know you and listen to what you want for your future. If you’re not sure, your provider can work with you to help you to identify your education and employment goals.
Your provider will help you make a plan to reach your goals. You can choose activities to do that will help you get ready for the next stage of your life.
Parenting is busy work and you don’t need to do anything that doesn’t fit in with your family life.
If an activity stops working for you or your situation changes, your provider can help you find the right services or activities. If you need more support, they can help you access free services.
Your provider can also access the Participation Fund to help with the cost of starting study or work. If you need childcare, they can help with finding available services in your local area.
You don’t need to look for a job while you participate in ParentsNext, but if you are ready, your provider can help you find the right job.
What about reporting?
You do not have to report your attendance at activities or appointments in ParentsNext.
You only need to report any income earned to Centrelink via myGov or the Express Plus Centrelink app if you or your partner are working.
ParentsNext participant stories
Stories of ParentsNext participants and how the program has helped them find their next step.