ParentsNext helps parents and carers who receive Parenting Payment to plan and prepare for work by the time their youngest child starts school.

ParentsNext can help you:

  • develop skills, attend training or work experience
  • arrange financial support for job preparation skills, training and other work-related expenses
  • connect to local support services such as counselling.

Participants can now choose to take part in ParentsNext. There are no payment suspensions or penalties for missing an activity or appointment. Participants only need to report income to Centrelink each fortnight if they or their partner is working.

Participants will continue to have the same help and support and can continue to take part in the program if they want to.

More information is available

The ParentsNext program is being extended to 31 October 2024.

A new voluntary pre-employment service for eligible parents will commence from 1 November 2024.

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.
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What are the benefits of ParentsNext?

ParentsNext can help you:

  • connect with other parents and local support services such as counselling
  • access financial support, including help with the costs of starting work or study
  • apply for childcare
  • find a course or work experience
  • write a résumé and prepare for job interviews.
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How does ParentsNext work?

There are no tasks you have to do in ParentsNext.

Centrelink will contact you if you are eligible for ParentsNext and give you a brief summary of the program. Centrelink will connect you to a ParentsNext provider, who can give you more detailed information about how ParentsNext can help you. You don’t have to be connected if you don’t want to.

You can also contact a ParentsNext provider directly if you would like to take part in the program.

If you choose to take part in ParentsNext, you will meet with your provider in person for your first appointment. If you are a new client, you will be offered an Initial Engagement Support voucher of $100 at your first face-to-face appointment. After that, you will meet with your provider every three months, either in person, by phone or online. You can meet with your provider more often if you prefer. Face to face appointments will attract an Ongoing Engagement Support voucher of $50.

Your provider will get to know you and listen to what you want for your future. If you’re not sure, your provider can help you identify your study and work goals.

Your provider will help you make a plan to reach your goals. You can choose activities 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 doesn’t work 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 you apply and find 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.

Engagement Support Vouchers were introduced on 11 March 2024.

lady sitting at desk with laptop

What about reporting?

You do not have to report your attendance at activities or appointments in ParentsNext.

You only need to report income if you or your partner are working. You can report income to Centrelink via myGov or the Express Plus Centrelink app.

woman walking with child

ParentsNext participant stories

Stories of ParentsNext participants and how the program helped them find their next step.

Groups of people sitting at a table with laptops