For now, if you are a ParentsNext participant you will stay in the program but will not receive a financial penalty if you miss an activity or appointment.
You can still choose to be referred to activities and meet with your provider, but you will not receive any demerits or payment suspension if you do not attend.
You will not need to report attendance at activities or appointments. You will only need to report your income each fortnight to Centrelink if you or your partner are working.
If you have a payment suspension, this will be lifted. The department is reviewing all participants currently in the warning zone and if you have any demerits they will be removed and you will return to a clean slate.
You will continue to have the same access to help and support with ParentsNext and your provider can continue to help you reach your education or employment goals.
There is no need to look for work, but ParentsNext providers can help you find work if you are ready.
If you are a ParentsNext participant, you may have some questions:
Question: What do these changes mean for me?
Answer: You are still connected with your ParentsNext provider and can still choose to be referred to the same activities in ParentsNext as before, but you will not lose any payments or get a demerit if you miss an activity or appointment.
Question: Will I need to keep reporting?
Answer: If you choose to continue participating you will not need to report your attendance at activities or appointments. You will only need to report your income each fortnight to Centrelink if you or your partner are working.
Question: Do I still need to go to appointments with my ParentsNext provider?
Answer: Your provider will continue to offer support to reach your goals, and you can continue to meet with your provider. If you choose not to attend appointments or activities you will not lose your parenting payment.
Question: Do I need to keep going to activities?
Answer: You can keep going to the activities that you have agreed to in your Participation Plan, but you do not need to report attendance and you will not lose your parenting payment if you do not attend. Talk to your provider if your activities do not work for you or you cannot attend.
Question: Can I still get the same help and support from ParentsNext?
Answer: Yes. You can still get the same supports, and your provider will continue to help you work towards your goals.
Question: Will my access to Child Care Subsidy change?
Answer: No. You will continue to receive the same access to the Child Care Subsidy (CCS). It is a good idea to log on to your myGov account and update your ‘activity test’ to include all activities you are doing if you are doing new activities.
Question: Will the ParentsNext program be changing in the future?
Answer: Yes. The Government has announced plans to end ParentsNext from 1 July 2024. A new voluntary program will be developed in its place. More information will be provided soon.