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ParentsNext is an Australian Government support program to help you plan your next steps towards study or work.

There are many benefits for you by participating in ParentsNext. ParentsNext consultants work with parents and carers to help build confidence, develop skills and access local support and services to plan for the future.

Parents and carers don’t need to start looking for a job while in the program. Taking part in ParentsNext will put them in a better position to act on opportunities when the time is right.

Who takes part in ParentsNext?

ParentsNext is for parents and carers who:

  • have received Parenting Payment for the last 6 months
  • care for a child over 6 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, will refer them to ParentsNext. For more information on eligibility please refer to the ParentsNext Eligibility, Referral, Direct Registration and Commencement guideline or contact the National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260 (free call from landlines).

Enhancements to ParentsNext from 1 July 2021

The Australian Government has announced enhancements to the ParentsNext program in the 2020-21 Federal Budget. The enhancements are included in the Second Women’s Economic Security Statement, which contributes to the Australian Government’s JobMaker plan for economic recovery by supporting women’s workforce participation and building an educated and skilled workforce.

The enhancements to ParentsNext will better support parents to plan and prepare for employment before their youngest child starts school. From 1 July 2021, changes include:

  • streamlining eligibility requirements to better support those most in need.
  • allowing participants to access financial assistance through the Participation Fund to help them meet their education and employment goals.
  • extending participant eligibility for relocation assistance and employer wage subsidies to help them achieve their employment goals.

The ParentsNext program will continue under the current arrangements until 30 June 2021.

For more information about the enhancements to ParentsNext from 1 July 2021, see the Frequently Asked Questions page.

How does ParentsNext support parents?

Support through ParentsNext might include:

  • help with finding a course or work experience 
  • putting you in touch with other parents
  • help with arranging financial support for childcare and study, and if available, access to wage subsidies
  • help with skills such as writing a resume and job interview practice
  • connecting you with local services including for domestic and family violence, counselling and emotional support.

ParentsNext may be able to provide funding for parents living in the following locations:

State Location
NSW Bankstown, Wyong, Shellharbour, Dubbo, Sydney‑Central, Mid Coast, Orange, North Coast,  Tamworth
NT Darwin-Palmerston, Alice Springs
SA Playford, Port Adelaide, Port Augusta & Whyalla
Qld Cairns, Logan, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Mackay, Townsville
WA Kwinana, Perth-South, Perth-East, Geraldton and Broome
TAS Burnie and Brighton
VIC Greater Shepparton, Hume and Mildura

What do participants do in ParentsNext?

There are four main things you are asked to do while in ParentsNext to keep receiving the Parenting Payment.

  1. Attend appointments with your ParentsNext provider – this is a chance to talk to your provider about your education and employment goals and your progress against these. After the first interview, appointments can be face to face or by phone. Appointments need to be held at least once every 3 months.
  2. Choose activities – parents in ParentsNext are asked to do activities to help prepare them for work. You will be asked to choose an activity that is a suitable fit with your family life and education/employment goals. If an activity doesn’t suit or stops working for you, please let your provider know.
  3. Make and agree Participation Plan – the plan records your education and work goals. It outlines the activities, reporting requirements and appointments you have agreed to do. When you make new plans with your provider, you have 10 days to think about whether it suits before you sign it.   
  4. Reporting – parents in ParentsNext may be asked to do two kinds of reporting: to Centrelink via myGov or Express Plus Centrelink app and to ParentsNext via the job seeker app. Your ParentsNext Participation Plan will record what you need to do to report. If you don’t report by close of business on reporting day your payments will be put on hold and you will need to contact your provider to reinstate it.

There are answers to more key questions about ParentsNext on our frequently asked questions page.

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