ParentsNext Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the key questions parents have had about ParentsNext.

On this page:

If you still have further questions about ParentsNext, please call your ParentsNext consultant or the National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260 (free call from landlines).

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 under 6 years of age, and
  • have not reported paid work to Centrelink in the last 6 months.

You may be required to participate in ParentsNext if you meet these circumstances. 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).

I haven’t been asked to take part in ParentsNext, but I’d like more help to get work ready. Can I still take part In ParentsNext?

If you:

  • have a child under 6 years of age
  • receive a Parenting Payment and
  • live in the one of the locations below:
    • 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.

You can choose to participate in ParentsNext if you live in one of the locations above.

Centrelink can refer you to a ParentsNext provider or you can call or visit a ParentsNext provider in your area to discuss getting ParentsNext help. 

What happens if I have other things going on in my life that makes it difficult to take part in ParentsNext?

If you are having difficulties, please talk to your consultant. They may change your activity or consider an exemption.

An exemption means you don’t have to do activities for an agreed period of time. You can still get help and support from your ParentsNext consultant if you need it.

Reasons for exemptions could include:

  • you have a serious health issue
  • domestic and family violence
  • there’s a death in the family
  • being pregnant and within 6 weeks of your expected due date
  • Indigenous cultural business
  • being a primary carer for 4 or more children
  • approved home-schooling.

If your consultant does not give you an exemption, you can ask them to review their decision. 

If you are not happy with their response, you can request an independent review of the decision by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment by calling the National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260.

If you are still unhappy with the review outcome, you can appeal the decision through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

How do I provide feedback about ParentsNext and/or my provider?

You can contact the National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260 (free call from landlines) or complete the ParentsNext Complaints, Compliments and Suggestions form.

What happens if I miss an appointment or activity, or forget to report my attendance? 

If you can’t meet a requirement (signing your Participation Plan, attending an appointment or activity or reporting your attendance), it is important that you tell your consultant beforehand to avoid having your payment put on hold.  

We understand that sometimes you can’t make contact with your provider before an appointment or activity. If you miss a requirement, please contact your consultant as soon as possible so they can schedule another requirement. 

If you are having trouble reporting your attendance at activities, talk to your consultant. They can report your activity attendance on your behalf. This means you will need to tell your consultant when you have attended your activity, or make sure they can contact you to confirm you attended. 

You may get a demerit if you did not have a valid reason for not attending a requirement or signing your plan. If you keep failing to meet your requirements over time, you may lose part of your parenting payment – or have it cancelled. 

Do I have to sign the Privacy Notification and Consent Form? 

Your personal information is protected by law, including the Privacy Act 1988 and the social security law. Your ParentsNext consultant will provide you with a Privacy Notification and Consent form that outlines how your personal information will be used.

You can choose not to sign the consent form and your sensitive information (e.g. medical information) will not be passed on. This may limit the services your ParentsNext consultant can help you with.

Translation services

For help speaking or understanding English, call the Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 131 450 for the cost of a local call. Ask them to call the National Customer Service Line if you need information translated.

Or visit the translated ParentsNext resources page for information in different languages.