ParentsNext supports parents and carers who receive Parenting Payment to plan and prepare for work by the time their youngest child reaches school age.
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 7 December 2020, changes will be made to further support participants to meet their participation (mutual obligation) requirements.
Participants* who miss a participation (mutual obligation) requirement will have two business days to contact their provider before their payment is put on hold.
Participants are strongly encouraged to keep in regular contact with their provider and let them know in advance if they are experiencing any challenges in meeting their participation requirements.
For more information see the changes to the Two day business payment suspension Fact Sheet link.
Enhancements from 1 July 2021
Enhancements to the ParentsNext program were announced as part of the 2020-21 Federal Budget.
From 1 July 2021, changes include:
- Streamlining eligibility requirements.
- All ParentsNext providers will have flexible access to the Participation Fund to help participants meet their education and employment goals.
- Extending participant eligibility for relocation assistance and employer wage subsidies.
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.
There are 4 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.
ParentsNext providers can offer help with:
- Finding a course or work experience
- Connecting you with other parents and local support services
- Arranging financial support for child care and study
- Writing a resume and job interview practice