Parents Next Logo

ParentsNext helps eligible parents to plan and prepare for employment by the time their children are at school.

ParentsNext currently operates in 10 Local Government Areas. In the 2017‑18 Budget, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, announced a national expansion of ParentsNext from 1 July 2018.

The Department has released a Discussion Paper on the national expansion.

ParentsNext Project providers work with parents to help them to identify their education and employment goals, develop a pathway to achieve their goals and link them to activities and services in the local community.

Parents residing in one of the 10 ParentsNext locations listed below may be eligible for ParentsNext if:

  • their youngest child is aged five years or under, and
  • they have not had paid employment in the last six months.

ParentsNext Locations

ParentsNext is delivered in the following 10 Local Government Areas:

  • Bankstown (New South Wales)
  • Wyong (New South Wales)
  • Shellharbour (New South Wales)
  • Greater Shepparton (Victoria)
  • Hume (Victoria)
  • Logan (Queensland)
  • Rockhampton (Queensland)
  • Playford (South Australia)
  • Kwinana (Western Australia)
  • Burnie (Tasmania).

These locations were originally selected for the Helping Young Parents and Supporting Jobless Families trials in 2012 because of high unemployment, relatively low educational attainment and high numbers of people receiving income support payments.

Assistance to Parents

ParentsNext Project providers have the flexibility to tailor assistance to meet a parent’s individual needs and work with a range of other organisations.

ParentsNext Projects assist parents to:

  • identify their education and employment goals
  • develop a pathway to achieve their goals
  • combine preparing for work with their parenting responsibilities
  • access services in the local community.

If required, ParentsNext Projects also assist parents to:

  • increase their educational qualifications
  • identify and address barriers to employment
  • develop the practical skills needed to get a job
  • find out about child care fee assistance.

ParentsNext Project providers have a strong knowledge of the supports and services available in their Local Government Area.

Who can participate?

Some parents will be required to participate in ParentsNext as a condition of receiving Parenting Payment — these parents will be contacted by the Department of Human Services.

ParentsNext Project providers can also assist parents who wish to participate on a voluntary basis provided they meet certain criteria.

What do participants need to do?

ParentsNext participants are required to attend appointments with their Project provider every six months, sign a Participation Plan and participate in activities that will help them prepare for employment.

What if parents can’t meet the requirements?

Parents need to contact their ParentsNext Project provider if they are having difficulty meeting any of their requirements. Project providers will work closely with parents to support them in meeting their requirements and can change appointment times or refer parents to different activities where required.

If a parent who is required to participate in ParentsNext does not attend an appointment, sign a Participation Plan or participate in their compulsory activity without a valid reason, they may have their Parenting Payment suspended.

Support for child care

If parents need help to access child care assistance to which they are entitled they should refer to the Assistance with child care fees page on the Department of Human Services website.

Want further information?