Who it’s for

You may have to take part in ParentsNext if you meet certain conditions.

Current rules

You must take part in ParentsNext if you meet all the following:

  • get Parenting Payment and have for more than 6 months in a row
  • haven’t earned any income in the past 6 months
  • have a youngest child under 6.

All of the following conditions will also need to apply. You:

  • haven’t earned any income in the past 6 months
  • aren’t taking part in Disability Employment Services (DES)
  • aren’t taking part in jobactive stream C servicing for those who need extra help from their provider.

You won’t need to take part if you live in a remote area serviced by the Community Development Program. Read more about the Community Development Program on the National Indigenous Australians Agency website.

We’ll let you know if you have to take part and we’ll connect you with a local ParentsNext provider.

ParentsNext requirements

There are things your provider will ask you to do while in ParentsNext including:

  • going to appointments
  • taking part in set activities
  • signing a participation plan.

Your first ParentsNext provider appointment is usually face to face. After that you can choose to attend appointments by phone or online.

If you can’t attend your appointment in person, speak to your ParentsNext provider.

Your payment may stop if you don’t take part when you should and don’t have a reasonable excuse. Read about demerits and penalties.

Changes to ParentsNext eligibility from 1 July 2021

From 1 July 2021, there are changes to eligibility for ParentsNext.

Who needs to take part

You may need to take part in ParentsNext if all of these apply:

  • you have a child aged 9 months to 6 years
  • you’re under 55 years of age
  • you’ve been getting Parenting Payment and haven’t worked in the last 6 months.

One of the following must also apply:

  • you’re under 22 and haven’t completed Year 12 or equivalent
  • you’re 22 or over and haven’t completed Year 12 or equivalent, and on income support for at least 2 years
  • you finished Year 12 or equivalent and got income support for more than 4 years.

If you have to take part, we’ll let you know. We’ll make an appointment to talk with you about ParentsNext and refer you to a provider.

Who doesn’t need to take part

You won’t need to take part in ParentsNext if any of the following apply:

  • you’re under 15 years of age
  • you live in a Community Development Program region or Norfolk Island
  • you've declared earnings or hours from employment to us in the last 6 months
  • you’re a current participant in DES or jobactive stream C servicing
  • you’re getting Pensioner Education Supplement.

You won’t need to take part in ParentsNext if you meet either of these conditions. You’re:

  • currently studying
  • on leave and have a job to return to.

You also won’t need to take part if you meet both of the following conditions. You:

  • completed Year 12 (or equivalent) or a Certificate III level qualification or higher
  • got income support from us for less than 4 years.

If any of these apply to you, you’ll need to let us know. You’ll need to give us proof of this before your appointment so we can reassess if you need to take part in ParentsNext.

When you can volunteer to take part

If you’re getting Parenting Payment but don’t have to take part in ParentsNext, you can still choose to volunteer.

Change of circumstances

If your circumstances change, you need to tell us within 14 days.

You can tell us using the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app or your Centrelink online account through myGov.

We’ll let you know if the change means you need to take part in ParentsNext.

Next: How to volunteer

You can access ParentsNext as a voluntary participant.

Page last updated: 26 March 2021