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What Is the ParentsNext Program and How Can It Help You?

If you are a parent with young children but still hope to be able to work and earn an income, the ParentsNext scheme could be of great assistance to you.

In this post, we’ll take a look at what the scheme actually involves and how it assists the parents of young children to find gainful employment.

What Is the ParentsNext Program?

The ParentsNext program is a government initiative that is often administered through Jobactive providers. The main goal of the ParentsNext scheme is to help parents of children under the age of 6 to find a suitable job, or to further their skills by undertaking courses that will help them find employment.

The scheme is all about planning and preparing for future employment, with the ultimate goal of landing a job role that blends in well with your lifestyle as a parent. The scheme isn’t all about just getting a job and working loads of hours, but rather finding a job with a degree of flexibility so parents still have time to spend with their children when they need them most.

If you apply for and are eligible for the scheme, your ParentsNext provider will assist you with:

  • Setting work and study goals
  • Arranging a participation plan
  • They will meet with you regularly
  • Provide assistance in accessing services within your local community
  • And more… 

ParentsNext Eligibility Assessment

To be eligible for the ParentsNext program, participants need to be receiving a Parenting Payment from Centrelink. Recipients must have been receiving this payment for a minimum of 6 months and must NOT have earned any income in that 6 month period.

Another key part of the criteria is to have at least one child under the age of 6.

Parents wishing to avail of ParentsNext cannot currently be undertaking any other sort of government schemes, such as Disability Support Services or Jobactive stream C servicing, for example. 

ParentsNext Courses

Jobactive providers who administer the ParentsNext scheme will have access to many registered training organizations that can help you acquire new and important skills to increase your prospects for employment. There is quite an extensive range of courses on offer.

The best way to discover what training and study options are open to you is to discuss it with your ParentsNext provider, even if you are not yet part of the scheme. 

How Intensive Is ParentsNext?

The scheme – unless you undertake a study course – doesn’t require participants to be involved in ParentsNext activities on a daily basis. After all, you also need time to be a parent.

It’s quite flexible, where you might only get involved in an activity once a week or once every 2 weeks. Your provider will work in with you so everything fits in nicely with your individual schedule.

Examples of activities might include undertaking a course, being active in a children’s playgroup, or even helping out a non-profit organization for a day.

If you can’t attend a scheduled activity, you’ll need to give your provider advanced notice. A valid reason why you cannot attend is also a requirement. Otherwise, you risk having your Parenting Payment affected. It’s the same if you have a scheduled appointment with your ParentsNext provider. If you can’t make the appointment, they’ll need advance notice and a reasonable excuse as to why.

So long as you communicate with your provider, there shouldn’t be any issues. As mentioned, the scheme is very flexible. 

How ParentsNext Can Help You Get a Job

Your ParentsNext provider (Jobactive provider) is there to assist you on every level so you can find a suitable job that fits in with your parenting lifestyle. It could be signing up for a training course that eventually leads to employment, or learning other important skills through the activity programs.

Your provider can help you with writing resumes and cover letters and they’ll even liaise with employers and line up job interviews for you. Often it’s much easier to get an interview when you go through a Jobactive provider.

The aim of ParentsNext is to help parents enter the workforce in such a manner that it doesn’t take away too much time from the most important job role of all – Being a parent.

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