SMFA is working hard to abolish ParentsNext. We oppose the compulsory control and suspension of payments. Our focus is to retain the funds attached to the program so it can assist women with their future plans and needs.

ParentsNext is compulsory if all of the following apply:

You have a child aged 9 months to 6 years, under 55, and you’ve been getting Parenting Payments and haven’t worked in the last 6 months.

Plus one of the following: 

  • 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 have been getting income support for at least 2 years,
  • you’re 22 or over and have been earning income support for more than 4 years.

Services Australia will contact you and refer you to a ParentsNext provider. The Provider & Services Australia can help you leave (as circumstances change and people are still getting incorrectly referred).

You don’t have to take part. If you’re under 15 years, you live in a Community Development Program region or Norfolk Island, you have declared earnings or hours from employment Service Australia in the last 6 months, you are part of a Disability Employment Services, getting Pensioner Education Supplement, currently studying or on leave from work and have a job to return to.

Other points
You don’t need to sign a privacy waiver. You have 10 days to consider your plan before signing. You can have one activity – there is no set requirement. There is a participant fund to help or pay for the activities on your plan.

Check out Workforce Australia ParentsNext page for a full list of exemptions.

  • you’re caring for a large family of 4 or more children.
  • you’re sick or injured and have an approved medical certificate.
  • you’re affected by a disaster such as a bushfire or flood.
  • you’re experiencing a major personal crisis such as family and domestic violence, homelessness or the death of an immediate family member (16 weeks)
  • you’re pregnant and it’s 6 weeks before the expected date of birth or 6 weeks after birth.