ParentsNext is a pre-employment program which connects parents of young children to services in their local community to help them plan and prepare for employment by the time their youngest child reaches school age. The program aims to reduce welfare dependency and child poverty, and to increase female employment participation.
As announced in the 2017-18 Budget, the federal government is investing $263 million in a national expansion of ParentsNext from 1 July 2018. The national expansion will be delivered in two streams.
The first stream will deliver a targeted ParentsNext to the most disadvantaged parents in all 51 employment regions. The second stream will deliver a more intensive ParentsNext in the existing 10 locations and a further 20 locations where there is a high proportion of Parenting Payment recipients who are Indigenous. The more intensive ParentsNext will have a stronger employment focus to help meet the employment Closing the Gap target.
The Department of Employment has released this discussion paper on the national expansion of ParentsNext. The department is seeking written submissions on the content and guiding questions on the paper.