Media Release

ParentsNext Program under Review

Workways has welcomed a Federal Government review into the next iteration of the ParentsNext program, responding to the call for submissions with our recommendations as providers of the service in Logan, Queensland.


Logan is a fast growing, culturally diverse region in Queensland that has a high proportion of indigenous residents and a further 30% of community members born overseas with English as their second language. Barriers to employment for parents and carers in this region are multi-faceted, meaning that a ‘one size fits all’ employment service won’t deliver optimal results for participants.


Workways has outlined a set of key recommendations based on our experience delivering ParentsNext and feedback from our participants, which include:


  • Focus on flexible servicing that limits compliance measures to provide greater opportunities to address structural and cultural barriers to accessing family support, non-vocational resources, education and employment.
  • Expand the eligibility criteria so that parents have the opportunity to join ParentsNext instead of Workforce Australia until their youngest child is 14 years of age.
  • Expand the eligibility criteria to include expectant parents of high school age, Non-protected Special Category Visa Recipients and parents who are currently ineligible due to partner earnings.
  • Create a voluntary service so that parents can opt in and out as they need supports.
  • Include in the service delivery model soft skill training co-delivered with other providers; referrals to services such as financial counselling, housing, relationship support; and flexible servicing arrangements such as virtual, face to face and out of office appointments.
  • Establish a ‘non-competitive’ program creating a positive environment for providers to collaborate for the benefit of participants.

ParentsNext provides an important service to parents and carers of young children, helping them return to financial independence and paid employment, in a nurturing, responsive way that considers the unique circumstances of every individual. Workways believes it is important that this program continues to develop and grow in a way that delivers the best possible outcomes for parents and carers.


We look forward to reading the outcomes of the review and subsequent changes to the program in future.