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Being a new parent can be challenging enough, and if you’ve decided to return to work after a long time, getting back into the swing of things can feel overwhelming. The ParentsNext program helps parents return to work or prepare for future study. 

Whether you need support adjusting to a new routine or need some help working toward employment, or setting study goals, Ability Options will provide you with the resources to succeed. As an Australian Government employment and assistance program, ParentsNext is delivered by Ability Options under Olympus Solutions across 25 sites in NSW.

Our helpful team of employment consultants will equip you with the skills, confidence and support needed to prepare for and find employment or study options that suit you. And the good thing is, you don’t have to look for work right away. Instead, the focus is on getting ready and preparing for your return. If you would like more information about the ParentNext program, fill out the form below to contact us today.

How can ParentsNext help me return to work?

Are you looking to return to the same role? Or are you interested in working in a different industry? Achieve your employment goals as a parent with Ability Options. 

Returning to work when you have young children can seem overwhelming, but having support and guidance can make all the difference. When considering returning to work, many parents face challenges finding the right work-life balance between parenting, study and work. It can be a juggling act! 

Ability Options will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge so that you can return to work confidently. Unsure of what your plans are? No worries! We can work with you to figure out all the details. 

If your youngest child is between nine months and six years of age and you currently receive a Parenting Payment, our skilled team can help you make a smooth transition back to work.

You will be supported to:

  • Think about and set short and long-term study and work goals — We’ll encourage you to set realistic goals that challenge you to reach your full potential.
  • Create a participation plan that sets out the activities you need to do to achieve your goals — To ensure you reach your work or study goals, we’ll work with you and create a schedule that works for you, during your preparation. As part of the ParentsNext program, you do not have to sign off on your Participation Plan immediately and have up to ten days to think about whether or not you’d like to proceed. And don’t worry if your circumstances change, as your plan can be reviewed and updated to reflect these changes.
  • Access services in the local community — You might not know what help is available during your transition back to work. We’ll point you in the right direction to ensure you get the right support.
  • Stay in touch and review your plan by regularly meeting with your consultant  There will be times when it is hard to do your planned activities, and these catch-ups provide a space for you to chat and get back on track. Here you can also voice any concerns or issues about going back to work or further study. Our skilled and understanding team will be happy to address your concerns and prepare you for the next step.

What can I expect during my ParentsNext appointment?

If you’re preparing for your first ParentsNext appointment, you might wonder what to expect from your provider. During your first appointment, your provider will explain:

  • What the ParentsNext program is and how it works
  • What you are expected to do during the program
  • Their role and how they will help you prepare for future work or study 
  • Your rights and other obligations

Am I eligible for ParentsNext program?

If you are interested in applying for the ParentsNext program, a few conditions must be met before you are approved. You may be able to participate in ParentsNext if all of these apply:

  • You have a child aged nine months to six years.
  • You are under 55 years of age.
  • You have been getting a Parenting Payment and haven’t worked in the last six months.

Other ParentsNext eligibility requirements include: 

  • 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 two years.
  • You’re 22 or over and have been getting income support for more than four years.

Participating in the ParentsNext program may be a condition of receiving your Parenting Payment. If this is the case, Centrelink will reach out about joining the program. 

If you would like to join the ParentsNext program, please first contact Centrelink to check your eligibility.

Ability Options MyTime service

Helping parents with young children prepare for employment.

The MyTime service is unique to Ability Options and, in addition to helping parents prepare for employment, it aims to reduce the need for long-term welfare support.
The service focuses on providing you with training, support and opportunities for employment that are suited to your needs.

The flexible service will also be improved based on your feedback and we encourage you to tell us about your experience.

MyTime at a glance:

  • Personalised service that’s focused on you!
  • Familiar with the needs of parents with young children
  • Access to training partners and non-job related support
  • Flexible services
  • Local focus and community awareness
  • Utilises expertise in employment programs with our knowledge of local markets and employers
  • Regularly improvement based on your feedback
  • Available across all Ability Options sites in Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter

Focused on you

MyTime recognises the diverse backgrounds, education, skills and work experience of every participant, and tailors the program to your needs.

So, how does it work? To begin, your Participation Plan will map your background, needs, skills and goals to an achievable employment path. Next, training and support — both job and non-job related — are provided and tailored to your needs.

Timeliness and convenience

We understand that as a parent of young children that you may not have a lot of time. It might also be challenging to maintain a schedule around the needs of your children and family. Having your child in care may not always be the best option either.

To help, MyTime can provide flexibility and convenience. Varied locations, such as our local offices and community organisations, give you a range of options when looking for services and support. Virtual online-based service options allow you to connect with services when and where it suits you best.

We are local

MyTime operates at a local level and has strong connections to community organisations and other local employment services. Our team have extensive knowledge of the local job market and have strong relationships with many employers, training schemes and employment agencies.

This means we can offer you skills and training, employer introductions, work experience as well as access to jobactive or DES providers to discuss ongoing support.

To speak to one of our Recruitment Consultants today about the ParentsNext program, call 1300 422 454 or complete the form below.

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