A free program* supporting parents to navigate the early years while preparing for their future employment goals. 

ParentsNext participant Jayde:
"The staff have been amazing support with practical help and positive reinforcement to help me find the confidence to chase my goals and take the risk moving forward into my dream job".

Benefits of the program

  • Financial support for technology, training and equipment*
  • Consistent support from a dedicated team member 
  • Personal and career goal setting
  • Assessment of needs and pathways
  • Advise for support, such as; child care, housing, supplements etc
  • Referrals to other community support agencies
  • Access to other CatholicCare Wollongong services.


  • Currently receiving Centrelink Parenting Payment
  • Primary carer for child under 5 years and 6 months.

Often parents of young children are struggling with a variety of issues, like being time poor, they've put others needs before their own, they lack confidence, they're financially struggling, feeling disconnected from their own goals in life and often feel overwhelmed navigating a pathway back into employment.

The ParentsNext program funds the support of a CatholicCare staff member for free one-on-one support to help parents achieve their career goals and dreams. The team member can also help access a participation fund to pay for training, technology and any other necessary costs. The program is about tailoring a personal plan to meet the parents' goals and equip them with the tools to help get them there.

The program helps parents reclaim their confidence, financial independence and their employment opportunities, which reaps rewards for them and their children.

CatholicCare have partnered with the Federal Government for seven years, delivering ParentsNext at Shellharbour, Wollongong, Dapto, Moss Vale, Nowra and Sanctuary Point. Our offices are child friendly spaces, to help patents attend relax and focus on their needs.

* If you would like more information about the program and find out if you are eligible, please contact the team on 4243 5806.

Click here to view the ParentsNext flyer.

Click here to view our Service Delivery Plan.

To learn more about the ParentsNext please fill out the below form.

Jayde is a Mum with two children aged 3 and 10 years. She was eligible for the ParentsNext Program support from staff member Krystal. Krystal helped Jayde find training, update her resume, prepare for interviews, and plan a pathway to her goals. "The staff have been amazing support with practical help and positive reinforcement to help me find the confidence to chase my goals and take the risk moving forward into my dream job," said Jayde. "I've been working in my dream job for the last few months and it's amazing! Best of all, I feel my confidence has grown in every area of my life, I have stability, having a good income, we live comfortably, and I feel happy and relaxed." "My advice is to dive and do the program, it really does change your life, even when you don’t have any other support at all."
Jayde 30 years
At the beginning of the ParentsNext program, Suzanne felt quite overwhelmed about her future goals. She had previous experience in corporate environments, prior to having children, but she lacked passion for that kind of work and knew it required long hours away from her family. She dreamt of working with the community but felt like this was out of her reach because she had no training in that sector. Suzanne's staff member Kirsten encouraged her to investigate dream jobs that appealed to her. She identified a variety of jobs in community services which attracted her enthusiasm. Upon reviewing the job requirements for the role, Suzanne and Kirsten discovered the qualifications this industry needed, were possible to study online – which suited her parenting responsibilities well. She enrolled in the course and Suzanne has been successful in gaining employment working in the community while she completes her studies and continues to grow her career further.
Suzanne 45 years
Ashley is a father and primary carer to his two children (6 and 4 years old) who started the started the ParentsNext program in September 2022. His long-term goal has always been to gain employment in the field of IT, but he has had to put this off due to the commitments of being a single father. Upon meeting his Case Manager Krystal on his first appointment, they began creating a plan to achieve his goal and they began searching for courses that would help. Ashley felt that a Certificate III in Information Technology via TAFE Digital would be a great option, as it allows for flexibility with his children. Ashley was concerned that he may not be able to enrol in this course, as he did not have a laptop to use for study. Krystal was able to purchase a laptop through the ParentsNext Participation Fund, so that Ashley was able to commence his studies. Ashley is still studying and is hoping to finish his certificate by early 2024 so that he may find employment to further support himself and his children. Krystal and Ashley are still working closely to ensure that he achieves his goal and is always feeling supported during this time. "My Case Manager Krystal has been incredibly helpful right from the start, and I am very happy to be linked with CatholicCare ParentsNext- it's been great!".
Ashley 32 years