On Thursday, 3 May, the Australian Federal Police, acting on information provided by the Department of Education and Training, conducted a search warrant in Lakemba and Kellyville in Sydney (NSW).
The AFP have confirmed two people have been charged with offences following an investigation into alleged fraudulent family day care payment claims.
This was a significant operation acting on potentially fraudulent claims totalling more than $5.7 million.
I thank the members of the AFP who were involved in the investigation and operation. I also thank and congratulate officers in my department for their ongoing role in monitoring for compliance and for working closely with other agencies to find and take action against anyone rorting the child care system.
The Turnbull Government continues to crack down on rorters, and actions like this should send a further message to people who try to rip off the child care system.
We will work with authorities to identify you, and we will not only take action to shut you down but, wherever possible, we will also apply the full force of the law.
Since 1 January 2014, 24 people have been charged with criminal offences for child care fraud.
Of those, 11 have been convicted and sentenced, and 12 are still before the courts.
My department works closely with law enforcement agencies to gather evidence, to support investigations and prosecute people who have defrauded the system.
Since we came to government, our legislative reforms to close loopholes and strengthen our capacity to address fraud or non-compliance as well as the department’s ongoing enforcement efforts have stopped $1.8 billion of taxpayer money going out the door to rorters and shonks.
Compliance action by the Department of Education and Training in 2016-17 led to 141 sanctions and immediate cancellations with the majority imposed on family day care services.
In MYEFO last year, the Turnbull Government announced a family day care payment integrity surge set to save taxpayers $1 billion. It builds on further compliance powers being introduced as part of the Government’s overhaul of Australia’s early education and child care system.