A six-month blitz targeted at dodgy providers within the family day care system has led to serious enforcement action against 151 services and will stop almost $1 billion in taxpayer subsidies flowing out the door.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Turnbull Government’s latest family day care integrity surge was already set to save taxpayers an estimated $990 million with further action still underway.
“The Turnbull Government has a zero-tolerance to those family day care providers who game the system,” Minister Birmingham said.
“We have been relentless in our pursuit of those who break the rules and rip-off taxpayers. We won’t stop in our effort to improve the integrity of the entire child care system to protect taxpayers and families.
“Family day care providers who doctor paperwork, exaggerate the hours of care or even claim subsidies for ‘invisible’ children will be caught and we will throw the book at you.
“Australian parents should have confidence they are entrusting the care of their children to high quality and reputable providers and that taxpayer funds are being spent on legitimate services.”
Minister Birmingham said with the Turnbull Government’s new child care package less than two weeks away, it was vital the extra $2.5 billion of support went to hardworking Australian families and not to the pockets of rorters or frauds.
“Under our reforms we’re targeting subsidies to families working the most and families earning the least, scrapping the annual rebate cap for most families as well as introducing an hourly fee cap to keep downward pressure on fee increases,” Minister Birmingham said.
“Our child care reforms aren’t just about more support for more families, we’re also boosting the integrity of the system against rorters. One of the key elements of our child care overhaul is improved access to better data and compliance powers including the ability to pause the subsidy approvals of high-risk services.
“This is in addition to the work we’ve already done to close loopholes and our ongoing compliance activity which has seen nearly 4500 compliance checks undertaken this financial year
“Our efforts are in stark contrast to Labor who in 2012-13 carried out only 523 compliance checks and failed to suspend or cancel a single provider.”
Separate to the Turnbull Government’s family day care integrity surge, since 1 January 2014 more than $2.4 billion of taxpayer money has been stopped from going out the door to dodgy providers and 28 people have been charged with child care fraud offences. Sixteen of these have been convicted of criminal offences, while a further 12 cases are still before the courts.
Providers have the right to appeal cancellation and suspension decisions. Parents who are affected by the closure of a provider can contact the Child Care Access Hotline number on 1800 670 305 or visit the Mychild website (www.mychild.gov.au) to find alternative child care arrangements.