New figures show the Turnbull Government’s crackdown on dodgy family day care providers rorting the Grandparents Child Care Benefit (GCCB) has saved taxpayers more than $100 million.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the crackdown had removed dodgy family day care providers from the system and safeguarded legitimate operators and the families who depend on child care support.
“Our compliance cops have stopped rorters ripping off taxpayers to the tune of more than $100 million,” Minister Birmingham said.
“The GCCB was introduced to support grandparents who have primary care of their grandchildren but in recent years there was large-scale rorting by unscrupulous providers.
“We were seeing instances where family day care providers were charging more than three times their normal fees for this type of care because they knew it was wholly paid for by the taxpayer.
“At one point, the GCCB was costing Australian taxpayers $3.9 million a week – that’s now dropped to $1 million per week and saved taxpayers $110 million.
“Our action has stopped millions going into the hands of dodgy providers and ensures taxpayer dollars are directed to those operators doing the right thing and delivering high quality, flexible and affordable child care.
“It has also stopped unscrupulous providers from taking advantage of vulnerable grandparents and overly exposed taxpayers in order to rort public money.
“Whilst the majority of family day care providers do the right thing, the Turnbull Government’s early education and care reforms and our $2.5 billion extra investment need to be protected from rorters so that subsidies are going to the families that need support.
“Over the last three years, we’ve been tackling the loopholes Labor left behind and our compliance measures and enforcement action has stopped $1.8 billion from flowing through to dodgy family day care providers.
“The Labor Party cut the number of compliance checks of providers to just 523 but under our watch we’ve boosted the number of checks by 600 per cent to 3,800 a year.
“We’re determined that child care dollars help hardworking families rather than line the pockets of shonks or crooks.”
The GCCB is a 100 per cent child care subsidy available to grandparents on income support payments who are the primary carer for their grandchild or grandchildren.
The Turnbull Government introduced compliance measures in March 2017 to ensure fee assistance was not being paid for ‘illusionary’ care or where fees exceed a maximum hourly amount (currently $12.84).
The new data also comes after the publication of the Child Care Enforcement Action Register in January which showed the Department of Education and Training issued 141 sanctions and immediate suspensions to dodgy providers in 2016-17.
Estimated average weekly GCCB expenditure by month Family Day Care (FDC) services
October 2016 to December 2017
|Month/Year||Average FDC weekly expenditure for GCCB|
|GCCB measure implemented on 13 March 2017|