The Turnbull Government has taken unprecedented action to address rorting of government payments for child care, with stronger compliance measures stopping $283 million of taxpayer money going into the hands of “shonky” Family Day Care providers.
Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham said the Government’s tough stance on child care compliance means a more fair and equitable child care system for Australian families, while better protecting those trusted centres that “do the right thing day in, day out”.
Minister Birmingham said the Government was taking a much tougher approach to enforcement of standards than had previously been the case, with sanctions and penalties imposed on 51 services, recovering around $15.1 million in incorrect child care payments.
“We’ve ramped up compliance and in just 12 months prevented 240 high risk family day care operators ripping an estimated $283 million out of the system, including suspending or cancelling 13 services,” Minister Birmingham said.
“The Turnbull Government is committed to ensuring that taxpayer dollars and private investment by Australian families are being used to provide high quality child care.
“Under Labor, in the two years to June 2013 there were no cancellations, no suspensions, and only two fines issued. Compliance checks actually fell from 763 to 523 – a paltry effort compared to the Turnbull Government’s 1,300 checks undertaken in 2013-14 and almost 2,900 last financial year.”
Minister Birmingham said the Turnbull Government had beefed up compliance to remove non-compliant services from the child care market and encouraged people to call 1300 566 046 or email email@example.com if they suspected wrong doing.
“Perpetrators of fraud are on notice: you will be caught and there are severe consequences, including the possibility of jail time.
“This tough stance is necessary to ensure our taxpayer dollars are directed to those operators doing the right thing, compliant with Family Assistance Law and delivering high quality, flexible and affordable child care to families.”
A key part of the Turnbull Government’s investment of more than $3 billion in the Jobs for Families child care package is a new compliance framework to stop unscrupulous operators making fraudulent claims.
Minister Birmingham said the new simplified system would help those providers who inadvertently did the wrong thing because of the complexity of the existing system.
“The ANAO report is consistent with the increased compliance focus of the Turnbull Government. We will use its findings to further review and tighten our compliance rules to ensure value for money and high quality services for taxpayers and families,” Minister Birmingham said.
The ANAO report can be found here.
Minister Birmingham’s media contact: James Murphy 0478 333 974
Nick Creevey, 0447 644 957
Department Media: firstname.lastname@example.org