More than two-thirds of family daycare operators who had their taxpayer subsidies cancelled or suspended late last year were born in a handful of countries on the Horn of Africa and most of these were from one nation: Somalia.
The Australian newspaper reports, Education Minister Simon Birmingham has announced that 53 family daycare services had their federal subsidies either cut or held for fraud, claiming excessive fees or lack of documentation confirming care was provided.
The latest move in an evolving crackdown that began in 2014 has focused on providers fudging records, especially for children in care under the Grandparent Child Care Benefit, which is 100 per cent subsidised, like the similarly rorted Special Child Care Benefit.
Senator Birmingham said the government had saved about $1.8 billion in fee assistance through a combined closure of various loopholes. Before the crackdown began, more than $1 billion of taxpayers’ money was claimed by care providers.
“The Turnbull government is investing record sums to support the hardest-working Australian families to access quality care, but we will not tolerate those who seek to rip off the taxpayer with illegitimate claims,” he said.
“Those dodgy family daycare providers who circumvent the rules no longer have anywhere to hide. If you do the wrong thing we will catch you and the public will know about it.”
“We’ve introduced new integrity measures and ramped up compliance checks to over 3800 per year,” Senator Birmingham said. “It’s clear our action is weeding out those looking to take advantage of families and rip off taxpayers.”
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