New register names and shames dodgy daycare centres
Dodgy childcare providers have been named and shamed on the Turnbull government's new online public register. The hit list targets providers who seek to deliberately rort the system or fail to provide the expected high standard of care.
The register revealed that the crackdown on fraudulent day care centres by the Department of Education and Training, resulted in 141 sanctions and immediate cancellations over the last year. Most of the action was taken against Family Day Care services.
Many of the shonky operators who made the infamous list, were found to be lying about the number of children attending their premises, and the supposed hours they spent there.
"Most of them are financial breaches, most of them are people who have fudged or dodged attendance records to claim more money than they should have," said Education Minister Simon Birmingham.
Centres are required to provide attendance records to the government In order to secure taxpayer funds of approximately $6 per child.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham said providers who go down the wrong path would be held accountable for their actions.
"This register should serve as a warning to providers that if you're non-compliant and do the wrong thing you will be hung out to dry," Minister Birmingham said.
"Parents should be able to access the information necessary to make informed choices when deciding on a childcare service and have confidence that they are entrusting the care of their children to a compliant and reputable provider." he said.
The majority of the 38 centres on the latest list were from NSW and Victoria, while Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia also featured with two shonky providers each. The Australian Capital Territory only had one.
"This is about making sure the track record of child care providers is crystal clear to families," said Minister Birmingham.
The Minister explained that by significantly increasing the level of monitoring activities, the Government had prevented $1.8 billion in child care fee assistance flowing to unscrupulous providers since the beginning of 2014.
Aside from the financial benefits, the process was also serving to drive dodgy operators out of the business.
Last July Kidspot reported that Queensland based Oz Family Day Care, based out of Goodna in the state's south, had had their approval to operate cancelled.
At the family daycare service's appeal, the Queensland Administrative Appeals Tribunal was told that children in the care of a number of Oz Family Day Care homes were not adequately supervised or staffed by educators. They were not able to to show evidence of proper early childhood education and development programs and some homes were found to be unclean, or lacking access to proper toileting facilities.
But does an increase in cancellations mean that we'll be facing a shortage of childcare centres as a result of closures?
"We're seeing large numbers of childcare centres opening around the country all the time,' aid Minister Birmingham.
"And that's encouraging and it shows that record numbers of Australian families are accessing quality early childhood education. And the overwhelming majority of providers are of great quality, providing outstanding care."
The Compliance Action Register is set to be updated every three months.