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Childcare fraudsters exposed online

Exclusive: More than 380 dodgy childcare providers have now been listed on the Child Care Enforcement Register since its introduction two years ago with $3 billion saved in taxpayers dollars.

Family day care providers were the most frequent fraudsters with NSW leading the states in terms of people conning the system in the latest data.

In NSW, four services were listed in the July 2019 quarter, followed by QLD with three and Victoria had one.

Early Childhood Australia's CEO Samantha Page said there has been a high level of fraud, particularly in the family day care sector.

"Because it is run out of people's homes people can come in and rapidly set up a whole other fake service just using people's home addresses - sometimes people don't even know their address has been used," she said.

Family daycare providers were the most frequent fraudsters. Picture: Thinkstock
Family daycare providers were the most frequent fraudsters. Picture: Thinkstock

"There are much stricter requirements now and it is good to see it is being addressed," she said.

"We have told parents how to spot a fake - look for longevity, are they run by reputable organisers. If they were set up last week I'd be asking some serious questions."

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the majority of providers do the right thing.

"We are taking tough action against dodgy childcare operators who are ripping off hardworking Aussie families," Mr Tehan said.

"Providers who are rorting the childcare system, ripping off families and taxpayers will be caught and may face criminal charges."

Last year police busted a highly organised, multi-million childcare fraud syndicate in Sydney where a number of people were charged after claiming $3.9 million in rebates.

Some of the common examples of fraud by dodgy operators include:

• care being delivered to school age children during school hours;

• charged fees in excess of the usual fees for comparable care;

• reported care inaccurately and or in cases where no care was occurring.



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