Education Minister Simon Birmingham has announced today that 53 family daycare services across Australia will have their federal funding cut due to findings of fraudulent conduct. The Grandparent Child Care Benefit — a government program which is 100 percent subsidised by the federal government, has been widely rorted, with excessive fees and allegedly falsified documents allowing many daycare operators to take advantage of a system which was originally intended to ease childcare costs for families with young children. The rort has seen more than $1 billion worth of tax payer money claimed by dodgy day care centres throughout Australia, with more operators likely to be caught out as investigations continue.
A significant portion of the daycare centres involved in the scandal are reportedly run by directors who immigrated to Australia from Somalia, with Victoria emerging as the state with the highest number of offenders. In fact, according to the corporate regulator, 25 of the 27 day care centre operators which were found to have acted dishonestly within Victoria, were run by directors who had immigrated to Australia from Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. The federal government’s investigations into Australian daycare centres are ongoing, with similar findings likely to emerge in the coming months.