The “Child Swapping” Family Day Care loophole that was stopped last October is saving taxpayers almost $8 million a week.
According to the ABC, The Federal Governmnent implemented a child care crackdown in October last year, increasing compliance checks and recovering incorrect payments in the process. It was found that some Family Day Care providers were taking advantage of a loophole that has been dubbed “child swapping.”
Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training told the ABC that invalid claims were being made.
“It was never intended, nor envisaged, that family day care operators would be being paid in effect to look after their own children and what we should be looking to do is ensure that child care is as accessible and affordable as possible for those families who are most reliant on it to juggle work and family.”
Satistics provided to the ABC show that the closure of the loophole had seen weekly subsidy claims plummeting to just over $500,00 and overall was saving the Government more than $7.7 million a week.
Since the new rules have come into effect surrounding child care claims, the statistics show a 92 per cent drop in the number of parents who made claims in this area.
Victoria has seen the biggest drop in claimants, where the amount claimed has dropped from almost $4 million per week to $220,000 per week.
Day care providers have been reassured by Senator Birmingham that only those rorting the system are being targeted in the crackdown.
“All of our childcare reforms, including the ban on child swapping, are drafted very carefully to ensure that we take into consideration any other impacts where there might be legitimate cause for certain practices and where people are in remote circumstances or where children may have special needs that warrant the care of a different family day care provider,” the Senator told the ABC, “That’s permitted under the changes that we’ve brought in.”
The closure of the loophole works within a widespread childcare crackdown, which covers a range of reforms including, the increase of compliance checking and the active recovery of incorrect child payments.
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