The Education Department has received more than 1,900 tip-offs between early April and early June over complaints that childcare providers may have breach funding rules over the temporary COVID-19 relief package.
During "free childcare" relief package, services were allowed to limit attendance based on the funding they received, but with priority given to the children of essential workers or from vulnerable home environments.
The Education Departement had warned childcare providers that funding will be cut if they found excessively limiting their capacity during the coronavirus pandemic, in late April.
A spokesperson for the Education Department told Guardian Australia on Wednesday: “For the period 2 April 2020 to 5 June 2020, the childcare tip-off line was contacted 1,916 times and 192 services have been contacted by the department in relation to their obligations under the relief package.”
Under the emergency funding package, the government has been paying childcare services half of their fee revenue or half of the old childcare subsidy rate cap – “whichever is lower”. Services were prohibited from charging families any fees, removing a chunk of the old revenue they could access.
Almost 200 Australian childcare providers being investigated over Covid-19 funding rules, The Guardian, 10 June 2020