Two women were charged on Thursday (3 May) in an ongoing investigation into an alleged $5.7 million family day care fraud in which more than 1600 children were claimed to have enrolled in one month.
A Merrylands day care provider owned in Ms Lami's name, iGrow, claimed to have enrolled more than 1600 children last July and backdated each to a single date in March, according to court documents.
More than 143,000 childcare sessions were lodged without proper details.
Despite this, the Commonwealth Department of Education paid out more than $5 million in rebates and benefits in 11 payments over two weeks.
Australian Federal Police raided five properties in Kellyville and Lakemba in Sydney's west, charging a 31-year-old woman with dealing with more than $1 million in proceeds of crime and a 28-year-old woman with handling more than $100,000 of the same.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham has led a crackdown on illegitimate providers, with legislative changes to come into effect in July.
“We’ve introduced new integrity measures and undertake over 3800 compliance checks each year to stamp-out rorting by dodgy family daycare providers,” he said previously.
In January, the government launched a “name and shame” list of operators who have lost out on benefits due to non-compliance or illegal activity.
One of the most concerning factors, that we should consider during this probe is that the childcare session that was lodged was without proper details, yet the Department of Education continued to pay out rebates and benefits. If the Department of Education, realised that details were amiss, then the payments should not have been made in the first place. Not only measures should be taken to ensure FDC educators are not rorting, however, the Department of education should ensure that childcare sessions are lodged correctly with all details payments will not be paid.
Begley, Partick, Two Women Charged In Alleged $5.7 Million Childcare Fraud Probe, Sydney Morning Herald.