Almost 200 Australian daycare centres – some linked to funding for overseas terrorism, bikie gangs and fraud – have been shut down.
Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has applauded the move having warned for years about endemic rorting in the government-subsidised childcare industry.
The Daily Telegraph reports, the banned daycare centres – the majority of which are located in southwest Sydney – include those linked to the Fairfield-based Red Roses Family Day Care company, which was raided by police last month and 18 people arrested as part of an alleged $4 million fraud on the Commonwealth’s Child Care Subsidy Scheme.
The 188 family daycare centres shut down in NSW since 2016 have saved the federal government an estimated $674 million annually in fraudulent payments, often for children who do not attend and daycare centres which do not exist.
One fake family daycare centre was in a house with no electricity. Another was in a garage where dozens of children were listed as attending.
The crackdown followed a crisis where regulators refused to visit some “dangerous” addresses posing as family daycare centres without being backed up by police as they were threatened with guns as NSW’s number of centres rapidly rose to 420 three years ago.
Senator Bernardi has told Paul Murray Live on Sky News, this latest exposé of the childcare rorts is just scratching the surface.