13 Dec 2015

Ministry reveals fraud details in ECE centres

8:30 am on 13 December 2015

The Ministry of Education has revealed details of the seven fraud complaints it upheld against early childhood centres last year.

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Photo: 123rf

The ministry said none of the cases warranted referral to the police, and it was misunderstanding of the rules rather than intentional breaches that led to the complaints.

However, some of the services had to repay thousands of dollars in government subsidies and one was placed on a provisional licence.

One service was the subject of two complaints that suggested it was claiming funding for children who were no longer attending, it was not meeting child/teacher ratios and former staff were still included on rosters.

"Ministry audits were conducted and a total of $46,835 was recovered from the service as a result of disallowed funding. The service was placed on a provisional licence and the ministry worked with the service to improve regulation compliance."

Another of the services was also found to be claiming funding for children who were not enrolled and had to repay $40,170.

One of the complaints alleged that a service was gifting money to a church.

"The ministry conducted an audit and $6317.24 was recovered. The ministry had meetings with the service provider and ERO [the Education Review Office] regarding a 'further development review' to assist the service in improving quality of practice."

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