Changes to end child swapping in family day care
Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Scott Morrison today announced new rules to eliminate the widespread abuse of payments through ‘child swapping’ in the family day care sector.
“Latest data indicates half of all family day care services in Australia are at high-risk of non-compliance and the Coalition Government’s child swapping integrity measure will address this issue,” Minister Morrison said.
Child swapping is a practice where a family day care educator, or their partner, receives child care payments for a session of family day care provided to their own child on the same day that they themselves provide family day care.
“Taking account of consultations with the Family day care sector, government members and Senator Nick Xenophon, this new measure will prevent child swapping in the future and strengthen the government’s capacity to take compliance action against unscrupulous family day care services to ensure the sector operates as originally intended,” Minister Morrison said.
There are specified circumstances where child swapping occurs for legitimate reasons and will exempt:
- the child who has been diagnosed as having a particular disability or medical condition
- the family day care service receiving payment of Inclusion Support Subsidy because the child is undergoing continuous assessment of a disability
- the child who lives in a remote or very remote part of Australia
- on the same day as the child receives care through a family day care service, the family day care educator is required to work (other than as a family day care educator), or attend particular education or training.
The service that provides care to the child must have documentary evidence of the specified circumstance and keep a register of the evidence.
“Family day care educators will still be able to claim child care payments if they place their child with other service types, such as long day care,” Minister Morrison said.
“The child swapping integrity measure strikes a balance between the need to address child swapping practices across the sector while safeguarding legitimate operators and the families who depend upon them.
“The Government will not tolerate those taking advantage of the system and there will be consequences for those who break the rules,” Minister Morrison said.
If people suspect someone is acting fraudulently they are encouraged to email: firstname.lastname@example.org