More than 165 family daycare providers have been forced to shut their doors across Australia after the operators were allegedly found to have been falsely claiming subsidies.
The joint state-federal government crackdown has seen 117 providers lose their accreditation and 49 providers have their accreditation suspended.
In NSW alone, 124 family daycare providers were shuttered between June 2016 and June 2017, representing about one-third of the sector.
Of those services, 36 had their licences cancelled while a further 16 were suspended.
In some cases, taxpayer-funded subsidies were allegedly claimed for “phantom” children who did not exist, or for swapping their own children with friends to claim subsidies.
In other cases, carers were reportedly overseas at the time they claimed to have been looking after childcare.