May 19, 2018
Here is another interesting article about childcare fraud in the Minnesota StarTribune. This is about a specific initiative by the news media in Minnesota, but the problem persists throughout the United States. We have found that if there is no positive feedback loop that ensures that children in care actually exist and actually attend care, it’s easy for providers to “make up” children and perform “pretend care” that never happens. States will call this “over billing.”
Many states are in the process of implementing childcare time and attendance systems which track the check-in and check-out activities of publicly funded childcare. These systems cannot completely eliminate fraud, but they help greatly in making it much more difficult to bill for care that never occurred for children that, in some cases, do not even exist.
It is very unfortunate that this happens, since it creates a negative public perception of a program that is actually highly successful, enabling low-income parents to be productive and contribute to society, while their children receive quality care. The childcare subsidy programs around the country have been proven to help break the cycle of poverty.